Pittsburgh vs. Marquette Preview + Free Pick Feb 15th, 2008
By: Our Staff
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NCAA Basketball Betting – Pittsburgh at Marquette
BetUS NCAA basketball betting odds: MARQUETTE -4.5, Total 137
The Pittsburgh Panthers (19-5 SU, 12-7 ATS) will be a little bit closer to full strength on Friday night as they visit Milwaukee and the Bradley Center to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles (17-6 SU, 9-9 ATS) in Big East action scheduled to begin at 9 PM ET and televised on ESPN.
In the Top Sportsbooks NCAAB betting odds, Marquette is listed as a 4.5-point home favorite, with the total posted at 137 points.
Here are some of the NCAA basketball betting trends that relate to this matchup:
* PITT has lost four of its last six road games SU
* PITT has played nine of its last 12 road games UNDER the total
* MARQ has played five of its last seven games OVER the total
* MARQ has covered one of its last five home games
* MARQ has won 13 of its last 14 home games SU
* MARQ has covered five of the last six meetings
* MARQ has won four of the last six meetings SU
* The last six meetings have gone OVER the total
* The home team has covered three of the last four meetings
* PITT has had the rebounding edge in each of the last six meetings
* MARQ has made more three-pointers in each of the last four meetings
One of the keys as far as Pittsburgh is concerned is the return of star guard Levance Fields, who had been out since early in the season with a foot injury. Fields is one of those veterans who always wants to take the big shot. His availability would give Pittsburgh a lot more flexibility in its attack. In the absence of Fields and swingman Mike Cook, the Panthers have witnessed the coming-of-age of Sam Young (17.9 ppg) as a scoring threat and the development of freshman big man DeJuan Blair (9.6 rpg). That puts them in good stead as they head toward the Big East and NCAA tournaments.
Marquette has gotten some pleasant surprises out of Lezar Hayward, a sophomore who emerged as the Eagles’ go-to guy (14 ppg, 6.5 rpg). Scoring balance has been a strength for Marquette, with four starters averaging between 11 and 14 points a game.
But for a team that was expected to be in the running for the Big East title and in the national rankings the whole season, Marquette has disappointed since the conference season began, dropping five Big East games already. With three covers in their last four games, however, Marquette may be experiencing a mild upturn. There is some formidability at home, with double-digit wins over Notre Dame, Providence and Cincinnati.
We’re tempted to take the points with Pitt, because of the emotional boost that will come with Fields’ return. But in his first game back, Fields will have problems on the defensive end in dealing with point guard Dominic James (13.3 ppg, 4.1 apg), who gets everything started for Marquette, which has found a three-point stroke with 22 from beyond the arc in the last two games..
This would seem a reasonable number for this one, so we’ll lay it with Marquette, the 4.5-point favorite in the Top Sportsbooks NCAA basketball betting odds.
JAY’S PLAY: MARQUETTE
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