Seton Hall Pirates (14-10), +12.5 @ No. 12 Marquette Golden Eagles (21-4), -12.5, Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Tuesday, 8 p.m. Eastern
By Oracle of Predictem.com
Both Marquette and Seton Hall had streaks broken this past weekend during Big East play.
The Golden Eagles snapped a two game losing skid with a win against St. John’s and will try to build on that victory when they host the Pirates at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Meanwhile, Seton Hall had a nice five game win streak going until it ran into the buzzsaw that is the UConn Huskies, otherwise known as the No. 1 team in the nation, on Saturday. However, they played rather well against the nation’s top team, losing by just eight points and covering the spread.
Speaking of the spread, online sportsbooks are opening up with Marquette at double-digit favorites, -12.5 against their Big East foe.
The Golden Eagles are an undefeated 15-0 at home this season and have dominated the Pirates in the recent past. In fact, Marquette beat Seton Hall three times last season in the matter of three months by an average of over 14 points.
Nevertheless, that was last year. The Golden Eagles have been impressive thus far, with only two Big East hiccups against Villanova and South Florida.
With the way the Pirates have been playing though, a 12.5 point spread may play for bettors here. Even before their five game winning streak, Seton Hall took the likes of Villanova and Providence into overtime.
The Pirates are a guard-oriented team led by the three-headed monster of Jeremy Hazell, who is averaging nearly 23 points per game, Robert Mitchell (14.9 points) and Eugene Harvey (12.7 points). Hazell has struggled recently, as he went just 5-for-22 from the field against UConn, finishing with 14 points. He’s just 10-for-36 in his past two games.
Seton Hall got a big boost from center John Garcia in its loss against UConn. Garcia scored a team-high 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against National Player of the Year candidate Hasheem Thabeet. With Marquette’s lack of size, Garcia will be the X-factor.
The Golden Eagles are also glued together by a three-headed monster that is known as Jerel McNeal, Dominic James and Wesley Matthews.
It’ll be fun to watch these three perimeter defenders often regarded as the best defending trio in the nation against Seton Hall’s high-scoring backcourt.
The three seniors combined for 43 of the teams 73 points in the win against St. John’s, and account for 50.4 of the teams 80 points per game (63%).
Lazar Hayward is the X-factor on Marquette’s side. Hayward will be matched up with Garcia from Seton Hall. Garcia will have three inches and 45 pounds on the smaller Hayward, so look for the Pirates to exploit this match up. If Hayward gets in any kind of foul trouble, Marquette may be in for a long night.
In four out their last five losses, Seton Hall has lost by an average of just 6.5 points per game against the likes of Connecticut twice, Providence and Notre Dame.
With their great play as of late, bettors should love the fact they’ve covered in 8 of their 10 previous contests. They’re 12-7 ATS overall and 5-2 ATS on the road.
The Golden Eagles have faired well covering the spread as of late (4-1) against teams with a straight up winning record.
The under may be a nice bet here. Both teams are known for their offense, but neither has been scoring at their usual pace the past couple of weeks. In fact, the under is 5-1 in the last six contest for a Seton Hall team averaging nearly 76 points per game.
In the last five head-to-head matchups, Marquette has covered three times and once the teams pushed.
So another Big East clash will take place on Tuesday evening in Milwaukee. Marquette looks to continue back to its winning ways while Seton Hall tries for one last push for the Big Dance in March.
Oracle’s Pick: From the naked eye, Marquette is the pick here. But when looking deeper, Seton Hall has been playing too well as of late not to take them as double-digit dogs. Look for them to keep it within the range. Take the Pirates +12.5!