College Basketball Odds, Picks for Marquette vs. Providence (Tuesday, Dec. 20)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: David Joplin
- The Marquette Golden Eagles meet the Providence Friars on Tuesday night in Big East action.
- The game is close to a coin flip according to oddsmakers, with the Friars hoping to stay perfect on the season on their home court.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Marquette vs. Providence Odds
Tuesday night’s matchup between Marquette and Providence is set to be one of the first must-watch battles of Big East conference play. Both teams are riding impressive win streaks with Marquette having won its last three and the Friars posting wins in each of their last four games.
Providence is also looking to remain undefeated at home on the season. A win for the Golden Eagles would mark their first at Providence since February 2019. The Friars have looked considerably better at home, but Marquette has looked impressive in both true away games it has played at Purdue and Notre Dame.
The Golden Eagles are one of the the youngest teams among power conferences. Will the advantage in experience be enough for Providence to remain perfect in Amica Mutual Pavilion?
The Golden Eagles offense is 19th in the country averaging 81.1 points per game, and while a portion of that can be attributed to their blistering pace and the sheer amount of shots they take, what really sets them apart is how ridiculously efficient they shoot the ball.
Marquette is 17th in effective field goal percentage, per KenPom. On 2-point shots, they’re one of the best in the country, hitting 60.3% overall on the season and ranking in the 100th percentile over the last five games by cashing in at a 62.2% mark.
The offense operates with one goal in mind: get to the basket. Ranked in the 91st percentile, 37.9% of the Golden Eagles’ shots have come at the rim. And while they may not impressive in regard to rebounding, that has largely been due to the fact that rebounding opportunities are rarely available.
Marquette has also been one of the best teams in the country when it comes to steals and forcing turnovers. The Golden Eagles average 8.8 steals per game while opponents are turning the ball over 16.2 times per game. As a result, they’ve also been among the top teams in fast break points and points off turnovers.
Shaka Smart’s team drives to the basket aggressively, and their pressure on defense is suffocating. However, against the Friars they’ll need to be careful; Providence ranks in the 86th percentile with 18.8 personal fouls drawn per game.
The most pressing issue for Ed Cooley and his Friars against Marquette will be finding a way to limit their dominance around the rim. So far this season, Providence has been elite when it comes to defending the interior. The Friars have held opponents to just 44.9% on 2-point shooting, and 54.9% on shots at the rim.
Giving up fast break opportunities has also been a consist issue for the Friars and one that’s directly correlated to losses. Two of the Friars’ three losses saw the opponent score 15+ points off the break.
On the offensive end, Providence likely won’t be challenged much when it comes to rebounds. The Golden Eagles average just 33.9 rebounds per game. The Friars have make a point to control the glass, ranking 30th in the nation with 39.3 rebounds per contest.
Where Marquette hasn’t needed an emphasis on second-chance points given their shooting efficiency, it has been a main point of the Friars’ offense. Providence has averaged 12.9 second chance points per game, and could see that number increase against a Golden Eagles team that hasn’t made much of an effort off the glass.
Marquette vs. Providence Betting Pick
The Golden Eagles’ offense has been performing consistently at a high level against elite competition. Even if Providence is able to limit them on the interior, Marquette can easily work the ball back to 3-point range.
Marquette has seen a significant improvement of late in 3-point shooting, hitting 37.5% from beyond the arc over their last five games. The Friars have been much better at home, and their experience should provide them the ability to keep this game close.
However, this Golden Eagles team is playing at a level I don’t think Providence will be able to stop despite their best efforts.
Leave the points out of this one and back Marquette to come out on top in a down-to-the-wire Big East battle.