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Villanova Wildcats vs Marquette Golden Eagles Odds & Picks

Jay Wright head coach men's basketball at Villanova
Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats head into their game against Marquette riding an 11-game winning streak. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire)
  • Big East’s top two teams collide as Villanova visits Marquette
  • Wildcats riding season-best 11-game winning streak
  • Golden Eagles trying to break three-game skid to Villanova

A disappointing Marquette loss to St. Johns ensured this wouldn’t be a battle for first place, but it’s still a prime-time showdown in the Big East, as the 14th-ranked Villanova Wildcats (19-4, 10-0 Big East) visit the 10th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles (19-4, 8-2 ) Saturday night.

Villanova, who enters the game playing their best basketball of the season, is looking for their third national championship in four seasons, which would be a dynastic run in college hoops.

Meanwhile, Marquette is enjoying its best season under head coach Steve Wojciechowski, and are looking to make their own mark come tourney time, preferably as a #1 or #2 seed.

Tip off is 2:30pm ET at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Villanova vs Marquette Odds

Team Spread at  BetOnline Moneyline Over/Under
Villanova +1.5 (-110) OFF O 144.0 (-110)
Marquette -1.5 (-110) OFF U 144.0 (-110)

*Odds taken 2/8

Wildcats Outlook

Since an early 2-2 start to the season – including an overtime defeat to unheralded Furman – Jay Wright’s crew has righted the ship.

They’ve reeled off 11 straight and 17 of 19 overall, and are a sparkling 10-0 in Big East play thus far in the season.

A win over Marquette would put them three games up with just eight games to go in conference play.

In their latest win over Creighton, a fresh face put in work to keep the Wildcats undefeated in the Big East.

Without a 20-point scorer in their lineup, Villanova has been powered by seniors Phil Booth (18.3 points, 39.9% from three) and Eric Paschall (17.3 points, 6.3 reb, 36.4% from three) as well as sophomore Collin Gillespie (12.1 points, 41.1% from three).

The upperclassmen have lifted the Wildcats to the top of the conference in effective field goal percentage, and their standout shooting puts them fifth in the nation in three-point makes per game, knocking down 11 a contest.

Villanova vs Marquette Statistical Comparison

Villanova
VS
Marquette

19-4 (5-2 Away) Record 19-4 (14-1 Home)
10-0 (1st Big East) Conference Record (Standing) 8-2 (2nd Big East)
+20.16 (20th) Overall Efficiency Rating +17.85 (29th)
76.3 (T-99) Points Per Game 79.0 (T-52)
118.5 (11th) Offensive Efficiency Rating 112.9 (29th)
66.6 (56th) Points Against Per Game 69.0 (123rd)
98.3 (80th) Defensive Efficiency Rating 95.0 (39th)

Golden Eagles Outlook

Thank goodness the Golden Eagles don’t have to face St. Johns again.

The Red Storm swept their conference series this year (half of their loss total this season), including eking out a 70-69 win last time out.

While it ensured that ‘Nova will hang on to the Big East lead even if they lose, this game still has much on the line for Marquette.

They have dropped 12 out of their last 13 games to their conference counterpart, the lone win in 2017 when the Wildcats were the no. 1-ranked team in the nation.

This is easily their best team since.

Marquette gets after it on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 39th in the country in defensive efficiency. This will mark just the sixth time the ‘Cats will stare down a top-50 defense, and they’ve been underwhelming in their previous five, going 2-3.

Where much will be determined is how Villanova shoots it from deep, and how Marquette defends the arc.

The Golden Eagles will be facing a team that takes 53% of their shots from deep, the second-highest mark in college basketball.

On offense, they rely on junior Markus Howard, the fifth leading scorer in the nation at 24.6 points per game, shooting it at a blistering 43.6% from behind the arc.

He’ll be looking to bounce back, as he shot just 5-for-17 for 17 points in the loss to St. John’s.

This is going to be a close one, and it’s too close to call the over/under. Instead, I’ll lean into Villanova’s ability to win big games, and continue their dominance over their Big East rival.

The Pick: Villanova (+1.5)

Betting Trends

Villanova Trends Marquette Trends
VILL is 15-8-0 ATS overall MARQ is 15-8-0 ATS overall
VILL is 5-2-0 ATS away MARQ is 11-4-0 ATS at home
VILL is 2-2 ATS as an underdog MARQ is 8-10 ATS as a favorite
VILL is 7-3-0 ATS in Big East games MARQ is 7-3-0 ATS in Big East games
VILL is 12-6-0 ATS following a win MARQ is 1-2-0 ATS following a loss
The UNDER is 6-14-2 in all VILL games The OVER is 8-12-2 in all MARQ games
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