Villanova vs Marquette Prediction College Basketball Picks 3/14/24

Marquette (23-8) vs Villanova (18-14)

Game Info: Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 9:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)

Betting Odds: Marquette -3.5 -- Over/Under: 143 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Butler Bulldogs and the Xavier Musketeers will meet in the first round of the Big East Tournament this Wednesday in New York City from Madison Square Garden on FS1. Marquette enters as 3.5-point favorites, with the total sitting at 143. Stay tuned for our Villanova vs Marquette Prediction. 

Villanova Preview: Wildcats Have To Sharpen Up Now

Villanova moved to 18-17 after surviving DePaul in the first round, 58-57. The Wildcats nearly suffered a very embarrassing upset to the Blue Demons, and they’ll have to come out much sharper here against the Golden Eagles. Villanova is scoring 70.7 points per game, on 42.8% shooting, while allowing 65.3 ppg, and they’re 4-6 over their previous ten games.

Villanova Team Profile

  • Kyle Neptune’s group plays through their defense and takes things slow on the offensive end, averaging 69.0 possessions per game (287th), and they’re shooting just 34.4% from the outside.
  • Veteran forward Ed Dixon has hit the 20-point mark in five of the last seven games, and he leads Villanova in scoring (16.3), while grabbing 6.3 rpg. 
  • Wazzu transfer TJ Bamba struggled in the DePaul matchup, but he’s still second on the team at 10.3 ppg. 
  • Former Richmond forward Tyler Burton leads the Wildcats in rebounding (6.3), while scoring 8.3 ppg.
  • Longtime Nova guard Justin Moore has scored 14 points or more in three of his last five outings, and he’s up to 10.3 ppg. 

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Marquette Preview: Can the Golden Eagles Advance Without Kolek?

Marquette closed at 23-8 after defeating Xavier in Cincinnati, 86-80. The Golden Eagles made big plays down the stretch to beat the Musketeers on the road, and they’ll seek a second win at MSG this season on Thursday. Marquette is scoring 79.2 points per game, on 48.4% shooting, while allowing 69.8 ppg, and they’re 7-3 over their last ten games.

Marquette Team Profile

  • Shaka Smart’s squad leans on their defense and moves at a methodical pace, averaging 71.7 possessions per game (157th), and they’ve shot 35.6% from beyond the arc.
  • Senior guard Tyler Kolek (15.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg) won’t be available for this high stakes bout, but he’s set to return at some point this month.  
  • Junior guard Cam Jones has stepped up with a 30-point showing in the Xavier victory, and he leads Marquette in scoring (16.7).  
  • Third-year forward Oso Ighodaro matched his energy with 24 points against the Musketeers, and he’s up to 14.4 ppg and 7.2 rpg.

Villanova vs Marquette Trends

  • Villanova leads the current series, 27-18, but Marquette has won and covered in five straight meetings.  
  • VIL is 17-13-1 against the spread, with a 11-20 O/U record
  • MAR is 18-12-1 ATS, with a 13-18 over/under record.

Villanova vs Marquette Prediction: Spread

Okay, so Villanova almost losing to DePaul in the first round is not only hysterical, but it’s very alarming coming into this matchup, even against a shorthanded Marquette team. You just don’t know what you’re going to get from the Wildcats, as they play hard, but they’re offensively challenged. The Golden Eagles picked up an impressive victory on the road over Xavier without All-Big East guard Tyler Kolek, and I’m comfortable leaning on his running mate Kam Jones and company to get them to the next round here. Back Marquette for this Big East Quarterfinal.

Villanova vs Marquette Prediction: Total

Marquette and Villanova are both defensive-minded squads, and with Kolek set to miss this contest as well, we could see those units shine here in the late night spot. The Wildcats didn’t look good under the lights at the Garden last nite offensively, but they still defended well enough to advance, and if they want to stick around with the Golden Eagles, that side will have to shine again. We also know what end of the floor a Shaka Smart-led team shines on, so give the Under a look as well Thursday night.   

Corey’s Pick Marquette TO COVER

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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