The Xavier Musketeers have built a name for themselves as bracket-buster and one of the mid-major conference teams to keep an eye on every year when March Madness comes around. The team has spent so much time being an underdog over the last 20-something years, that viewing Xavier as the No. 5-ranked team in the nation and a potential national title contender might seem out of place. Yet for all the success the Musketeers have seen, the program only has one Elite Eight and no Final Four appearances in the school's history.
With a No. 5 ranking in the AP poll and a potential to grab a Top 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, now is the time for Xavier to cash in on many years worth of potential and make a deep postseason run. These opportunities are few and far between for schools like Xavier, and a Final Four appearance would be considered a major accomplishment for the program. Let's take a closer look at Xavier's title odds, ATS records and figure out the best way to wager on the team. All odds come from Bovada.
2016 Xavier Musketeers National Title Betting Storylines
Xavier will be entering the NCAA Tournament with one of the most talented, well-balanced and experienced rosters in the school's history, which has quietly left fans and experts whispering about the program's shot at finally earning a Final Four appearance. Xavier currently has Top 25 offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, which is something every National Champion over the last 14 years had produced. Sophomore guard Trevon Bluiett has led the way for the Musketeers, averaging 15.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while also shooting nearly 40 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Xavier's backcourt also includes the dynamic junior Myles Davis, who has been on a tear from beyond the arc over the last three games, which included a win over then-No.1 Villanova. For the Musketeers, a Big East Tournament win isn't a requirement because they will probably still earn a Top 3 seed with a loss, but rounding into form heading into one of the biggest tournaments in the school's history is of the utmost importance. Xavier's offense has been excellent throughout the year, and much of the program's success will rely on the backcourt of Davis and Bluiett.
2016 Xavier Musketeers Tournament Odds, ATS Record and Tournament History
Title Odds : +1200
ATS Record : 18-12 (8-8 home)
Tournament History : national titles: 0; Final Fours: 0; Elite Eights: 1
Xavier has been an excellent ATS team over the course of the season but ended the year with consecutive non-covers. Prior to those ATS losses, the Musketeers had covered four straight games and managed to go "over" their totals lines in seven of the last nine games. Wagering on the team's national title odds at +1200 may not be a play that most bettors are jumping on, but there seems to be value on picking the team to cover individual spreads while going over its total. Xavier is an excellent team in wide-open college basketball year, and a deep run could be in store for the team.
2016 Xavier Musketeers National Title Odds and Predictions
Xavier is not typically a school bettors think about when wagering on NCAA Tournament futures. The program has been good over the years, but they can never quite make it past the Sweet 16. However, in a year where there are no dominant teams tearing up college basketball, the field is as wide open as ever and betting on Xavier at +1200 holds excellent value. The squad scores points, shoots the ball well and employs a defense with loads of potential (at this point in the year, a coach couldn't ask for more).
The Musketeers are coming off the best regular season in the school's history, and everyone within the program may be expecting greatness moving forward. Expect Xavier to make it back to the Elite Eight and possibly break the program's Final Four drought. If you are a fan of Xavier, +1200 title odds are a solid bet.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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