Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#763 Siena College vs.
#764 Xavier
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris Altruda



#763 Siena College
#764 Xavier University


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Siena at No. 19 Xavier

When and Where: Friday, Nov. 8, Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 7 p.m. EST.

Still looking to iron some kinks out from its season-opening win, 19th-ranked Xavier looks to build on its last performance Friday night as it hosts Siena.

Maciarello wins coaching debut with Saints

Carmen Maciarello, a Siena alum who was an assistant last season and promoted after Jamion Christian left to coach George Washington, was a winner in his debut as Siena raced past American 96-80 on Tuesday night.

Jalen Pickett scored 22 points off the bench, not starting due to being late to a weight training session, and Notre Dame transfer Elijah Burns added 19 for Siena, which hit 11 of 21 from 3-point range and shot 52.2 percent overall.

"I was ready to get out there with the guys and just help us where we needed to be helped,'' said Pickett, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, to the Albany Times-Union. "They did a great job starting the game off and I was just able to come in and try to pick it up."

Donald Carey had 17 points while hitting 3 of 4 from beyond the arc, and Manny Camper rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting while pulling down eight rebounds. Despite using a four-guard alignment, the Saints still amassed a 41-26 edge in rebounds, something that will have to continue if they are to record their first victory over an AP Top 25 team since stunning then-No. 19 Vanderbilt in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

"I'm excited,'' Burns said about facing the Musketeers. "I played with a couple of their players in high school, so I'm really excited to get back and play a high-level game. It's going to be a very good experience for our team. We're going to grow from it whatever happens."

Steele looking for 40-minute effort as X tries to build on victory

After its strong close to last season, the 19th-ranked Musketeers have been pegged as a potential darkhorse in the Big East race as everyone once again tries to dethrone Villanova. Xavier is the only school to have done that previously, and got this season off to a solid start with a 76-57 win over Jacksonville on Tuesday night.

Tyrique Jones and Naji Marshall scored 17 points apiece for Xavier, which opened a 21-point lead at halftime and cruised in the second half. That part of the game did not sit well with second-year coach Travis Steele, who is looking for a more focused effort in this game.

"He always tells us never cheat the game," Jones told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The game is 40 minutes so he just wants us to play a whole 40 minutes and if we do that, then I don’t think he’s going to call timeouts like that. I don’t know. It brings a different excitement when you have a coach who’s into it."

Steele sought out this matchup as part of building Xavier's non-conference schedule with an eye on NCAA Tournament seeding. The Saints were projected to be in the middle of the pack in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, but Steele has been impressed by what he has seen from Pickett and knows of Burns from his players.

"You look at a team like Siena. You try to predict out, right? I figured Jalen Pickett would be coming back and we knew this could be a great game for us as far as a numbers game because I think they're going to be good," Steele explained to the Albany Times-Union. "We wanted to challenge ourselves and play against a really good team."

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


This will be a close one, but the hedge is Siena's tempo will give Xavier the chance to get in a 94-foot groove and be more effective offensively. The Musketeers had just 11 assists and shot 4 of 23 from 3-point range versus the Dolphins, and the Saints still have work to do on the defensive end after letting American shoot 51.9 percent.

Prediction: Xavier -20.5 (-110)

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Do some shopping around on this line, because it has ranged anywhere from 140 ( to 141.5 points in some places. The Musketeers will be better offensively in this game, and they will be more than willing to run up and down the court with the Saints. Xavier has a good defense, but it will be its offense that gets the job done here with the expectation it will get close to 90 points.

Prediction: OVER 140 points (-110)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.