Marquette ATS is the NCAA Basketball Pick at Providence

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, March 1, 2015 3:09 PM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 1, 2015 3:09 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Sunday.


The road underdogs could have hidden value Sunday while possibly being back to full strength, not to mention their dominance in this head-to-head series when those Marquette Golden Eagles (11-16, 1-8 away) pay a visit to the Providence Friars (19-9, 12-3 home) at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, RI at 3:30 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.

The point spread at Bet365 has Marquette as a large road underdog for this contest with the current line at +9 with odds of -110.

Providence About to Drop Out of AP Poll
Providence was ranked 25th in the AP Poll to begin this week, but the Friars lost at Villanova on Tuesday and even though that loss came in enemy territory vs. one of the best teams in the country, it should still be enough to drop Providence out of the rankings when the new ones come out Monday morning, especially with the Friars treading water a bit in recent games.

Marquette meanwhile is having its worst season in memory at 11-16 and uncharacteristically sits dead last in the Big East with a 3-12 conference mark after being the losing NCAA Basketball picks in 10 of the last 11 games, beating only a schizoid Seton Hall team during this time. Still, at least the Golden Eagles could legitimately use injuries as an excuse, and that could change for the better today.

Marquette Lost Four Straight While Mostly Short-Handed
Marquette has lost four straight games since beating Seton Hall and it has been outmanned for much of the Big East season, most recently being down to eight scholarship players on the roster with leading scorer Matt Carlino and leading rebounder Juan Anderson both injured. However, both of those players returned in limited roles off the bench in a 73-52 loss at another nationally ranked team in Butler on Wednesday.

Having each played a few minutes in that game and with three days off since that contest, do not be surprised if either one of both of those leaders are fit enough to be re-inserted into the starting lineup today with three-games left in the regular season, getting them even fitter in the event of an unlikely run in the Big East Tournament.

And one thing that the Golden Eagles have continued to do well while being short-handed is force turnovers, as they are 37th in the country in defensive turnover percentage at 21.5 percent vs. a national average of 19.2 percent, and they lead the Big East in that category during Big East play. Now, with Carlino back they actually have a finisher to convert more of those turnovers into points.

Friars Skidding a Bit Also
Providence is seeking its second consecutive 20-win season after going 23-12 last year, and while it is a virtual lock that the Friars will do so needing just one more win, they have not exactly had any nice momentum lately as they have now lost three of their last five games. The good news there at least was that none of the three losses would be categorized as “bad”, as they lost twice to Villanova and also at Xavier.

Perhaps a bit more concerning in regards to this game is that Marquette won the first meeting between these teams 75-66 back home in Milwaukee on January 3rd, forcing 17 Providence turnovers. The Friars will need to do a better job of ball protection here and that may not be a given as Providence is in the middle of the pack in the Big East in offensive turnover percentage, ranking sixth during conference play.

And then there is a possible psychological hurdle that Providence needs to overcome when facing Marquette.

Incredible Head-to-Head Dominance
Why, you may ask? Well, that earlier win in Milwaukee this year makes Marquette 10-1 straight up in the last 11 head-to-head meetings between these schools while unbelievably going a perfect 11-0 ATS in those meetings!

We like Marquette’s chances of extending that streak to 12-0 ATS in this game getting this many points even if the Golden Eagles do not win outright this time, so take the points at Providence on Sunday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Marquette +9 (-110)

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