NCAA Betting Preview
No. 10 Marquette Golden Eagles (20-3) at No. 13 Villanova Wildcats (19-4)
Tuesday, 7:00PM Eastern
Bookmaker.com betting line – Villanova -4.5
The No. 10 Marquette Golden Eagles suffered their very first Big East Conference lost on Saturday when they were upset by the South Florida Bulls 57-56. The Golden Eagles are now in a 3 way tie for first place and in need to get back to their winning ways. However, the No. 13 Villanova Wildcats have been playing exceptionally well over the last few weeks winning 5 straight games including big wins over Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The Wildcats sport a healthy 19-4 record this year that is well ahead of other big name schools in the conference like Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Georgetown. Villanova will attempt to keep up their rather surprising play when they host a talented Marquette team on their own floor on Tuesday night.
The Golden Eagles actually lead the extremely strong Big East in scoring offense averaging 80.2 points per game that also ranks 14th nationally. Marquette is a talented team that many people are not giving the credit they deserve. Senior standout guard Jerel McNeal is one of only 3 players in the Big East that is averaging 20 points per game while shooting an amazing 47% from behind the arc. Lazar Hayward is an important figure for the Golden Eagles inside presence nearly in double Hayward is nearly posting double-double averages with 15 points and 9 rebounds per contest and will be an important person in taking down the Wildcats on Tuesday night. The Golden Eagles scoring attack will face a big challenge against one of the conference’s better defensive teams and it will be interesting to see if Marquette can avoid losing two straight.
Villanova really gets after it on both ends of the court and they will attempt to score their 6th straight victory. The Wildcats rank 2nd in defensive shooting efficiency holding opponents to a low 37% on the season. Villanova enters the game off a big blowout win over Syracuse by the score of 105-82. Dante Cunningham had a huge night with 31 points and 10 rebounds against the Orange. Cunningham leads the team in scoring 17.8 points while aiding with 7.4 rebounds. Junior guard Scottie Reynolds has also been stellar this season posting 15 points per game this season. The last two games the Wildcats have participated in have been scoring shootouts that have reached the over 185 total in both games. Their meeting with Marquette has the possibility to reach another high total considering two stout offenses will take the court, but the Wildcats will try to use defense to help get the victory.
What to watch for…
Interesting item to watch will be the bench play. If the scoring gets high and the legs start losing energy, Villanova has a pretty big advantage in depth averaging about 12 points more per game outside of the starters. Marquette keeps is very talented when the starters are in, but they have not had much help from the bench. Usually bench play is not a factor, but if the Golden Eagles and Wildcats get into a fast pace game it could have a bigger affect that many would imagine in producing an outcome.
Pick – Villanova