Saint Bonaventure vs. Xavier Prediction: NIT Semifinal Best Bet

The NIT Tournament reaches its Final Four this evening at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Saint Bonaventure Bonnies take on the Xavier Musketeers. Johnny Covers takes a look at the matchup and shares his pick.
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Saint Bonaventure vs. Xavier Prediction: NIT Semifinal Best Bet

While the college basketball world waits for the NCAA men’s Final Four on Saturday, the NIT Tournament reaches its Final Four this evening at Madison Square Garden in New York City. With the championship game slated for Thursday at 7 PM (ESPN), four teams from across the country will battle it out tonight for the right to play in that game.

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Saint Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Xavier Musketeers Prediction

One week removed from knocking off Big Dance hopeful Virginia 52-51 in the quarterfinals as 2.5-point underdogs, the Bonnies will take the floor tonight again as slight dogs looking for the same result. The Cavaliers were just the latest in a gauntlet of teams that included Colorado and Oklahoma, holding both to just 68 points and doing enough to get by on the offensive end.

For the Muskateers, an early exit from the Big East tournament was not from a lack of offense, scoring 82 points in an 82-89 loss to Butler. That hot hand has continued, scoring 73 points per game in their three games so far in this tournament. Coming into this tournament as a #2 seed, the Bonnies have struggled to find consistency and largely have played down to their opponent, just 1-2 ATS through three games.

If EITHER TEAM hits a 3-Pointer in Saint Bonaventure vs Xavier, you'll win $200

Now in the semi-finals of the NIT for the first time since 1999, Xavier is looking for their first title since 1958, a year they beat the Bonnies in the semis.

The Bonnies have rattled off three straight outright wins as dogs of 2-5 points, all while facing at least two teams (Virginia and Oklahoma) that were on the bubble for the Big Dance. With a win tonight, the Bonnies would be in the championship game for the first time since 1977, the year they won this event. 

While this Xavier team will likely continue to see the action from the public given their big-name status, I think the Bonnies are the right play. To this point, the Musketeers have largely had an easy slate, favorites in every game but as mentioned, covering just one. The Muskateers will also be without Paul Scruggs (knee) tonight, a 12 points per game player who played a large part in this team winning down the stretch of the regular season.

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I like for the Bonnies to pull away from this one late, outlasting a Xavier team who consistently underachieves. 

Saint Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Xavier Musketeers Odds Breakdown

The Bonnies opened as a 1-point favorite (FanDuel) in this one, moving as high as -2 before settling in at where it is now. As far as the total, we’ve seen this one drop sharply from its opener of 142.5 (BetMGM), settling in at 139.5 across the board.

Saint Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Xavier Musketeers Pick

Pick: Saint Bonaventure Bonnies -1.5 (-110) (Bet $110 to Win $100)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

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Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping games for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as All-In Magazine, Blitz Predict, FantasyPros, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, and most recently, OddsChecker. In addition to giving out picks on Twitter, Johnny is the host of the podcast The Daily Sports Bet -- a 10 minute or less listen with actionable insights and no fluff or BS. Starting the podcast in June, he closed out 2021 up 26 units with a winning percentage of 55%.

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