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Xavier vs Marquette

We start out in the Big East with a battle between the #1 and #2 teams in the conference. Xavier only trails Marquette by half a game, so they could take the lead with a win tonight. They won the first encounter too, taking Marquette down 80-76.

The pick for this game really comes down to scoring and how it's impacted by teams playing on the road or at home. Xavier has scored 80+ in all but one of their conference wins, however, they've only hit 80 in one of four games on the road in conference play. And Marquette has yet to allow 80 in their building in conference play this year. Let's get into some stats.

Marquette's defensive efficiency goes from 1.018 on the road to 0.94 at home. This translates to 10.5 less points allowed--79.3 vs 68.8. A big part of the reason for this is that they force 17.9 turnovers per game at home. The last stat I'll throw out is the margin of victory--+0.7 for Xavier on the road and +14.1 for Marquette at home.

Marquette's home defense will be the difference here. They keep Xavier under 80 and cover the spread by a couple of points.

Pick: Marquette -5.5 (-110) DraftKings

St. Bonaventure vs Fordham

Fordham is a team we've been on before and we're going back there today against the Bonnies. Fordham beat St. Bonaventure 79-68 in rural New York, but to be fair, the Bonnies had a very poor shooting performance and still only lost by 11.

St. Bonaventure has been poor on the road for most of the season, but recently they defeated both Richmond and VCU away from home--solid wins. It's the way they've been competitive on the road that keeps me on Fordham tonight. They did it with defense, holding Richmond to 62 and VCU to 58. I'm willing to bet they can't do it to Fordham. They've only scored 70 points on the road in conference play once, so they're not likely to win with their offense.

Fordham did have a few bad offensive performances at home, but all of those were over a month ago and it seems they've righted the ship. They're consistently putting up 75 at home, even against decent competition. I like them to get there tonight and keep the Bonnies under 70. That gives me enough to cover the spread.

Pick: Fordham -5 (-110) DraftKings

Davidson vs St. Louis

Our last breakdown of the day takes us to the Atlantic 10 where the Billikens take on the Davidson Wildcats. This one is a little nerve-racking as Davidson hasn't been very good this year--especially shooting the ball. But I have to go where the breakdown takes me.

St. Louis beat Davidson 74-70 on their home floor. In that game, Davidson shot 39.4/29.6/58.8 (FG/3P/FT). Like I said before, Davidson isn't a good shooting team, but these numbers were below their season averages and St. Louis shot above their season averages in every category. If the numbers had hit the mean for conference play Davidson would have come away with a small win.

But here's the big thing, Davidson's numbers are actually better on the road than at home. They shoot 45.1/33.5/75.2 away, much better than they shot in the first game and comparable to St. Louis' home numbers of 45.7/35.9/74.8.

This is a tough one because St. Louis is the better team with the higher upside, but neither of them are playing well right now and by the numbers, Davidson is likely to play better in St. Louis, not worse. Because of that, I have to come down on 6 points being too many. I think St. Louis wins by 3, so I'll take the points.

Pick: Davidson +6 (-105) DraftKings

Bonus Parlay

I don't do a lot of parlays, but there are two teams I really like on the moneyline tonight. The first is Marquette. I have that as a 7-point game, so I'm taking it officially ATS, but the moneyline gives you a little more breathing room. The other team is Bryant. They have a revenge game at home vs UM-Lowell. This was a pick I almost wrote up against the spread, but I would rather go with moneyline. Those two together are +133 on DK.

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