Illinois Fighting Illini at Maryland Terrapins -9
Illinois can force a lot of turnovers. Problem is their defense has no other real positives, opposing teams that can hold onto the ball shoot 47% from the field and 36% from behind the arc. They are going to look to push the pace on Saturday to stop the strength of the Maryland frontcourt
Maryland has the size downlow with NBA prospect Bruno Fernando, Illinois has no one on their roster that will be able to handle him. The Illini do have two 7’0 centers on the fringes of their rotation, but in the top seven, Giorgi Bezhanishvili is the only one who could be considered a “big man”, he will be no match for the bruising Fernando on Saturday. As long as point guard Anthony Cowan can continue his solid big ten play the Terrapins should roll to victory at home tomorrow.
The numbers back up Maryland as they are 5-0 ATS last five after a loss. Grab this game before the number goes up for Maryland.
Vanderbilt Commodores at Oklahoma Sooners -10
Oklahoma has been great ATS after a win. The Sooners are 11-1-1 over their last 13 after a victory. They will get a Vanderbilt team that has been reeling since the loss of Darius Garland. Losers of six straight games, squandering a chance to have a historic win against #1 Tennessee. The Vanderbilt team won’t be able to work off what could have been a very big and needed emotional boost.
Sooners are 7-1 at home this season with their lone loss coming to Kansas State. Oklahoma rides the momentum from their win over Oklahoma State to get the triumph here.
Marquette Golden Eagles -2 at Xavier Musketeers
The Marquette Golden Eagles have won six straight games, finding themselves just one half game behind the Villanova Wildcats for first place in the Big East. Star Marcus Howard has been the catalyst all season along with Sam Hauser. Hauser in particular has emerged as the #2 scoring option averaging 15 ppg this season. The key to the game though will be sophomore Theo John. The emergence of the 6-foot-9 sophomore center has given the Golden Eagles a jolt defensively that has made them a better team. Marquette is holding opponents to 68.9 points per game on 40.1 percent shooting, noticeable improvements on last season’s numbers of 78.5 and 47.9, respectively.
The Xavier Musketeers have not had the season they hoped for after last year’s Sweet Sixteen team. Xavier absorbed a 70-52 beating in Milwaukee on Jan. 6, shooting just 31.5 percent while making 1 of 14 from 3-point range. Revenge will be on the mind of the Musketeers who are 0-3 currently against top 25 teams this season. Naji Marshall one of the top scorers for Xavier all season is questionable with a shoulder injury. His absence will change this line before the morning. Either way Marquette is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 road games as the favorite.
Dictating the pace of this game will be important. Xavier will want a grind it out inside game while Marquette is going to look to go up pace and find room for Howard to work. I like Marquette to win and cover.
Under Texas/ Georgia
Under Texas AM/ Kansas State
Over Marshall/Southern Miss