Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#697 Missouri State 131 vs.
#698 Xavier -13
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Scott Reichel

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#697 Missouri State University
#698 Xavier University
2-1
3-0
12-19
17-17-1
11-18-2
15-20
68
72
67
70

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This Friday, there is an NCAAB matchup between the Missouri State Bears and the Xavier Musketeers. This will be the first meeting between these teams this season and it will take place at the Cintas Center.

Missouri State Looks For First Road Win

The Missouri State Bears have been pretty good up to this point in the season. The Bears have won two of their first three games including a 20 point victory against Cleveland State at home on Tuesday. In that game, Missouri State's defense was amazing as it only allowed 53 points while forcing the opposition to shoot just 31.6% from the floor and just 18.2% from the three-point line. Now, Missouri State has to travel to play its first road game of the season in a very hostile environment. If Missouri State plans on winning this game, its defense will need to continue playing at its current level for all 40 minutes.

Leading the Bears offensively is senior guard Keandre Cook who looked great this season. He is currently averaging a team-high 19.3 points per game along with 5.7 rebounds. He is also extremely efficient as he is shooting 56.3% from the floor and 52.9% from the three-point line. Now, he will look to continue shooting the ball with confidence against a solid basketball team on Friday.

Missouri State's most underrated player is senior forwardLamont Westwho has been solid so far this season. West spent four years with West Virginia before deciding to transfer to Missouri State during the offseason and it appears that the decision has paid off. He is currently averaging 10.0 points per game while shooting 47.8% from the floor and 37.5% from downtown. Now, he will look to help lead the Bears to an upset road victory in this game.

Xavier Looks To Remain Undefeated

The Xavier Musketeers have looked amazing up to this point in the season. The Musketeers have won each of their first three games with two of those wins coming by at least 18 points. However, Xavier struggled a bit in its last game as it needed overtime to beat Missouri at home. In that game, Xavier's defense was amazing as it held Missouri to just 58 points on 33.3% shooting from the floor. Xavier's defense has been the main reason why it is still undefeated this season as it is only allowing 59.3 points per game. Now, it will look to carry the team to its fourth home victory of the season on Friday night.

Leading the Musketeers offensively is junior forward Naji Marshall who looked solid this season. He is currently averaging a team-high 18.0 points per game along with 7.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists. However, he has been extremely inefficient as he is shooting just 38.6% from the floor and 17.6% from the three-point line. Now, he will look to find his shooting stroke against an underrated defense at home.

Xavier's most underrated player is junior guard Paul Scruggswho has been consistent so far this season. He is currently averaging 12.0 points per game while shooting 45.5% from the floor and 100.0% from the free throw line. In addition, he has also been extremely active on the defensive side of the ball as he is averaging a team-high 2.0 steals.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Xavier is still undefeated this season for a reason and I believe that it should be able to take care of business at home on Friday. Even though Missouri State is 2-1, it has had a really easy schedule up to this point and Xavier is a huge step-up in class so I think that the Bears will be overwhelmed as a result. Xavier has won two of its first three games by 18 points so it has shown the ability to win games by a wide margin at home which makes me believe that it will be able to cover this point spread. Give me the home team.

Prediction: Xavier

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams has very similar statistics in the sense that they struggle offensively but excel defensively so I have to take the under. These teams are each averaging less than 73.4 points per game while giving up less than 59.4 points per game defensively so I think that this game should go under the posted total. Plus, Missouri State will now be facing its biggest test defensively so I would not be surprised to see the Bears score less than 60 points in this game. Give me the under as a result.

Prediction: Under

Half-Time Side Pick

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After a somewhat lackluster performance against Missouri in its last game, I expect Xavier to come out extremely focused in the first half of this game. Xavier has been great at home for many years and I expect the Cintas Center to be rocking on Friday night which should lead to a great performance in the first 20 minutes. Missouri State struggles offensively and I expect this lead to snowball as a result as Xavier simply has better athletes at virtually every position. Give me the home team as a result.

Prediction: Xavier 1H
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.