Marquette vs. South Carolina -1 O/U 142
South Carolina doesn’t play at a snail’s pace, but they are truly an elite defensive team and just as truly an ugly offensive team. So while this total makes sense given the Gamecocks pace of play, it looks a good notch or two too high for this bettor due to the way the play, not their pace of play. To put this total in perspective, the Gamecocks last game in the SEC tourney against Alabama, was totaled at 122.5 and it stayed under with room to spare.
When we look at the Gamecocks results from non-conference play against opponents who were not familiar with their intense, physical style, we saw totals that were routinely priced waaaaaaay too high. They were lined at 156.5 against Monmouth, a game that finished with 120 points in regulation. Their game against Michigan was totaled at 136.5, finishing with 107 points. Against Syracuse on a neutral floor at Madison Square Garden, it was another game that stayed 20+ points Under. Similar class games Seton Hall on a neutral floor, Clemson and Memphis were all low scoring games that stayed under the total.
The numbers show it clearly, and they also show a matchup problem for Marquette. The Golden Eagles are a one trick pony – they shoot three pointers better than any other team in the country, averaging 10.5 makes per game on 43% shooting from downtown. Marcus Howard, Andrew Rowsey, Katin Reinhardt and Sam Hauser are all ‘Deadeye Dicks’ from long range.
But South Carolina’s perimeter defense is as good as it gets, a team ranked #3 nationally in defensive efficiency and #5 in the nation against opposing three point shooters This is not a game where we can expect Marquette to light up the scoreboard from long range. And when the Eagles aren’t draining 3’s in bunches, they’re not scoring in the 80’s and 90’s; a team that didn’t even average 70 points per game in their last four losses; all games where those three point shots didn’t fall at quite the same rate
South Carolina’s offense is ugly. They finished the season ranked #315 in effective field goal percentage on offense, ranked #318 on two point shot attempts and #245 on three pointers. Sindariuos Thornwell is a scorer, averaging 21 points per game on 44% shooting. The rest of the team? Not a strong shooter to be found, from inside or outside the arc. Expect a typical 'Frank Martin coached' brick fest in Greenville on Friday Night!