Marquette vs. Georgetown Big East Conference Tournament Odds & Picks: Value on Hoyas as Underdogs (Wednesday, March 10)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Ewing.
- Marquette and Georgetown both need a win on Wednesday if their seasons are to continue.
- The Golden Eagles and Hoyas both finished their regular seasons well but will need to win the Big East Tournament to play in the NCAAs.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup, explaining why he sees value on Georgetown as an underdog.
Marquette vs. Georgetown Odds
Marquette and Georgetown meet in the first round of the Big East Tournament Wednesday as both try to salvage a lost season.
It’s been a terrible season for the Golden Eagles, who finished the regular season at 13-13. They did finish their regular season on a high note, winning four of their last five games, including a road win over North Carolina. Marquette likely has to win the Big East tournament to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament, so it has to take care of business against Georgetown.
It’s been an awful season for Patrick Ewing’s men, finishing 9-12 and 7-9 in the Big East. Much like Marquette, the Hoyas finished on a strong note by winning four of their last six games, including victories over Xavier and Seton Hall.
It’s pretty simple for Georgetown: win or go home with its season on the line Wednesday.
When Marquette has the ball
The Golden Eagles have been struggling offensively during Big East play, averaging 1.01 points per possession. Their biggest problem is they can’t hit anything from behind the arc, shooting just 31.6% on their 3-point attempts. Georgetown struggles defending beyond the arc, allowing over 35% shooting in Big East play, so a big shooting day would go a long way for Marquette.
Head coach Steve Wojciechowski’s team also has one of the worst turnover rates in the conference, but it might get a break because Georgetown is eighth in the Big East at forcing turnovers.
Realistically, where Marquette is going to win this game is either inside or at the free throw line. The Golden Eagles have the highest free throw rate in the Big East and shoot over 74% when they get to the charity stripe. That was one of the main reasons they beat Georgetown earlier in the season, when they got to the free throw line twice as much as the Hoyas.
Marquette does rank third in the Big East in 2-point field goal percentage and shoots over 60% on shot attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math. Georgetown defensively is solid in the paint and only allowed Marquette to shoot 47% from 2-point range in the first meeting. Marquette will likely try to get to the free throw line as often as possible.
When Georgetown has the ball
The Hoyas truly live and die by the 3-ball. They are the best 3-point shooting team in the Big East at over 37%, which creates a big mismatch against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are one of the worst teams at defending the perimeter, allowing coincidently over 37% from beyond the arc.
In the first meeting between these two teams, Georgetown uncharacteristically shot 5-of-24 from 3-point range, which led to the Hoyas to only 0.85 points per possession. I expect them to shoot it much better from outside on Wednesday.
While Georgetown has the advantage behind the arc, Marquette has the edge inside. The Hoyas are second-last in the Big East in 2-point field goal percentage and 55.7% on shot attempts at the rim. On the flip side, Marquette is third in the Big East at defending inside the arc and held Georgetown to only 48% from that range in these teams’ only meeting this season.
However, Georgetown crashes the offensive boards at an incredibly high rate and grabbed 13 against Marquette in early January. The Eagles will need to keep the Hoyas off the offensive glass or they could be staring at a first-round exit.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I think that Georgetown has the advantage in this matchup given its 3-point shooting and offensive rebounding prowess. Marquette’s defense has been suspect all season long and likely won’t hold Georgetown to 60 points like it did in the first meeting.
I only have Marquette projected as a -1.71 favorites, so there is a small amount of value on Georgetown +3 or better.
Pick: Georgetown +3 or better