Xavier vs. Kennesaw State prediction, odds, time: 2023 NCAA Tournament picks, March Madness bets by top model


The No. 14 Kennesaw State Owls aim to continue a Cinderella story on Friday afternoon. The Owls, led by Amir Abdur-Rahim, are making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, winning the ASUN Conference this season. Kennesaw State is 26-8 overall and 16-2 in the last 18 games. Kennesaw State will meet the No. 3 Xavier Musketeers, led by Sean Miller, and Xavier is 25-9 this season.

Tipoff is at 12:40 p.m. ET in Greensboro. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Musketeers as 12-point favorites, while the over/under is 152.5 points in the latest Xavier vs. Kennesaw State odds. Before locking in any Kennesaw State vs. Xavier picks, you need to see the college basketball predictions and March Madness betting advice from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Kennesaw State vs. Xavier and just locked in its picks and March Madness predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are several college basketball betting lines and trends for Kennesaw State vs. Xavier:

  • Kennesaw State vs. Xavier spread: Xavier -12
  • Kennesaw State vs. Xavier over/under: 152.5 points 
  • Kennesaw State vs. Xavier money line: Xavier -650, KSU +475
  • KENN: The Owls are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games 
  • XAV: The Musketeers are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games 
  • Kennesaw State vs. Xavier picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why Kennesaw State can cover

Kennesaw State is enjoying its best season in school history, with top-flight metrics on both sides of the floor. The Owls are strong in shooting efficiency on offense, making 37.1% of 3-point attempts and 51.3% of 2-point attempts. Kennesaw State is above the national average in free throw attempts (20.9 per game) and assists (14.4 per game), with the Owls facing a Xavier defense that is below the median in 3-point defense (35.9%), turnover creation rate (16.5%), block rate (7.8%), and assists allowed (14.8 per game). 

On defense, Kennesaw State relies on havoc creation, including a 19.6% turnover creation rate and a 10.5% steal rate for the season. Xavier commits a live-ball turnover on 9.9% of possessions on offense, and Kennesaw State also closes possessions well with a 74.2% defensive rebound rate in 2022-23.

Why Xavier can cover

Xavier has two tremendous individual forces in All-Big East selections Souley Boum and Colby Jones. Boum leads the team with 16.5 points per game, and he adds 4.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per contest with 60.8% true shooting. Jones, a potential first round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is averaging 15.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game with 59.2% true shooting. That duo leads Xavier to top-12 national marks in adjusted offensive efficiency, points per game (81.4), assists (19.3 per game), field goal percentage (49.4%), and 3-point percentage (39.5%). 

The Musketeers are also strong on the offensive glass, grabbing 31.8% of missed shots, and Xavier has an excellent defensive rebound rate (74.6%). Xavier also holds opponents to 48.7% shooting on 2-point attempts to go along with only 16.6 free throw attempts allowed per game. Kennesaw State is a poor free throw shooting team, making only 66.3% of attempts, and the Owls have a below-average offensive rebound rate (27.5%) this season.

How to make Kennesaw State vs. Xavier picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Under on the total, with five players projected to score at least 12 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 60% of simulations. You can only see the model’s pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Kennesaw State vs. Xavier? And which side of the spread hits in over 60% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Kennesaw State vs. Xavier spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out. 

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