- #5 Villanova (7-1) goes to Marquette (5-4) on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 7:00 pm ET
- Marquette has lost three of four, but they already have a win over a then-top five opponent
- Find the odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, in the article below
Is it possible that hosting a top five opponent is just what Marquette (5-4) needs right now? The Golden Eagles have lost three of their past four, but they already have an impressive win in the early stages of this season against then-#4 Wisconsin.
In #5 Villanova (7-1), who’ll head to Marquette on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 PM ET, the Golden Eagles will see a team that has won five in a row after suffering their lone loss in overtime. Here’s how the odds look for this matchup>
Villanova vs Marquette Odds
|Villanova||-190||-4.5 (-104)||Over 143.5 (-110)|
|Marquette||+160||+4.5 (-118)||Under 143.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Dec. 22nd, 2020.
How They’ve Fared So Far
Villanova’s lone speed bump came on Nov. 28, when the Wildcats blew a double-digit second half lead against Virginia Tech in an 81-73 overtime loss. The Hokies shot 10-of-20 from 3-pt. range, which helped them get back in the game and eventually win.
Since then, Villanova has cruised to five consecutive wins, four of which have come by 13 or more points. The other one, a 68-64 win over No. 10 Texas, was excusably closer given the strength of the opponent.
What the Wildcats do best is take care of the ball. The experienced group (they don’t have an freshmen in the starting lineup) has the third lowest offensive turnover percentage in NCAA Division I (12.3 percent) and fourth lowest rate of offensive possessions ending in a steal (4.8 percent). They also take their sweet time, with the 351st adjusted tempo out of 357 D-I schools measured by KenPom.
Marquette has dropped three of four, but all the losses came against respectable opponents: UCLA (30th in KenPom), Seton Hall (51st) and Xavier (48th). And all those losses came by single-digit margins.
Highlights from Sunday’s BIG EAST matinee at Xavier, presented by @WBsilverlining. #mubb pic.twitter.com/40rAXIthuC
— Marquette Basketball (@MarquetteMBB) December 20, 2020
The Golden Eagles have beaten some excellent teams, too, knocking off then-#4 Wisconsin on Dec. 4, 67-65, and defeating #13 Creighton last week, 89-84. Clearly they’re battled tested, but the results have been mixed against powerhouse programs.
The Wildcats are 5-3 against the spread, thought they had their four-game ATS streak snapped in their most recent game. Villanova narrowly failed to cover a 21.5-point spread against Saint Joseph’s, instead winning 88-68. Villanova has covered in both games this year as a single-digit favorite.
The Golden Eagles are 4-5 ATS, with four losses in their past five games (and back-to-back ATS defeats currently). They are 1-3 as a single-digit underdog this season.
#NOVAvsSJU @PECOconnect Power Play of the Game! ? pic.twitter.com/IsdFRaIhVU
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) December 21, 2020
This game is not one that presents an advisable trend on the over/under line. Combined, Villanova and Marquette have seen the under hit in nine of 17 games. For Marquette in particular, the over/under has alternated in each of the past six games.
In 2019, Villanova and Marquette split their two straight up meetings and Villanova covered both against the spread. In 2020, they split their two straight up meetings again .. but this time, Marquette covered both against the spread.
Strangely enough, both teams took two turns as favorites and two turns as underdogs in those meetings. Those sorts of numbers are trend killers, because it all sort of evens out.
What we like to see is that Villanova has been on a heater since letting Virginia Tech still away a win in overtime. Look for the Wildcats to win straight up in this matchup, but stay away from the point total.
Pick: Villanova (-190)