Ohio State vs Xavier NCAAB

#19 Ohio State vs Xavier | NCAAB Game Preview

The marquee matchup around college basketball on Thursday features No. 19 Ohio State of the Big Ten facing unranked but unbeaten Xavier from Cincinnati as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Buckeyes are short favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Ohio State at Xavier NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Thursday, 6:30 PM ET
  • Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Ohio State -1.5 (total 140.5)

Series History

This game is part of the Gavitt Games, which annually pits teams from Big Ten vs. teams from the Big East. This will be just the fifth all-time meeting between the two programs with the Buckeyes holding a 3-1 record. The last meeting was a memorable one for the Buckeyes as OSU won 78-71 in overtime in the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Ron Lewis’ three-pointer late in regulation tied the game.

Why Bet on Ohio State?

The Buckeyes (3-0) were nearly upset by Akron in their season opener but have won their past two each by double digits – all at home. It was 89-58 over Bowling Green on Monday. The Buckeyes limited BGSU to under 40 percent shooting for the night while shooting 51.4 percent themselves. OSU had had 27 assists and just 12 turnovers; the 27 assists were the most since dishing out 26 against UCLA on 12/22/18

E.J. Liddell led the team in scoring for the third-consecutive game with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He was a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from inside the arc. Freshman Meechie Johnson Jr. also had 13 points, which marked a career-high. Sophomores Zed Key and Eugene Brown III each chipped-in with 12 points.

Senior Justin Ahrens was the fifth Buckeye in double-figures with 11 points on 3-of-4 from long range. Ahrens has made multiple threes in all three games this season – he had a streak of eight consecutive games in the middle of the season last year.

Liddell has led the team in scoring in each of the first three games. He is scoring 22.3 points per game and is shooting an efficient 20-of-29 (.690) from inside the arc. The Buckeyes have shot over 50 percent in the last two games. They only shot over 50 percent in consecutive games twice last season and never three consecutive games.

This will be the fourth time Ohio State has participated in the Gavitt Games. The Buckeyes are 3-0 in the previous three appearances, collecting wins over Providence, Creighton and Villanova. This will be the 320th game for Ohio State vs. a team from Ohio. The Buckeyes have a record of 240-79 (.752) all-time and have won the last 32 regular season meetings against in-state opponents dating back to 1994.

Why Bet on Xavier?

Xavier (2-0) comes off a 73-59 win over Kent State on Friday. Paul Scruggs led the Musketeers with 23 points, going a perfect 5-of-5 at the free throw line. Scruggs grabbed seven boards. Colby Jones finished with 19 points on 6-of-8 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Jones also grabbed eight rebounds.

Jack Nunge scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor, and grabbed six rebounds. Jerome Hunter led the Musketeers with nine rebounds and added six points for the Musketeers.

Xavier finished with a 48-29 advantage on rebounds overall and a 20-8 advantage on the offensive glass, outscoring Kent State 18-7 on second chance points. Xavier’s defense limited Kent State to just seven points over the final 10 minutes of the game.

Scruggs was named to the Big East Honor Roll for last week. He averaged 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game for the two games. Scruggs was a unanimous choice on the 2021-22 preseason All-Big East First Team by league coaches. Xavier junior Zach Freemantle, who led XU in scoring at 16.1 ppg. and rebounding at 8.9 rpg. last season, is sidelined by injury.

As for this game, Xavier has won 11 of its last 15 games against nine different teams from the Big Ten Conference since the 2006-07 season (15 seasons), including 4-2 in the NCAA Tournament and 2-1 in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. XU’s four losses include two overtime games and a buzzer-beater

Xavier’s last game vs. a ranked opponent was Feb. 27, 2021 when the Musketeers defeated then-No. 13 Creighton 77-69 at Cintas Center.

Expert Prediction

  • Ohio State 72, Xavier 70


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