There are a trio of top-25 matchups on Tuesday’s college hoops schedule, including No. 18 Marquette versus No. 24 UConn. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for that critical Big East tilt.
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Marquette Golden Eagles at Connecticut Huskies
Although the Huskies knocked off the Golden Eagles on Dec. 21, setting up for a potential revenge narrative, this contest represents a buy-low, sell-high spot.
Dan Hurley’s bunch is coming off consecutive losses, including a double-digit defeat at Villanova on Saturday. On the flip side, Marquette boasts its top-25 ranking this season following a regular season sweep of those same Wildcats.
Nevertheless, UConn presents a top-four rebounding percentage at both ends in Big East play. Unless Huskies bigs Adama Sanogo and Isaiah Whaley are both in early foul trouble again, they’ll be in position to control the pace against a Marquette team that ranks bottom-three on the glass.
Despite Hurley’s attack playing at a slower tempo overall, it’s even more efficient when it’s pushing the floor. As a result, look for UConn to combat Marquette’s ball pressure with a bit more of its own, considering the Golden Eagles have been turnover prone of late. Couple that with the Huskies’ prowess in the rebounding department, and they’ll possess opportunities to expose Shaka Smart’s unit in transition.
If those aspects come to fruition, R.J. Cole & Co. should generate plenty of looks in the paint. Marquette is surrendering the 29th-most opponents’ shots while attacking the rim (via ShotQuality).
After factoring in these sour ingredients, ShotQuality also notes that the Golden Eagles are outperforming their metrics by six wins. Hence, this game is a prime bounce-back spot for UConn.
The Huskies are as low as after getting bet up to -6.5 on Monday night. But unless the line dips lower than I expect, I’ll wait to grab more in-game value if the matchup ensues accordingly.
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Monitor UConn live spread
Best Available Line: UConn