Marquette vs. Creighton Odds & Picks: Back High-Scoring Bluejays in Big East Opener
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Denzel Mahoney.
- The Creighton Bluejays will take on the Marquette Golden Eagles in an early-season Big East matchup on Monday night.
- Mike Randle thinks Creighton — which is 4-0 at home on the season — is an elite team in college basketball, but Marquette poses one of its biggest challenges yet.
- Check out Randle's full betting analysis and pick with updated odds on the game below.
Marquette vs. Creighton Odds
|Marquette Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Creighton Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-330/ +265 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||148.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Monday, 9 p.m. ET|
Creighton (4-1) opens Big East conference play on Monday against Marquette (4-2) at the CHI Health Center Omaha.
Creighton is 4-0 at home this year and is coming off a 24-point blowout win over Nebraska, while Marquette is playing its second consecutive road game after starting the season 4-1 at home.
Which team has the betting advantage in its Big East conference opener?
Marquette Golden Eagles
Marquette has won this season with gritty, tough defense. After ranking as one of the most efficient offenses in college basketball over the past four years, the Golden Eagles enter Big East play with simply average offensive rankings.
Marquette is shooting 35.1% from 3-point range, but that percentage is greatly bolstered by 20 combined makes from beyond the arc in blowout home wins over Arkansas Pine Bluff and Green Bay. In their last game against UCLA, the Golden Eagles shot just 4 of 20 from beyond the arc in a defeat.
Marquette is led by senior guard Koby McEwen (15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 43.3% on 3-pointers), who scored 28 points (5 of 9 from 3-point range) against Green Bay last week. Sophomore Ohio State transfer D.J. Carton has provided versatility with 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. He enjoyed his best game of the year against UCLA, with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The best big man for Marquette has been 6-foot-11 freshman Dawson Garcia (12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds). The lanky forward is a difficult matchup that can score from deep. Garcia is hitting from beyond the arc at 43.8% (7 of 16) this season.
The Marquette bigs all contribute similar production. Seniors Jamal Cain (9.8 points, 6.8 rebounds) and Theo John (6.8 points, 8.2 rebounds) and freshman Justin Lewis (8.8 points, 6.5 rebounds) all look to dominate the boards and limit second chances for the opposition.
The last three games between these teams in Omaha have seen point totals of 176, 210 (overtime) and 167. The Golden Eagles will need to score to keep this game competitive. Can they find enough offense?
Creighton always brings an explosive offense to the table but this year, its defense has also been highly efficient. The Bluejays are allowing opponents just 41.6% from inside the arc, which ranks 28th in the country per KenPom. Creighton’s on-ball pressure has also been superb, with five players averaging at least 1.2 steals per game.
The key to beating Creighton at home is to find a way to match its scoring. Under head coach Greg McDermott, the Bluejays have been a slot machine when playing in Omaha.
The Bluejays have a wealth of 3-point shooters with senior Denzel Mahoney (43.8%), junior Marcus Zegarowski (41%) and senior Damien Jefferson (38.5%) all off to great starts. Creighton is shooting 36% from beyond the arc as a team, and that’s even with a slow start from last season’s best shooter, senior Mitch Ballock (30%).
On the interior, Creighton’s 7-foot freshman Ryan Kalkbrenner (9.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks) is coming off his best game of the season with 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in their 98-74 win over Nebraska.
Teams that have success against Creighton need to defend the 3-point shot and slow down the pace. It’s difficult to see Marquette limiting a Creighton team with so much talent.
Betting Analysis & Pick
With Marquette playing its second consecutive road game, the Golden Eagles will need their best game of the season to keep this close. Carton’s effectiveness is essential for Marquette to generate offense, and Creighton has the perimeter defenders to frustrate him and McEwen.
We are going back to the Bluejays at home, coming off the successful cover against Nebraska. Creighton will inevitably have that 8-10 point scoring run in the second half that the Golden Eagles won’t be able to match.
Pick: Creighton (-7). Play up to -8.