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How to bet Marquette in the Big East Futures Market

Shaka Smart

Shaka Smart

Mark Hoffman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down how he is betting the updated College Basketball Futures market as we inch closer to February and March Madness.

Marquette to win the Big East Regular Season Title (+130)

Marquette to make the Final Four (+800)

The Big East is a two-team race, in my opinion, between Marquette (+130) and Xavier (-115).

Looking over the remaining schedules between Xavier and Marquette, it favors the Golden Eagles and these squads will meet for a second time at Marquette. Xavier won the earlier meeting at home (80-76), so they are one-up on Marquette, but the road to a regular season title is long.

Over the next four games, Xavier has Creighton and Butler on the road, plus Providence and St. John’s at home before going to Marquette. After that, five games remain and there’s a three-game stretch of Villanova, Seton Hall and Providence that will prove challenging for Xavier to hold onto first place.

For Marquette, the Golden Eagles have won seven of the past eight and 10 in the previous 12 games with a favorable upcoming schedule. Marquette has four big games remaining, hosting Xavier and Villanova and going on the road to face UConn and Creighton.

The rest of Marquette’s schedule is made up of DePaul, Butler, Georgetown and St. John’s esque teams.

Comparing the two, Marquette is the top-ranked offense in the country and Big East, while Xavier is second in the conference in offensive efficiency.

Xavier is eighth on defense during conference play and ranks the best three-point shooting team at 39.7% and fourth nationally (40.3%) but there are a few problems.

The Musketeers permit opponents to hit 36.2% from three (299th) on the season and does not force turnovers, ranking 251st (17.4%).

They hover around 72-73% on the season from the free-throw line so that is a borderline concern, but without extra possessions and the ability to defend the three, I like the chances the Musketeers suffer a few losses to end the season.

Marquette is sixth in defensive efficiency during Big East play, plus the Golden Eagles rank first in offensive and defensive turnover percentage -- the Shaka Smart effect.

Marquette is hitting free-throws at over 75% in conference play and its two-pointers above 60%, so they are playing effective in almost every area.

The Golden Eagles are a poor rebounding team, coming in at 237th and 313th, but they make so many shots offensively, ranking first in two-point percentage nationally (60.6%) and hitting over 35% from three on the season (117th), that Marquette should be a lesser rebounding team.

When Marquette went up against Villanova, Providence and Creighton, the Golden Eagles went 3-1, splitting with Providence. All three of those teams on paper are much better rebounding teams than Marquette.

I grabbed Marquette at +130 odds to win the Big East Regular Season and sprinkled a Final Four appearance at +800 odds. Those odds will shorten up and with veteran coaching, there could be a path come March.

Pick: Marquette to win the Big East Regular Season Title (0.5u), Marquette to Make The Final Four (0.2u)

Futures Already in Pocket

0.5u: VCU to win the A-10 Regular Season Title (+350)

0.5u: Marquette to win the Big East Regular Season Title (+130)

0.5u: Arizona to make the Final 4 (+400)

0.25u: Arizona to win the National Championship (+1600)

0.25u: Tennessee to make the Final 4 (+350)

0.25u: Iowa State to win the Big 12 Regular Season Title (+350)

0.2u: Iowa State to make the Final 4 (+1000)

0.2u: Marquette to make the Final 4 (+800)

0.1u: Michigan State to win the Big Ten (+3000)

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