Ohio State vs. Xavier Prediction: Can Xavier Pull Off The Upset in CBB Battle For Ohio?

Ohio State vs. Xavier prediction and pic for Thursday's college basketball matchup. Jason Radowitz previews the game and lets us know how to bet it
Jason Radowitz
Thu, November 18, 9:15 AM EST

Ohio State vs. Xavier Prediction: Can Xavier Pull Off The Upset in CBB Battle For Ohio?

The Ohio State Buckeyes nearly lost their first game of the season to Akron, but pulled out a win at the buzzer to defeat Akron 67-66. Since that win, Ohio State has won two straight games by double digits and have scored 84 or more points in their last two games.

Now Ohio State will take the road to face a very good Xavier Musketeers team that isn’t fully healthy just yet. The Musketeers are still 2-0 with wins over Niagara and Kent State, but they as well, have struggled to look like a powerhouse team. The defense will always be there for Xavier but the offense has struggled.

Can Ohio State’s offense figure out the Xavier puzzle on defense? Here are our picks and predictions for the Ohio State Buckeyes vs Xavier Musketeers game on Thursday, November 18.

Ohio State vs. Xavier Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2021

Game Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

Where To Watch: FS1

Ohio State vs. Xavier odds

Ohio State vs Xavier INJURY REPORT

Ohio State

Questionable: Justice Sueing F (Lower Body)

Out: Seth Towns F (Back)

Xavier

Questionable: Kyky Tandy G (Illness)

Out: Zach Freemantle F (Foot), Ben Stanley F (Knee)

Ohio State vs. Xavier Prediction

Ohio State looks to have found their offense again. After an underwhelming victory over Akron to start the season, Ohio State has now won two straight games with 84 or more points scored in each.

The Buckeyes’ offense ranks in the top 10 in offensive efficiency and has an effective field goal percentage of 56.7 percent, which is top 50 in the league.

The offense is led by E.J. Liddell who has scored 22.3 points per game and shot nearly 60 percent from the field. He’s going to be the key contributor on offense but any other guy on the Buckeyes can step up and have a day alongside Liddell.

Through three games, Zed Key is averaging 12.3 points and seven rebounds while no other player is averaging more than eight points per game other than Key and Liddell.

Then again, Ohio State has scored over 80 points in two of their three games. That shows just how much depth the Buckeyes have on offense.

Defensively, Ohio State has struggled defending the three, allowing teams to shoot 39.1 percent. However, they’ve been average everywhere else so far and have momentum after defeating Bowling Green, 89-58 in their last game.

Xavier has shot just 25 percent from downtown through two games this season and has a 44.9 percent effective field goal percentage. The offense has not been elite as the Musketeers also turn the ball over 21.3 percent of the time.

Paul Scruggs has been the big offensive threat for Xavier and they’re clearly missing Zach Freemantle who scored 16.1 points per game along with 8.9 rebounds per game last season. He won’t be back until December.

But while the offense has struggled, the defense has not. Xavier is dominating on the defensive glass but has allowed teams to shoot 37.5 percent from downtown. With Ohio State’s ability to knock down shots from the perimeter, that could be the difference.

I’ll take Ohio State laying the points and a half.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Xavier Musketeers Pick

Jason Radowitz
@Jason_Radowitz
Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.
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