The top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs will look to take another step toward winning their first national championship when they take on the 11th-seeded Xavier Musketeers in their Elite Eight matchup on Saturday. However, doing so may be a lot easier said than done with Xavier playing its best basketball of the season at just the right time.
Do any of these two college hoops teams have a shot at winning the NCAA Basketball Tournament title? Can the Bulldogs continue their captivating March Madness run or will the Musketeers bring extend their Cinderella-like tourney run?
Let’s find out now.
No. 11 Xavier Musketeers Vs No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs Elite Eight Odds, Pick & How To Watch
The Musketeers and Bulldogs will meet on Saturday, March 25 at 6:09 PM ET, live from the SAP Center in San Jose, California with this matchup airing live on TBS. Xavier is a clear-cut 8-point underdog while the total sits at 145.5 points.
What: No.11 Xavier Musketeers (24-13) vs No.1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (35-1)
When: Saturday, March 25, 2017
Start Time: 6:09 PM ET
Where: San Jose, California
Stadium: SAP Center at San Jose
Spread: Gonzaga -8
Moneyline: Xavier +315 vs Gonzaga -380
Game Total: 145.5
Stream: Watch TBS
Listen: Xavier vs Gonzaga
Why Bet The Xavier Musketeers Odds at +8
There’s plenty of good reasons to bet on Xavier (18-18 ATS) in this Elite Eight showdown. First, there’s the fact that the Musketeers have built up some nice momentum by winning three straight tournament games and six of their last seven games overall.
The Musketeers handled No. 6 Maryland 76-65 in their opener before routing Florida State 91-66 in their second round matchup. Xavier kept their national championship hopes alive by pulling off a 73-71 ‘upset’ over No. 2 Arizona on Thursday night to make my SU and ATS picks play out perfectly.
The Musketeers got a game-high 25 points on 9 f 17 shooting from electrifying guard Trevon Bluiett while Malcolm Bernard added 15 points in the win. Xavier overcame a slight two-point halftime deficit and shot a blistering 52.8 percent from the field in the win while limiting Arizona to 43.5 percent shooting.
Why Bet The Gonzaga Bulldogs Odds at -8
There are plenty of good reasons to back the top-seeded Bulldogs (22-9-2 ATS) in this matchup, starting with the fact that they’ve only lost one game. Not only that, but Gonzaga is really elite at both ends of the floor as they rank 15th nationally in scoring (83.2 ppg) and an even more impressive fifth in points allowed (62.0 ppg).
The Bulldogs smacked No. 16 South Dakota State senseless in their 66-46 first round win before ending the Cinderella run for No. 8 Northwestern in the second round, 79-73. On Thursday night, the Zags held on against No. 4 West Virginia to get the 61-58 victory and advance to the Elite Eight.
The Bulldogs got a team-high 13 points from Johnathan Williams, Przemek Karnowski and Jordan Mathews in the win while Nigel Goss-Williams added 10 points in the win. The Zags limited West Virginia to 26.7 percent shooting from the field (16-for-60) and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc (5-for-23).
No. 11 Xavier Vs No. 1 Gonzaga Elite Eight Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
I don’t know what has gotten into Xavier lately, but I fully believe the Musketeers are the ‘super-easy’ pick to cover an 8-point spread that is at least five points too high in my estimation.
I know Gonzaga as gone 20-6-2 ATS in their last 28 games against a team with a winning SU record and 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games, but the Bulldogs are also just 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
On the flip side of the coin, Xavier has posted a perfect 5-0 ATS mark in their last five games following an SU win, an even more impressive 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall and a bankroll-boosting 19-7 ATS in their last 26 neutral site games.
I’m not going to pick Xavier for the outright win, but I like them to cover the spread with room to spare and wouldn’t be surprised if the Musketeers pulled off the outright win.