ESB “GAME OF NIGHT”: MARQUETTE @ VILLANOVA PREVIEW (2-12-20)
ELITE SHADOW BETS “GAME OF THE NIGHT”: MARQUETTE @ VIILLANOVA (WED. FEB. 12, 2020) – FS1 TV ~ 830PM/EST
STREAKING MARQUETTE TRAVELS TO PHILLY TO FACE SLUMPING VILLANOVA WED. NIGHT!
VEGAS BETTING ODDS: #15 VILLANOVA WILDCATS (-4) vs. #18 MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES ~ TOTAL: (146)
MARQUETTE: (17-6) – (7-4 BIG EAST) ~ VILLANOVA: (17-6) – (7-4 BIG EAST)
Ok folks we are getting to see two teams going in opposite directions in this fun Big East match up of two teams with exact same season record and Big Ten record as well. This will be the second meeting of these two teams this season as on Jan. 4, 2020, Marquette won at Home 71-60 in a game the Wildcats just bombed away from deep, rarely making any (just 9-38). A week after the nice win by Marquette though it was a different story as they’d fallen to just (1-3) in Big East play and looking like they might be in some serious trouble as the Big East is a strong Conference. They got an earful from HC Steve Wojo and his words resonated quickly. Since that second of back to back losses, the Golden Eagles won 6 of it’s last 7 games, losing it’s only game at Butler in a game that went to Overtime. It wasn’t shocking to see this turnaround as this is a team of mostly grizzled Vets, Jr’s and Sr’s. On the other side of this match up we have a Villanova team coming in really spiraling with 3 straight losses. The Cats are a team that averages 78 points per game, but in it’s last 3 games they scored under that in all 3 (all losses) and 61, 64 points in 2 is a bit concerning.
This has been one of the more fun and really exciting match ups the past few years as they’ve played some knock down-drag out games that have been decided in the final minute of play. The past 3 were decided by just 1, 3 and 6 points with games that could’ve easily gone the other direction with a different last 1 minute played out for the losing side.
Last year one of the most electrifying players in the nation was Marquette’s Markus Howard. This guy plain and simply is a scorer and one guy who can carry his team for weeks on end. He can explode for a gigantic night at any time as he’s just shy a 40% 3-ball shooter. He’s scored 38, 39, 40, 42, and even had a 51 point game this season.
For Villanova, they are a younger team who be now asked to face some bigger adversity for the first time this season. After starting the season (10-0) at Home, they have now lost back to back Home games. The good news for them though is they do allow only 64 points per game in front of the Home fans. They will need to play better Defense vs. the Eagles are on a tear on the Offensive side of the ball the past few weeks.
It’s always fun to see two of the more efficient teams on Offense face off vs. each other and I can still remember back a few years ago when these two played it out to a final score of 100-90. Both are very good foul shooting teams so unlike how we saw North Carolina implode late vs. Duke on Saturday missing FT’s badly, whoever has the lead here late should be able to hold onto it if forced to the Foul Line a ton late in the game.
HOW HOT HAS MARQUETTE’S OFFENSE BEEN OF LATE?
In the Golden Eagles last 7 games (6 wins), they have lit up the scoreboard to the tune of 76.76. 84, 85, 82, 84, and 85 points. I can sense two weeks ago MQ HC Wojo told his kids just go out and play fast and loose and it’s worked to near perfection and gotten them back into the Big Dance projections.
CAN MARQUETTE EXPLOIT A VILLANOVA “WEAKNESS”?
The big edge that Marquette has here is they are the 12th best deep ball shooting team in the entire nation and they will be facing the Wildcats who simply are really bad defending the “3-ball” (#124 in nation). On the Road you often need to hang in games at times by hitting 3’s as when you do that you really quiet the opposing teams crowd.
Look this is a very even match up regardless one team is really hot and the other is a little cold. It’s always tough to beat the same team twice and in a league where the Big East has 5 teams ranked Top 25, you can see to be sitting at (7-4) it spells out you are a really good club. Villanova could really use a big win and another loss could really be hard pill to swallow going forward with a relatively younger team. They do allow only 64 points per game so it’s likely they will be coached harder to play more in your face Defense and likely force someone other than Howard to beat them. Villanova is (11-5) ATS the past 16 meetings with Marquette and so that will give them a little extra confidence, at a time they really need some. We are getting into crunch time as we hit Mid-February and you do not want your resume showing 4 straight losses as the Big Dance committee really looks close to your final 10-12 games. These two have played some real barnburners and this one likely will be too. Gotta give small edge to Villanova but can’t see value laying 4 points when last 3 decided by 1, 3 and 6.
Enjoy this great game on Fox Sports 1 tonight and may all your wagers be WINNING ones!
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