Villanova vs. Marquette Prediction, Odds, Key Players for MLK Day

Dec 19, 2023; Providence, Rhode Island, USA; Marquette Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek (11) drives
Dec 19, 2023; Providence, Rhode Island, USA; Marquette Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek (11) drives / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Marquette has slipped from its status as a bona fide National Championship contender after two losses to middling Big East competition, but that is just the grind of a season, this team still grades out as an elite one.

The Golden Eagles get a chance to get on track at home Monday afternoon against Villanova, who has had an up-and-down second season under Kyle Neptune. Can Marquette escape its offensive slump against the Wildcats' compact defense?

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Villanova vs. Marquette Odds, Spread and Total

Villanova vs. Marquette Betting Trends

  • Villanova is 2-0 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog this season
  • Marquette is 5-8 ATS as a favorite
  • Marquette has gone UNDER in 11 of 16 games this season
  • Villanova has gone UNDER in seven of its last 10 games this season

Marquette vs. Villanova How to Watch

  • Date: Monday, January 15th
  • Game Time: 2:30 PM EST
  • Venue: Fiserv Forum
  • How to Watch (TV): FOX
  • Villanova Record: 11-5
  • Marquette Record: 11-5

Villanova vs. Marquette Key Players to Watch


Eric Dixon: The senior big man has been playing lights out in Big East play, fresh off a 24-point outing in a blowout win against DePaul in which he hit nine of his 12 shots to compile 24 points. Dixon isn't shooting as well from three as he has in the past, down to about 34%, but his ability to stretch the floor opens up the Villanova offense.


Tyler Kolek: Kolek is mired in a bit of a slump. In the team's two losses at Seton Hall and Butler over the last week or so, Kolek has hit only two of his 19 field goal attempts to combine for seven points. While he is still a fantastic facilitator, Kolek needs to find his shot for this Golden Eagles offense to look like the juggernaut it looked early on in the season.

Villanvoa vs. Marquette Prediction and Pick

Marquette has been plagued by inefficient three-point shooting all season, but the team does an excellent job of generating high-quality looks. ShotQuality gives the team a 97th percentile shot selection grade and the 12th-best open three rate in the country, but the team is converting about 32% of them (247th in the country). However, SQ deems the team is owed about a 2% increase on three-point tries, closer to the national average.

Marquette will need to get going against a Villanova team that shuts off the interior mostly but is below the national average in terms of turnover rate. I expect the heavy motion of the Golden Eagles offense should set up driving lanes for the likes of Kolek to get into the teeth of the defense and create high-quality looks.

While the Wildcats got Justin Moore back last game against DePaul, giving the team its most reliable ball handler back ahead of a matchup against a ball-pressure defense in Marquette, I struggle to see the offense generating quality looks.

The Golden Eagles can bring big man Oso Ighodaro out along the perimeter to stick with Dixon and also run in transition where the team is scoring at a top 40 rate per SQ.

Villanova is one of the most three-point-heavy teams in the nation, 14th in three-point rate, but is shooting only 33% as a team, 203rd in the country. However, this team is shooting to expectation from beyond the arc per SQ and is facing a far better defense in Marquette.

I'm going to side with the home team that is better than its two-game slump. Lay it with the Golden Eagles.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!