Marquette to Upset Ohio State NCAAB Picks

Joe Freda

Saturday, November 16, 2013 1:14 PM GMT

Saturday’s hoops card has the foes battling in Milwaukee, with a close contest expected by NCAAB odds makers.

The Ohio State Buckeyes and Marquette Golden Eagles have each started the year with a pair of victories, ranking at No. 10 and 17, respectively. 

Buckeyes, Craft edge Ohio

Ohio State’s latest triumph came in Tuesday’s 79-69 win against the Ohio Bobcats, prevailing despite a 40.9 percent night of field shooting. The Buckeyes fell short of cashing down the stretch as 19-point home favorites, following a 40-28 halftime lead.

Buckeyes guard Aaron Craft came away with team-highs of 18 points and four assists, while adding three of his side’s four steals. Ohio State’s Amir Williams grabbed 10 boards to lead his squad in out-rebounding the Bobcats, 31-30.

Craft sank 14-of-18 free throws, with late fouling sending the duel’s combined 148 points OVER the closing ‘total’ of 147 ½. The senior’s mates LaQuinton Ross and Shannon Scott drilled 3-of-7 buckets beyond the arc, uniting for 18 points.

Eagles, Otule thrash Grambling State

Marquette saw its latest action on the same night, cruising to a 114-71 home victory over the Grambling State Tigers. The Golden Eagles had eight members of its roster reach double figures, with center Chris Otule notching a team-high 17 points in a 6-for-6 night from the floor.

Marquette’s Steve Taylor picked up his season’s first double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, with the Golden Eagles edging Grambling State in boards, 53-39. Taylor’s mate Derrick Wilson was held scoreless in 20 minutes of action, while logging a team-high 10 assists.

Golden Eagles guards Deonte Burton and JaJuan Johnson united for 26 points off the bench, while combining for three steals. Burton added one of his squad’s three blocks, with Marquette holding the Tigers to 28.6 percent shooting.

Back Marquette at home

Ohio State opened as a 1 ½-point road favorite at The Greek, while the Buckeyes’ money line was set at minus 125. Marquette’s Duane Wilson remains out indefinitely with a leg fracture, keeping the four-star prospect from making his debut.

I am adding Marquette to Saturday’s NCAAB picks, taking the short number at home.

The Golden Eagles surged with confidence in Tuesday’s high-octane victory, rebuilding momentum with some depth after last week’s 63-56 squeaker against the Southern Jaguars. Marquette cashed at a 3-0 clip in its trio of home-dog spots last year, notching SU wins over Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.

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Ohio State had its share of disparity away from home last season, logging defeats in seven of its first eight road games against ranked foes. The Buckeyes finished the year going 0-4 ATS in their final matchups against non-conference foes, while losing the Big Ten’s top scorer Deshaun Thomas (19.5 PPG) to the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

Marquette’s Chris Otule and Steve Taylor should continue their rebounding presence here, while senior Jake Thomas found the rims at a 3-for-5 clip beyond the arc against Grambling State. Look for the Golden Eagles to pick up a cashed ticket here, with sports books caught favoring the wrong side.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Marquette Golden Eagles +1 ½ at The Greek