Teams with designs on making it deep into next month’s NCAA Tournament will go head-to-head in Big East play on Saturday when the No. 14 Villanova Wildcats travel to Milwaukee to take on the No. 10 Marquette Golden Eagles for a 2:30 p.m. ET tip. The Golden Eagles are 2-point favorites with the total at 145.5 in the latest Marquette vs. Villanova odds. It’s the defending national champions against one of the most exciting players in the nation in Marquette’s Markus Howard, and with these teams in first and second place in the Big East, it should be a battle. So before you make your Villanova vs. Marquette picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions from the SportLine Projection Model.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned more than $5,200 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks. It also entered Week 14 of the 2018-19 college basketball season on a blistering 90-58 run on top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, the model has simulated Marquette vs. Villanova 10,000 times. We can tell you it’s backing the Over, and it also says one side of the spread hits in more than 50 percent of simulations. You can only see that college basketball pick at SportsLine.
For the defending national champions, one clear advantage on Saturday will be their improved shooting during conference play.
The Wildcats have raced out to a 10-0 start in Big East play because Phil Booth, Eric Paschall and Collin Gillespie have helped take the offense to another level. In conference, they’re shooting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc and they’re getting over 46 percent of their scoring from beyond the arc, which leads the league.
Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Villanova is holding opponents to 67.3 points per game in the conference. That’s the top mark in the Big East. Even with a solid Marquette offense to deal with on Saturday, Villanova just needs to string a few stops together and its offense should keep them in the thick of things to cover as slight underdogs on the road.
But just because the Wildcats are an efficient 3-point shooting team doesn’t mean they’ll cover the Villanova vs. Marquette spread.
The Golden Eagles are an exceptional defensive rebounding team. They allow their opponents to grab offensive rebounds on just 24.3 percent of their shot attempts, the 25th best defensive rebounding percentage in Division-I basketball. Against a team that shoots plenty of threes like Villanova, making sure that they don’t get additional opportunities to score after misses will be key.
On offense, Marquette will need a typical night from Markus Howard and supplemental scoring from the Hauser brothers. Howard is averaging 24.6 points per game this season and the Golden Eagles are 15-0 when he scores at least 20 points.