Duke vs Xavier Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will experienced Musketeers exploit Blue Devils’ early issues?

By | November 25, 2022

It wasn’t pretty at all, but Duke survived Oregon State’s upset bid yesterday to move on to the semifinals of the Phil Knight Legacy.

But after scoring only 54 points against the Beavers in a three-point win, they are going to need more on the offensive end if they are going to get past Xavier and reach Sunday’s championship game, where they would meet either Purdue or Gonzaga.

The Musketeers reached this round with a 90-83 win over Florida, as they bounced back from last Friday’s close loss to Indiana by continuing their impressive offensive start.

Will they keep it up against the Blue Devils and pull the upset? Keep reading for our Duke vs Xavier prediction, along with the best bets for the matchup.

Duke Blue Devils vs Xavier Musketeers Matchup Information and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Matchup: #8 Duke Blue Devils (5-1) vs Xavier Musketeers (4-1)
  • Venue & Location: Moda Center (Portland, Oregon)
  • Date: Friday, November 25, 2022
  • Game Time: 3:30 pm ET (12:30 pm local time)
  • How to Watch Duke vs Xavier: ESPN

Duke vs Xavier Odds

Game odds are via FanDuel as of Friday, November 25, 2022, at 11:20 am ET. Odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites may also appear in this article.

Spread

  • Duke -4.5 (-110)
  • Xavier +4.5 (-110)

Over/Under

  • Over 148.5 (-115)
  • Under 148.5 (-105)

Moneyline

  • Duke -205
  • Xavier +168

Can Defense Bail Out the Blue Devils Again?

It’s not often that you will see the Blue Devils fare as badly offensively as they did against the Beavers.

They made more free throws (17) than field goals (16), shot only 26.7 percent (16 of 60) from the field overall and 17.2 percent (5 of 29) from three.

Since scoring under 60 points in wins over Virginia in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, Duke has just two such wins since, yesterday’s win and a 57-43 win over Notre Dame last season.

The Blue Devils pulled out the win against Oregon State by putting the clamps down in the second half after the Beavers took a six-point lead with 11:56 left. From that point, they held OSU to just two field goals and outscored them 20-11 the rest of the way.

Freshman phenom Kyle Filipowski was only 5 of 13 from the field, but he made eight of his nine free-throw attempts on the way to a 19-point, 14-rebound performance.

If Duke is to beat Xavier, they will need the seven-footer to continue to his fantastic start to what will be a short stint in the collegiate ranks.

More than that, they will need others to step up offensively. The numbers don’t make for happy reading so far, to say the least.

Offensive Numbers for Duke (Through Five Games)

  • PPG: 73.2
  • FG%: 41.4
  • 3PT%: 30.2

While he isn’t the only culprit, the spotlight is certainly on Jeremy Roach, who was only 1 of 7 from three and 3 of 14 from the field overall.

Roach is averaging a career-best 11.3 PPG so far, but he is shooting a career-worst 35.3 percent from the field. If Duke is to succeed in Portland and in Jon Scheyer’s first season at the helm, he needs to be a reliable and consistent scoring threat.

He certainly needs to deliver today, because Duke is going up against a team that is more talented and much better offensively than the team they barely squeaked by yesterday.

Through the first five games of Sean Miller’s second chapter with the program, the Musketeers have scored at least 78 points in every game.

Against Florida, Xavier shot 55.9 percent (33 of 59) overall and 50 percent (10 of 20) from three. All five starters scored in double figures, led by 22 points apiece by Souley Boum and Colby Jones.

Duke vs Xavier Prediction and Picks

Duke vs Xavier Prediction: Xavier to win

Duke vs Xavier Picks: Xavier to cover (Best Value: +4.5 @ -110 at FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook & BetMGM) & Xavier team total over (Best Value: over 71.5 @ -115 at Caesars Sportsbook)

The Blue Devils were able to escape against the Beavers, but I don’t see them being as fortunate against the Musketeers.

Duke will certainly gel and get better as the season progresses, but at this point, Xavier is in a much better position, even if you factor in both programs being led by a new coach.

Xavier’s starting lineup against Florida consisted of four seniors (Boum, Zach Freemantle, Jack Nunge, and Adam Kunkel) and a junior (Jones), and their leading bench contributor, Kyky Tandy, is a senior.

And with the exception of Boum, an offseason addition from UTEP, all of Xavier’s key players have played together for at least a season.

Duke isn’t completely bereft of experience, but Xavier’s edge there–along with their current level of cohesion and success on the offensive end–will be key in delivering an upset that really shouldn’t be considered much of an upset.

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