Ohio State vs Xavier Picks and Predictions: Xavier Can't Contain OSU

The Musketeers are off to a strong start, but can they keep up with an opponent as thorough as the Buckeyes? Find out what side to back for college basketball betting as we break down our Ohio State vs Xavier picks.

Nov 18, 2021 • 08:32 ET • 4 min read
E.J. Liddell Ohio State Buckeyes college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a fun week in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, and we’ll get another fantastic matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Xavier Musketeers. 

The Buckeyes are 3-0 but haven’t looked all that sharp to start the season. On the other hand, Xavier also struggled against Niagara, pulling off a 63-60 win. After that win, the Musketeers added another victory over Kent State to start the season 2-0.

Is Ohio State finally in mid-season form? Here are our college basketball betting picks and predictions between Ohio State and Xavier for Thursday, November 18. 

Ohio State vs Xavier odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Ohio State opened as a 1.5-point favorite and has remained at that number since. The total has shifted in favor of the Over from 140.5 at open to 141.5. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Ohio State vs Xavier predictions

Predictions made on 11/17/2021 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Ohio State vs Xavier game info

Location: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, OH
Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Tip-off: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1

Ohio State at Xavier betting preview


Ohio State: Justice Sueing F (Questionable), Seth Towns F (Out).
Xavier: Zach Freemantle F (Out), Ben Stanley F (Out), Kyky Tandy G (Questionable).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Buckeyes are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Ohio State vs. Xavier.

Ohio State vs Xavier picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Ohio State is currently ranked in the Top 10 in adjusted offensive efficiency through three games this season. The Buckeyes are scoring 80 points per game and continue to take good shots while limiting turnovers. 

E.J. Liddell has started this season right where he left off for Ohio State. The forward is averaging 22.3 points per game on nearly 60 percent from the field through three games this season. 

The Buckeyes as a unit are shooting 58.3 percent inside and 36.1 percent from long range. That will be something to look out for, as opponents have shot 37.5 percent from long range against Xavier this season. 

However, likewise, the Buckeyes have allowed teams to shoot 39.1 percent from long range. But Xavier might not be able to punish them, shooting just 25 percent from three. The Musketeers are only shooting a 44.9 effective field goal percentage and have turned the ball over on 21 percent of possessions through two games. 

Paul Scruggs is back to lead this team, averaging 20 points per game with 4.5 assists. But outside of Colby Jones, there’s not much offensive firepower on this team right now. Xavier will have to rely on really great defense to stick around in games against high major opponents. 

Xavier is tough, but offensively, it usually won’t be able to keep up against high-powered offenses like Ohio State.

Prediction: Ohio State -1.5 (-110)

Xavier has been really good on the defensive end to start the season. It’s held opponents to just 18.8 percent offensive rebounds and a 44.4 percent effective field goal percentage. 

The Musketeers haven’t been able to stop the three-point ball throughout two games, but have been much better defending inside the arc, holding opponents to .457 shooting. 

Similarly, Ohio State’s only downfall defensively has been allowing over 39 percent of threes to fall this year. With Xavier shooting 25 percent from long range, I’m a little less worried about the Buckeyes’ perimeter defense to start the season. Give me the Under. 

Prediction: Under 140.5 (-110)

Ohio State looked weak through its first two games of the season. But after watching it dominate a pretty solid Bowling Green team, my mind has been made up. 

Ohio State is back to playing its brand of basketball. The Buckeyes have scored 84 or more points in each of their last two games and have so much scoring depth, with eight players averaging at least 5.7 ppg.

Xavier is playing terrific defense, but they will struggle to stop one of the best offenses in the nation. Ohio State can dominate inside, can shoot from outside, and have made smart decisions with the basketball throughout the first three games of the season.

I’ll take Ohio State on the road laying the point and a half. 

Pick: Ohio State -1.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Ohio State vs. Xavier picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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