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Marquette vs. Xavier Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s Big East Battle

Marquette vs. Xavier Odds & Picks: How to Bet Saturday’s Big East Battle article feature image
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Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Paul Scruggs

  • The Marquette Golden Eagles take on the Xavier Musketeers in Big East college basketball action on Saturday.
  • Updated odds make the Musketeers -10.5 favorites over the Golden Eagles.
  • Check out Kody Malstrom's top bet for this conference battle below.

Marquette vs. Xavier Odds

Saturday, Dec. 18
4 p.m. ET
FS1
Marquette Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+10.5
-110
151
-110o / -110u
+440
Xavier Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-10.5
-110
151
-110o / -110u
-610
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

COVID-19 is ramping back up. Games are getting canceled left and right, including Saturday’s main event between Ohio State and Kentucky. Hopefully, a potential suspension of play is not looming.

With that said, not all hope is lost. Until confirmed, games are to be played, which means bets are to be made. That includes a Big East showdown between Marquette and Xavier.

This is a Big East season opener for both squads, one that includes history dating back to 1958. The Golden Eagles currently lead the series 54-25, yet they may have their hands full this time around as Xavier has been rolling.

With Marquette adjusting under a new reign at the head coaching position, will Shaka Smart’s havoc-minded defense be enough to upset Xavier?

Let’s find out.


Marquette Golden Eagles

When it comes to betting sports, situational spots are very important to keep an eye on.

Marquette is in the midst of a brutal stretch of games.

The Golden Eagles are coming off of a home loss against the pesky No. 4 UCLA Bruins and now travel to No. 22 Xavier before another home matchup against No. 20 UConn. That is an awful three-game ranked stretch.

It’s never easy to immediately adjust to a new coach and scheme, but Smart has the Golden Eagles trending toward his direction. Marquette currently ranks fifth in adjusted tempo and 63rd in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.

Smart wants to bring his havoc-minded defense back, as the scheme has an  emphasis on deflections and steals. While the steals have not happened at the rate Marquette wants, the unit is progressing as the season has gone along.

With the high-flying defense being the highlight, the Golden Eagles will need to work on their offensive production if they want to be a Big East dark horse.

The bulk of the offensive production has fallen on the shoulders of two players.

Forward Justin Lewis (15.4 PPG) comes into this game as the team’s leading score. His partner in crime Darryl Morsell adds another 13.8 points per game. Other than those two, no one else scores more than eight points per outing.

The lack of offensive versatility shows, as this is a team that is eighth in the Big East in scoring at 73.0 points per game.

Marquette may, once again, find it troubling to score, as Xavier has a strong defense.

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Xavier Musketeers

Even though Xavier is ranked 22nd in the nation, the betting market hasn’t seemed to agree with its results so far. Xavier is still listed at 100-1 on DraftKings to win the national title, which could be a potential add to my portfolio.

This team is balanced on both ends of the court, as Xavier currently ranks 25th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 31st in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.

The offense is balanced and can attack you in multiple ways. They have four players scoring in double digits, with nine players playing significant minutes. This is a unit that ranks third in the Big East in adjusted field goal percentage and is a deep, well-rounded squad.

While it is in the middle of the pact in adjusted 2P%, Xavier has been hot of late from beyond the arc.

The Musketeers have made the same amount of 3s — on 30 less attempts — so far this season as Marquette. They also are coming off of a 45% 3-point shooting showcase in their last game out against Morehead State.

When the shots fall from deep, this is a dangerous team.

Not only is their offense well-balanced, the defense has made life miserable for opponents, as well. They currently rank second in the Big East in steals, averaging 8.18 per game. Guards Colby Jones and Paul Scruggs are ball hawks at the guard position, averaging nearly two steals per night each.


Marquette vs. Xavier Betting Pick

Not only am I adding a Xavier national title future to my portfolio, I am also taking them to beat the Golden Eagles.

Marquette comes into this one too shaky on offense, making life easier for Xavier to try and shut it down.

With only Lewis and Morsell proving to be offensive threats for Marquette, it may be too much of an ask for someone else to step up while dealing with Xavier’s pesky defenders.

While Marquette’s defense has improved, the Golden Eagles will have their hands full with how well balanced Xavier is on the offensive end. If shots continue to fall from beyond the arc at a high clip, then this will get out of hand quickly.

Pick: Xavier -10.5

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