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With another small slate this evening in college hoops but we have some solid matchups with the final 4 of the NIT starting tonight. My eye is on the matchup between Xavier and St Bonaventure tonight. Let's break it down

Tuesday's Best Bets in College Basketball: Looking to the NIT

St Bonaventure is a team who had a lot of hype and expectations coming into the season and did not live up to any of it. They had a disappointing season by their standards as they failed to win the A-10 regular season title and also failed to make the NCAA tournament, but they have looked very impressive in the NIT so far.

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St. Bonaventure vs Xavier Prediction

They notched very impressive road wins at Colorado, Oklahoma, and Virginia where they were underdogs in all three. St Bonaventure is a very experienced team as they have seniors at nearly every position and think that experience will help them tonight as well. One thing that the Bonnies struggle with is depth.

They really only play six guys and their five starters is where 90% of their offensive production comes from, so if one to two guys are having an off night or get into foul trouble, they could be in for a long night. In their last win over Virginia, they excelled on defense holding UVA to 51 points in a very sloppy game.

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I think St Bonaventure will need to slow this game down as well to control the pace and tempo. The Bonnies are ranked 216th in average time of possession at 17.8 seconds per touch. They are also ranked 332nd in average length of possession on defense as they really make their opponents work for a good shot.

On the opposite side, we have Xavier who also had a disappointing season. They really struggled down the stretch and now have lost their best player in Paul Scruggs to Injury so they may struggle to find offense tonight.

Xavier plays at a relatively fast pace as they are ranked 55th in lowest average time per possession but one thing I found interesting was their average defensive TOP. They are ranked 281st in lowest average defensive time of possession so like St Bonaventure, Xavier really makes their opponents work for a good shot.

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On the defensive side of the ball, Xavier is ranked 69th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 83rd in defensive effective FG%, 73rd in defensive 3-point%, and are in the top 100 in most major defensive categories. They have been a solid defensive group and another thing they do well is defend without fouling.

They are ranked 55th in lowest defensive foul rate so they rarely give their opponents free chances to score on the foul line. On the offensive side of the ball, Xavier relies heavily on free throws to score as they get 20.1% of their offensive production at the charity stripe which is 62nd in the country. This is also a strength of St Bonaventure as the Bonnies are ranked 17th in the nation in lowest defensive foul rate so I think this game aligns for a solid angle on the UNDER. With that being said, I am rolling with the 1H UNDER 66 at -112 for 1U as one of my most confident college basketball picks of the night as I think we see a slow shooting start from both teams here.

St. Bonaventure vs Xavier Pick

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Article Author

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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