Wednesday College Basketball Betting Previews: LSU-Georgia, Marquette-DePaul
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Naz Reid
Wednesday brings a robust 45-game college basketball slate, but with only five ranked teams in action.
Both No. 25 LSU and No. 12 Marquette have been rolling. The Tigers have won seven in a row and nine of their last 10 games. The Golden Eagles have been even better, winning 13 of their last 14 contests.
How will they fare against two conference opponents? Let’s take a look.
Betting Odds: Georgia Bulldogs at LSU Tigers
- Spread: LSU -11.5
- Over/Under: 151
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: SECN
Georgia (9-8) is in a rebuilding year under first-year head coach Tom Crean. They are 1-4 in the SEC and have lost both conference road games by an average of 30.5 points. The Bulldogs are 7-6 against the spread including 2-3 on the road.
LSU (14-3) has been dominant since back-to-back neutral court losses in November. The Tigers have won nine of their last 10 games and a perfect 4-0 in the SEC.
Georgia has been the worst SEC offensive team since conference play began. Through their five league games, Georgia ranks last in adjusted offensive efficiency, 3-point percentage, and steal percentage. The Bulldogs have turned the ball over an average of 15.2 times in those games.
While Georgia ranks 92nd overall in adjusted defensive efficiency for the season, it ranks last in adjusted-defensive efficiency in the SEC and 12th against defending the three-pointer.
LSU has been at the highest level on both sides of the ball in league play. The Tigers are second-best in adjusted offensive efficiency and offensive rebounding percentage. They are also leading the conference in those games shooting 41% from 3-point range.
Head coach Will Wade has brought his pressure defense to Baton Rouge, which is shown by their sixth overall ranking nationally in steals per game. The Tigers are also dominant inside with 6-foot-10 freshman center Naz Reid and 6-foot-11 senior forward Kavell Bigby-Williams, the reigning SEC Player of the Week.
LSU and Georgia are two teams headed in opposite directions. The Tigers look like a legitimate threat to win the SEC regular season, while the Bulldogs are one of the worst teams in the conference. LSU’s dominance on the boards and hot shooting from three will too much for a reeling Georgia squad.
THE PICK: LSU -11.5
DePaul at Marquette
- Spread: Marquette -9.5
- Over/Under: 150.5
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: FS1
DePaul (11-6) has been playing its best basketball in years. It’s won three of its last four games and is a respectable 6-6 against the spread.
But Marquette (16-3) is 5-1 in the Big East and has won all 13 games at home in the new Fiserv Forum. The Eagles are 6-1 ATS in their last six home games.
The Blue Devils are third-best in the Big East in offensive rebounding but Marquette is second-best in limiting those chances. Inside the arc, DePaul ranks 56th nationally in 2P%, but Marquette ranks 18th best in 2P defense.
DePaul just will not be able to contain Marquette’s explosive offense. Juniors Markus Howard (24.4 ppg) and Sam Hauser (14.9 ppg) have combined to shoot 42% from 3-point range.
As a team, the Golden Eagles are shooting an impressive 38.7% from beyond the arc, while DePaul is 297th in defending the three. Marquette also ranks 15th in the country in free throw percentage at 76.4 percent.
The Golden Eagles have always played tough at home, but his season they have been superb. Their average margin of victory is 18.6 points are they are a perfect 3-0 in conference. Marquette has won 15 of the last 16 at home against DePaul.
With Howard now fully healthy, the Golden Eagles have too much offense at home for DePaul to keep this game close. The Blue Demons were 6-30 in the Big East Conference over the last two years, and they will start to regress to the mean with a double-digit loss in Milwaukee.
THE PICK: Marquette -9.5