Free College Basketball Picks: Marquette vs. New Mexico Odds
by Dave Schwab - 12/20/2013
The Big East’s Marquette Golden Eagles will square off against the Mountain West’s New Mexico Lobos this Saturday night on the undercard of the MGM Grand Showcase to Benefit Coaches vs. Cancer. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally ESPNU.
The Golden Eagles come into this tournament with a 7-4 straight up record in which they have won all seven games as favorites while losing four games as underdogs. The net result is a 6-3 record against the spread, and the total has stayed “under” in three of their last five games.
New Mexico has dropped its last two games both SU and ATS to fall to 7-3 SU and a costly 2-5 ATS. Its last time out it failed to cover as a nine-point home favorite against rival New Mexico State in a 67-61 loss. The total stayed under the 142-point closing line in that game, and it has now stayed under in four of seven games.
Marquette vs. New Mexico Betting Storylines
Marquette is definitely not one of the most prolific scoring teams in Division I with an average of just 73.5 points a game, and it is shooting a very average 45.5 percent from the field. One of its biggest strengths has been under the boards with an average of 41.1 rebounds a game. The Golden Eagles have also done a solid job on defense by holding teams to 71 points or less in 10 of their first 11 games.
Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson have been the team’s biggest scoring threats. Gardner leads Marquette with 14.4 points a game while pulling down a team-high 6.7 rebounds, and Wilson is averaging 12.3 points and five rebounds a game. The Golden Eagles do not pose a real threat shooting the ball from outside given that they are hitting just 30.2 percent from three-point range.
The Lobos match up well against Marquette with 77.7 points and 41.4 rebounds a game, and they have also had their issues shooting the ball with a field goal percentage of just 43.6 percent. Ever since beating UAB 97-94 in overtime on Nov. 21, this defense has also tightened up and has not allowed more than 70 points in six of their last seven contests. The only exception was an 80-63 loss to then-No. 13 Kansas last Saturday as 7.5-point underdogs.
New Mexico boasts a pair of big time scorers in Cameron Bairstow and Kendall Williams. These two have combined for 40.1 points a game, which equates to 52 percent of the team’s total points. Alex Kirk has also been a force with 16.5 points and a team-high 9.8 rebounds a game. Overall, the Lobos are converting on a respectable 75.5 percent of their attempts from the foul line, but they have been one of the worst shooting teams in the nation from outside the perimeter by hitting just 29.3 percent from three point range.
Marquette vs. New Mexico Betting Tends and Game Lines
The Golden Eagles are 6-1 ATS in their last seven nonconference games and 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win. The total has stayed under in five of seven games following a victory ATS.
The Lobos are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games following a SU loss but just 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral-site games. The total has stayed under in their last five games against a team from the Big East.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams in recent memory.
Free College Basketball Picks: Marquette vs. New Mexico Betting Predictions
This should be a hard-fought battle between two teams that know how to play defense and control the boards. In a test of wills, I have to give the slight edge to New Mexico in this matchup. The combination of Bairstow and Williams will be just too hard to contain all night long as the Lobos snap their two-game skid with a SU victory at the MGM Grand.
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