Villanova vs. Marquette Prediction: Will the Golden Eagle's Provide an Opportunity to Cash In-Game?

College basketball expert Mike Spector provides two betting angles for tonight's Marquette-Villanova Big East matchup, including an opportunity to profit with an in-game wager.
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Villanova vs. Marquette Prediction: Will the Golden Eagle's Provide an Opportunity to Cash In-Game?

Tonight’s matchup between the Marquette Golden Eagles and Villanova Wildcats is a meeting of the two hottest teams in the Big East, as the two teams have won ten consecutive games between them. Which of these teams will walk out with a victory and extend their winning streak? Here are our picks and predictions for the Big East matchup between Marquette and Villanova.

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Villanova vs. Marquette Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Wednesday, January 19

Game Time: 8:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: CBSSN

Click Here for Villanova vs Marquette Odds

Villanova vs. Marquette Over/Under Movement

Villanova vs. Marquette Prediction

At the start of the new year, panic started to set in in Wisconsin, as Marquette lost their fourth consecutive game and second straight conference game. However, head coach Shaka Smart has since silenced doubters that he is the right man for the job, as the Golden Eagles have rolled off four consecutive conference wins by an average of 18 points. Marquette has used an explosive offense to fuel the winning streak, averaging 85 PPG after topping that mark just once in their last 14 games.

While Marquette has used an explosive offense to fuel their winning streak, Villanova’s defense is the main reason for their six straight wins. The Wildcats have held opponents to an average of 55.3 PPG since losing back-to-back games against Baylor and Creighton. However, it has not just been all defense for Villanova, as their efficient 82-point outburst against Butler was their most complete offensive performance of the season. Furthermore, it ranked as Butler’s worst defensive performance of the last 30 seasons, per KenPom.

Against Butler, Villanova shot 12-for-19 (63.2%) from 3-point range, which was the first time they made ten or more 3-pointers in five weeks. Thus, the big question heading into this game is, did the Wildcats rediscover their shooting stroke from early in the season, or did they take advantage of a historically bad Bulldogs defense?

While Villanova’s shooting woes from the Baylor and Creighton games may be behind them, they have not faced a team that plays pressure defense as Marquette does since those losses. The Golden Eagles play at a top-40 tempo, and Shaka Smart will use full-court pressure to wear down the Wildcats.

Villanova is not a deep team, as just six players average more than 16 minutes per game. That plays right into Marquette’s hands, as they play seven players at least 19 minutes per game.

Villanova turns the ball over on just 14.8% of their possessions (16th-best in the country), but Marquette’s pressure will cause them to unravel more than usual. In addition, Villanova’s legs will tire throughout the game, just as they did when they lost late leads to UCLA and Purdue, and almost gave up a double-digit lead to Xavier. Look for a defensive struggle to break out in this one, but take advantage of the opportunity for in-game betting, as we will be looking to grab Marquette’s second-half spread no matter the number.

Villanova vs. Marquette Pick

BONUS BET: Marquette Second Half Spread

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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