St. Bonaventure vs Xavier NIT Betting Favorites & Analysis

St. Bonaventure vs Xavier | NIT Betting Favorites & Analysis

The first semifinal from the NIT on Tuesday night features St. Bonaventure of the Atlantic 10 facing Xavier of the Big East but a former rival of the Bonnies from the A-10. St. Bonaventure is a short favorite on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet St. Bonaventure vs. Xavier NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: St. Bonaventure -1.5 (total 140)

Last Meeting

The Bonnies and Musketeers are meeting for the first time since Xavier left the Atlantic 10 following the 2012-13 season. Prior to that, the two schools were longtime A-10 rivals. Bona won 11 of 15 meetings between the schools between 1960-74, but Xavier won 12 of the final 13 A-10 contests. Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt served as an assistant on the staff of the late Skip Prosser at Xavier from 1994-2001.

Why Bet on St. Bonaventure?

The Bonnies (23-9) advanced to the NIT semifinals with a 52-51 comeback win at Virginia last week as senior Kyle Lofton hit the winning free throws with under six seconds left. Bona trailed by five, 50-45, with under two minutes to play.

The last chance for the Cavaliers would be swatted away by Osun Osunniyi, who made career block No. 301 on a UVA layup try as time expired. Osunniyi became the 10th player in Atlantic 10 history to reach 300 career blocks, moving into ninth all-time among A-10 players.

Both teams shot 37 percent from the floor. Bona committed fewer turnovers (seven) than UVA (nine), which entered the day top-10 nationally in turnovers per game. UVA held a 35-34 rebounding edge.

For the Bonnies, Jaren Holmes became the 48th 1,000-point scorer in school history and now gives the Bonnies five active 1,000-point scorers, joining the rest of the starting lineup. Holmes is averaging a team-best 15.3 ppg in three NIT games. He has shot 48.5% from the floor (16-33) and 62.5% from distance (5-8) as well as 90% at the line (9-10). Senior Dominick Welch is averaging 10.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg in the tournament with a double-double effort of 10 points and 10 rebounds in the quarterfinals at UVA.

The Bonnies have registered three straight wins over Power 5 teams for the first time in school history. To reach Madison Square Garden, the Bonnies defeated members of the Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC. St. Bonaventure is in the NIT semifinals for the first time since winning the championship in 1977. The Bonnies are one of five teams in the past decade to win three straight road games to reach the semifinals in Madison Square Garden. Prior to this year, St. Bonaventure had never won a true road game in the NIT (0-6).

With 23 wins on the season, the Bonnies have their winningest season since 2017-18 when they set the program record with 26 victories. Bona has reached the 20-win mark five times under head coach Mark Schmidt. St. Bonaventure is the last remaining Atlantic 10 team in postseason competition. The A-10 sent six teams to either the NCAA or NIT tournaments this year.

Why Bet on Xavier?

Xavier (21-13) beat Vanderbilt 75-73 last week to advance in the team’s first game since losing starter Paul Scruggs to a season-ending injury. Zach Freemantle had 16 points to lead five Musketeers in double figures vs. Vandy. Colby Jones added 15 on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. Adam Kunkel had 14 points, Nate Johnson added 12 and Jack Nunge had 10.

Vanderbilt finished with a 34-31 advantage on the boards, including a 10-5 advantage on offensive rebounds, but only had a 6-5 advantage on second-chance points. Xavier finished shooting 53 percent from the floor while holding Vanderbilt to 44 percent.

Freemantle is leading Xavier in the NIT at 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game, while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Nunge leads the team in scoring at 13.3 ppg. and in blocks at 1.4 bpg. and is second in rebounding at 7.3 rpg. Jones leads the team and is 10th in the Big East in rebounding (7.4 rpg.). He is third on the team in scoring at 11.2 ppg., including 13.9 ppg. over the last nine games, and is second on the team in assists at 3.2 apg.

Sophomore Dwon Odom has averaged 23.8 minutes per game over the last 13 games compared with 18.1 for the first 21. He has posted a 2.33 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last 15 games.

Scruggs, who returned this season for a fifth year of eligibility after the NCAA issued a blanket waiver because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was as durable as it gets over the last five seasons, playing in a school-record 151 career games. Scruggs finished his career 14th on Xavier’s all-time scoring list (1,631 points), fifth on the all-time assist list (510) and tied for seventh on the all-time steals list (178).

Xavier is making its 33rd postseason appearance in the last 39 postseasons. Xavier won the 1958 NIT Championship with a win over St. Bonaventure in the semifinals and win over then-No. 11 Dayton in overtime in the championship game. Xavier is making its ninth all-time appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. XU is 19-7 in NIT play and is in the semifinals for the first time since 1999.

Game Trends

  • Bonnies are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
  • Bonnies are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite.
  • Bonnies are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 neutral site games as a favorite.
  • Musketeers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
  • Musketeers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
  • Musketeers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Musketeers are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 Tuesday games.

Expert Prediction

  • St. Bonaventure 70, Xavier 69
 
 

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