Marquette vs. Miami Picks and Sweet 16 Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/28/2013
The bottom half of the East Region bracket went chalk so far in this year’s NCAA Tournament, so it will be the No.3 Marquette Golden Eagles against the No.2 Miami Hurricanes in Thursday night’s Sweet 16 Round with a trip to this weekend’s Elite Eight on the line This Big East/ACC clash is slated to tip off at 7:15 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.
Marquette needed a miracle 59-58 comeback over No.14 Davidson as a 3.5-point favorite in its first tournament game to barely avoid an early exit. It then had to grind it out in another nail-biter with a 74-72 victory over No.6 Butler as a two-point favorite this past Saturday.
The Hurricanes took full advantage of a mismatch in their opening game with a 78-49 rout of Pacific as 13-point favorites. However, they had their hands full against No.7 Illinois their next time out. With a couple of huge buckets down the stretch, they managed to come away with a 63-59 victory as an eight-point favorite.
Marquette vs. Miami Betting Storylines
The Golden Eagles have now won six of their last seven games straight up but they are just 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight outings. They are averaging 69 points a game while shooting a respectable 46.7 percent from the field. Vander Blue leads all scorers with an average of 14.3 points, and Davante Gardner is chipping in another 11.3 points a game.
While Marquette has no real dominant force underneath the boards, it does have a trio of players averaging close to five rebounds a game. Defensively, the Golden Eagles are holding opponents to 62.9 points a game, but they have allowed 64 points or more in five of their last seven games.
Miami will be without center Reggie Johnson on Thursday night after he injured his knee against Illinois. He came up big against Pacific with 10 rebounds and seven points after seeing his production drop off towards the end of the season. The players that really need to come up big for the Hurricanes are Shane Larkin, Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji. All three are averaging over 13 points a game and pulling down a combined 14.6 rebounds a game.
As a team, Miami is averaging 69.4 points a game while shooting 45.8 percent from the floor to closely match Marquette’s numbers in both of these areas. Each team is pulling down 35 rebounds a game, although the Hurricanes could now be at a disadvantage with Johnson out of the lineup. Miami has been slightly better on defense in holding opponents to just over 60 points a game.
Marquette vs. Miami Sweet 16 Betting Odds and Trends
Miami is listed by BetOnline as a five-point favorite over the Golden Eagles with the “over/under” set at 127.
The Golden Eagles are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games against a team with a winning record and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games following a SU win. The total has gone over in five of their last six neutral-site games.
The Hurricanes are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games following a SU win and 4-1 ATS in their last five games played at a neutral site. The total has gone over in seven of their last eight NCAA Tournament games.
Marquette vs. Miami Picks and Betting Predictions
On paper, these two match up very close to one another, but the Hurricanes’ overall talent runs a bit deeper. Larkin and Scott have been shooting lights out lately, and Rion Brown came up huge against Illinois with a game-high 21 points. Miami should be able to squeeze out the SU win, but given both of these teams flare for drama in this tournament, stick with Marquette and the 5.5 points.
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