Marquette and Wisconsin meet in an annual in-state rivalry showdown on Saturday afternoon.
The Badgers have taken the last two from the Golden Eagles, but Marquette is set to have its best team in years under Shaka Smart this season, who has already played and impressed against a vaunted schedule. Can Marquette cover as road favorites against the Badgers?
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Marquette vs. Wisconsin Odds, Spread and Total
Marquette vs. Wisconsin How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, December 2nd
- Time: 12:30 PM EST
- Venue: Kohl Center
- How to Watch (TV): FOX
- Marquette Record: 6-1
- Wisconsin Record: 5-2
Marquette vs. Wisconsin Key Players to Watch
Tyler Kolek: Kolek is the engine behind this vaunted Marquette offense, averaging nearly 14 points with five rebounds and over three assists. He is cooking from deep, hitting 52% of his three's so far this season as Marquette bolsters the seventh best offense, per KenPom, but it's been Kolek's ability to generate high quality looks, shooting 60% on two's this season, top 10 in the country.
Chucky Hepburn: The junior point guard is struggling from three this season, but he's going to need to get it going to keep up with this up-tempo Marquette offense. Hepburn is down to a career low 30% this season after shooting 40% from beyond the arc last year.
Marquette vs. Wisconsin Prediction and Pick
These are two contrasting styles as Marquette wants to play fast on offense while Wisconsin wants to operate in the half court. The Golden Eagles have the eighth fastest average possession length in the country while Wisconsin is 341st.
So, who will win the stylistic matchup? I'm going to side with Marquette's ability to generate a ton of looks in close. Smart's bunch is 31st in the country in terms of near proximity field goal percentage while Wisconsin is 343rd defending it. While the Badgers are a compact defense that typically keep teams out of the paint, Marquette's motion offense is a thing of beauty and should open up driving lanes for the likes of Kolek's to generate high quality looks.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin is going to struggle in the half court. According to Shot Quality, this offense is below the national average in terms of half court offense per possession. Meanwhile, Marquette is seventh in that same metric, a far more potent O.
Marquette went on the road and got the better of a formidable Illinois squad earlier this season, and I agree with the team laying a short number on the road. After two years of coming up short, I think the Golden Eagles stay on its path and cover against its in-state foe with a dynamic offensive game that Wisconsin hasn't put together just yet.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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