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Picks, prediction for Xavier vs. Kennesaw State in First Round of 2023 NCAA Tournament

We go over the odds and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook for Xavier vs. Kennesaw State in the First Round of 2023 March Madness.

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The No. 3 Xavier Musketeers (25-9, 15-5 Big East) will open their NCAA Tournament play against the No. 14 Kennesaw State Owls (26-8, 15-3 A-Sun) on Friday afternoon. The game will get started at 12:40 p.m. ET from Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina, and can be seen on truTV.

Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.

No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State picks

Spread: Xavier -12.5
Over/Under: 154
Moneyline: Xavier -800, Kennesaw State +575

Xavier finished second place in the Big East regular season standings behind the Marquette Golden Eagles, and the Musketeers did the same in the conference tournament. Kennesaw State tied for first place in the Atlantic-Sun regular season standings and rolled through the tournament to claim a March Madness spot.

The Musketeers won five games in a row down the stretch and appear to have figured out how to win without one of their best players Zach Freemantle, who has been out since late January. Xavier’s defense isn’t good, but the Musketeers rate eighth in KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency, while Kennesaw State is 153rd in that category so the Owls are not keeping up in this contest.

Pick: Xavier -12.5