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NCAAB Handicapping: Marquette vs. NC State (Dec. 22)

NCAA Basketball Betting Marquette @ NC State

The North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) will stay at home on Monday night for another big non-conference test as they host the Marquette Golden Eagles of the Big East (9-2 SU, 2-4-1 ATS) in NCAA college basketball sports betting action that is slated to tip off at 7 PM ET at the BC Center in Raleigh.  

BetUS NCAA Basketball Sports Betting Odds: MARQUETTE -1.5

Here are some of the NCAA basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* MARQ has covered seven of its last ten road games
* MARQ has lost four of its last five road games SU
* MARQ has played ten of its last 11 road games OVER the total
* NCS has won seven of its last eight games SU
* NCS has won its last five home games SU

Marquette went to Tennessee last week and fought hard, but just didn’t have enough depth in the end to outlast the Volunteers who registered a 12-point win that was really closer than the score indicated. Wesley Matthews had 30 points in that contest, and the 6’5″ guard paces the Eagles with 20.4 ppg. As we know, Marquette’s strength lies in its play out of the backcourt, with Dominic James and Jerel McNeal joining Matthews to form one of the nation’s truly outstanding combos; one that can create any number of matchup problems for teams that don’t possess the requisite quickness. Lazar Hayward (averaging 16.9 points and 9.7 rebounds) is having a good year as well, and has stepped up play recently, with almost 11 rebounds per game over his last four contests.

North Carolina State failed its only real test against a top-flight squad when it was beaten by Davidson. Marquette has scored a win over in-state rival Wisconsin and has lost to Dayton, aside from its defeat to the Vols, which was part of a made-for-TV SEC/Big East Invitational.

The Wolfpack has a pretty good 1-2 combo up front in center Ben McCauley (15.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and forward Brandon Costner (13 ppg, 8.4 rpg). These two, as it was hoped, bounced back to have solid seasons after J.J. Hickson, last year’s freshman sensation who dominated the offense, moved on to the NBA. The problem for the home team here is that though it has some size in the backcourt, those guards are liable to be a bit overmatched as the Golden Eagles come at them with three players who can all handle the ball, shoot from the outside and steal the ball (all three have 1.7 steals per game or better).

There are four regular members of the rotation shooting 50% or better for Sidney Lowe’s team, although one can argue that they have not been challenged all that much. Everything has been very light for N.C. State at home thus far: games with High Point, Lipscomb, North Carolina-Greensboro, Winston-Salem and East Carolina have highlighted the schedule. On Monday night it gets heavier, and we doubt the Pack is up to the task. Quickness, experience and scoring balance will all be on the side of the visitor, which can hold its own on the inside with Hayward. We will lay the points with Marquette, the 1.5-point favorite in the BetUS NCAA college basketball sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: MARQUETTE -1.5 ***

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