Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
Wednesday's Tip Sheet
Marquette at Butler – 6:30 PM EST – FS1
The hottest team in the Big East is defending champion Villanova, who owns a 7-0 conference record as the Wildcats visit DePaul on Wednesday. On Villanova’s heels is Marquette (18-3 SU, 14-7 ATS), who has put together a solid 7-1 Big East mark, while winning seven straight games since getting blown out at St. John’s on New Year’s night.
The Golden Eagles have covered six times during this current hot streak, capped off by an 87-82 triumph at Xavier on Saturday as two-point favorites. Big East leading scorer Markus Howard posted 31 points for Marquette, while brothers Joey and Sam Hauser combined to knock down nine three-pointers and score 41 points. Marquette picked up its fourth conference win by less than five points, while its last eight road league victories have come by five points or fewer dating back to last season.
Butler (12-9 SU, 9-12 ATS) started 1-1 in Big East play, but has gone through a roller-coaster ride this month by dropping consecutive one-point decisions to Seton Hall and Xavier, followed by back-to-back wins over DePaul and St. John’s. The Bulldogs are back on the decline by losing to Villanova at home, followed by a 14-point setback at Creighton last Friday to fall to 3-5 in the Big East. Butler rode a 7-0 OVER streak in the first seven league games prior to hitting the UNDER against Creighton.
This series has been owned by Butler recently as the Bulldogs have won and covered five straight meetings since March 2016. Last season, the Bulldogs dropped 92 and 94 points in two wins over the Golden Eagles, as Butler has not lost at home to Marquette since entering the Big East in 2014.
St. John’s at Creighton – 8:30 PM EST – FS1
Past Villanova and Marquette, the next eight teams in the Big East own league marks of either 3-4 of 3-5. Third place in the conference is up for grabs as St. John’s (15-5 SU, 8-11-1 ATS) has gone backwards since a 3-1 start to lose four of five. The most recent defeat came in Sunday’s 89-78 setback to Georgetown at Madison Square Garden as seven-point favorites.
Shamorie Ponds paced the Red Storm with 26 points, but St. John’s was limited to 38% shooting from the floor. Chris Mullin’s squad allowed 89 and 94 points in two meetings with Georgetown this season, which were the two highest outputs by any league opponent this season.
Creighton (12-8 SU, 9-10 ATS) bounced back from a four-game skid to win back-to-back games against Georgetown and Butler. The Bluejays limited the Bulldogs to 5-of-22 shooting from three-point range and allowing only one Butler player to score in double-figures. It took Creighton almost to the end of January until it picked up its first home conference win after losing to Marquette and Villanova in its first two affairs at CHI Health Center Omaha.
The Bluejays had won six straight matchups with the Red Storm prior to St. John’s breaking through two weeks ago in an 81-66 home blowout as 3 ½-point favorites. St. John’s has lost three of four road conference games with the lone victory coming in overtime at Georgetown as the Red Storm erased a five-point deficit in the final minute of regulation.
LSU at Texas A&M – 9:00 PM EST – ESPN2
Two teams remain undefeated in SEC play towards the end of January. Top-ranked Tennessee improved to 7-0 in the league after blowing out South Carolina on Tuesday. LSU (16-3 SU, 10-8-1 ATS) has compiled a strong 6-0 mark in the SEC after pulling off a furious rally in Saturday’s overtime triumph at Missouri. The Tigers trailed by 14 with 2:14 remaining in regulation, but LSU went on a 15-1 run to tie the game at 71-71 apiece.
LSU backers still had an opportunity to grab a miracle cover in overtime as 5 ½-point favorites, as the Tigers outscored Mizzou, 15-9 in the extra session to cash in an 86-80 victory. Skylar Mays led LSU with 24 points as the Tigers picked up their third road victory in conference play, including their second in overtime.
Texas A&M (8-10 SU, 8-10 ATS) has started 1-5 in SEC play, but the Aggies are fresh off a win on Saturday by beating Kansas State in SEC/Big 12 Challenge, 65-53 as four-point underdogs. The Aggies put together their best defensive effort since allowing 49 points to Valparaiso in mid-December, A&M outscored the Wildcats, 39-23 in the second half. A&M shot 51% from the floor, while limiting K-State to 33% shooting as the Wildcats attempted only seven free throws.
The Aggies are winless in three home conference games, but own a 3-1 ATS record in the role of an underdog in SEC play. Last season, LSU swept Texas A&M, including a 69-68 victory at College Station as seven-point underdogs.
USC at Washington – 11:00 PM EST – FS1
The Pac-12 has had its issues hanging with the other power conferences as the league doesn’t have one team ranked in the top 25. The only nominee to break through soon is Washington (16-4 SU, 11-8-1 ATS), who sits atop the Pac-12 with a perfect 7-0 record, while coming off a sweep of the Oregon schools as an underdog each time. The Huskies cruised past Oregon State on Saturday, 79-69 as UW jumped out to a 13-point halftime lead to easily cash as three-point ‘dogs.
The Huskies return home to battle the Los Angeles schools as USC (12-8 SU, 10-10 ATS) invades Seattle. The Trojans are tied with Utah for second place in the conference at 5-2, as all five wins for USC have come at the Galen Center. The two losses have come on the road at Oregon and Oregon State, which includes an overtime setback to the Beavers. After USC allowed 81 points in a blowout loss at Oregon, the Trojans have given up 67, 57, and 67 points the last three games, all wins.
Washington has covered in all seven Pac-12 victories, which includes three home blowouts over Washington State, California, and Stanford, as two of those teams have combined for only one conference win. The Trojans are making their first trip to Seattle since February 2017 as USC won, 82-74. In their lone matchup last season in Los Angeles, the Huskies upset the Trojans as 10-point underdogs, 88-81.
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