Big East Betting Picks: #12 Syracuse Orange at #22 Marquette Golden Eagles

#12 Syracuse Orange at #22 Marquette Golden Eagles
Monday, February 25, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Opening Line: Marquette pick
Current Line: Syracuse -1 1/2
Opening Total: 131
Current Total: 132
Opening Money Line: Syracuse -125 / Marquette +105

Current Money Line: Syracuse -125 / Marquette +105

Marquette hosts Syracuse in a key Big East clash Monday.
Marquette hosts Syracuse in a key Big East clash Monday.

Going into Saturday, the Marquette Golden Eagles and Syracuse Orange were tied with Georgetown with 10-3 records for the Big East lead. However, Syracuse lost at home to Georgetown 57-46, and Marquette lost at Villanova 60-56. Now both the Orange and Golden Eagles find themselves tied with Louisville at 10-4 a game behind the Hoyas. The 19-7 Eagles host the 22-5 Orange Monday night, with only four games remaining in the regular season.

Syracuse leads the series 8-4 against Marquette. The Orange won the only meeting last season 73-66 in the Carrier Dome. This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools this season unless they meet in the Big East or NCAA tournaments. Syracuse will leave the Big East for the ACC next season.

Syracuse is coached by Jim Boeheim. The Orange have losses to Temple in Madison Square Garden, at Villanova, at Pittsburgh, and at Connecticut. The Georgetown loss snapped a 38 game home winning streak for Syracuse. The Orange have key wins over San Diego St on an aircraft carrier, Princeton, at Arkansas, Eastern Michigan Long Beach St, and Detroit. In conference Syracuse has home wins over Rutgers, Villanova, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, St. John’s, and Providence, along with road wins at South Florida, Providence,   Louisville, and Seton Hall. The Orange are 14-9 ATS and the total is 10-11 this season.

Syracuse is outscoring teams 74-59 this season. The Orange are #37 or better in both categories.  Syracuse is shooting 44.6% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Orange make 68.3% of their free throws. Syracuse averages 39.9 rebounds per game and allows 30.6 to opponents. Syracuse is #12 in rebounding nationally. Orange opponents are shooting 37% from the field and 28.9% from 3 point range. Syracuse is in the top twelve nationally in both categories. The Orange average 15 assists, 10 steals, 7 blocks and 13 turnovers a game.

Brandon Triche averages 14.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. C.J. Fair averages 14.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block a game. James Southerland averages 13.8 points, 5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1 block per game. He missed  6 games due to being ineligible. Michael Carter-Williams averages 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals a game.  Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Trevor Cooney, Baye Keita and Jerami Grant make up the rest of the rotation. Coleman is questionable with a knee injury.

Marquette is coached by Buzz Williams. The Golden Eagles have losses to Butler in the Maui Invitational, at Florida, at Green Bay, at Cincinnati, at Louisville, and Villanova. Marquette has key wins over Mississippi St and USC in Maui, Wisconsin, LSU, UConn, Georgetown, Pitt twice, Seton Hall twice, Providence, South Florida twice, and DePaul. Marquette is undefeated at home this season. The Golden Eagles are 11-11 ATS and the total is 11-10 this season.

Marquette is outscoring teams 69-62 this season. The Eagles are shooting 46.5% from the field and 30% from 3 point range. Marquette is #39 in field goal percentage. Marquette makes 73.2% of their free throws. The Golden Eagles average 34.8 rebounds per game and give up 27.4 per game. Marquette is #30 in rebounds allowed.  Marquette opponents are shooting 40.1% from the field and 32.2% from 3 point range. The Eagles average 14 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, and 13 turnovers.

Guard Vander Blue averages 14.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1 steal per game. Forward Davante Gardner averages 11.6 points, and 4.8 rebounds per game. Guard Junior Cadougan averages 8.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 turnovers. Forward Jamil Wilson averages 8.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. Trent Lockett averages 7.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Todd Mayo averages 7 points per game. Chris Otule, Steve Taylor, Jr., Juan Anderson, Jake Thomas and and Derrick Wilson also get significant minutes.

Syracuse is 5-2 ATS after a straight up loss, and 9-4-1 after a double digit home loss. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Marquette is 4-0 ATS against teams with winning road records, 9-2 after failing to cover, and 13-3-1 after a straight up loss. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games in this series. Marquette is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 against Syracuse.

Saturday’s game against Georgetown started a very difficult stretch for Syracuse to close out the season. After this game, Syracuse will host Louisville Saturday, before hosting DePaul and closing at Georgetown in the regular season finale. This is a must win for the Orange, but it won’t be easy at Marquette where the Eagles haven’t lost all season. This should be another close defensive struggle. I like Marquette at home.

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