The futures odds to win the 2019 national championship almost changed dramatically last week when Duke superstar freshman Zion Williamson went down with a knee injury after he busted a shoe early in a loss to North Carolina. Thankfully, Williamson is going to be OK (he has missed one game so far) and the Blue Devils remain the +190 favorites.
Here’s a look at two interesting matchups this week. Check back for the latest NCAAB odds and keep in mind that rankings may change Monday.
Top NCAA Basketball Betting Picks of the Week – February 25th
“I feel like we are really a part of something special. I feel like this year is starting to look like a turning point in LSU Basketball.”The Tigers overcame adversity Saturday to push back atop the SEC. Relive it here on today’s #BootUp🐯 🎙https://t.co/MWkHH1aNKq pic.twitter.com/u1kM7YR2w7 — LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) 25 de febrero de 2019
Texas A&M at No. 13 LSU
- When: Tuesday, 9 PM ET (ESPN2)
Could be a bit of a trap game for LSU, which will definitely rise in the rankings after beating No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday, 82-80 in overtime – there’s now a three-way tie atop the SEC with these two and Kentucky all at 12-2. LSU would win the tiebreaker over those two thanks to head-to-head victories.
The Tigers’ Javonte Smart made two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime to knock off the Vols in one of the school’s biggest regular-season wins in years. The Tigers’ win was even more dramatic as LSU was forced to play without point guard Tremont Waters who was announced before the contest as unavailable because of an undisclosed illness. The win was LSU’s second win over a top-five team this season (at Kentucky, vs. Tennessee) and LSU’s 17th overall against an AP top-five team (ninth at home).
Smart and Skylar Mays combined for 52 points with Smart getting 29 points with five rebounds, five assists and three steals in 44 minutes. Mays played the entire game, scoring 23 points (making three treys and 10 free throws for the second time this season) with two assists and a steal. Nigel Bigby-Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
LSU had just seven turnovers in the game, tying the season low, and LSU forced 14 Tennessee miscues and that added up to a 17-9 advantage in points off turnovers. It was the third time in the last four games that LSU has had under 10 turnovers in the game.
LSU goes for the sweep of A&M, which isn’t very good but comes off a win at Arkansas. The Tigers won in College State on Jan. 30, 72-57. Waters had a season-high 36 points. Waters was hot early, making five of seven 3-point attempts and piling up 23 points by halftime. Still not clear if he will go here, but it seems likely. The Tigers led by three early in the second half before using a 10-2 run to make it 51-40 with 15 minutes to go. Naz Reid took over during that stretch, scoring seven points with a dunk and a three-point play.
No. 11 Marquette at No. 17 Villanova
- When: Wednesday, 9 PM ET (Fox Sports 1)
A win here could all but wrap up the Big East regular-season title for Marquette as it leads Villanova by 1.5 games. The Golden Eagles also took the first meeting, 66-65 in Milwaukee behind 38 points from star Markus Howard, the likely Big East Player of the Year. Howard, the Big East’s leading scorer, hit 13 of 24 shots, including 5 of 11 on 3s. He made all seven of his free throws. Nova’s Jermaine Samuels missed an off-balance jumper as time ran out. The Wildcats had won nine of the 10 previous games against Marquette.
Marquette enters on a four-game winning streak after taking a 76-58 decision at Providence on Saturday. The Golden Eagles (23-4, 12-2 in the Big East) led by 11 points at halftime and showed no signs of letting up, shooting 53.6 percent in the second half to finish at 54.9 percent for the game. Sacar Anim went 8 for 12 for 18 points and Sam Hauser 7 for 10 for 18 points as well for Marquette, which got 14 points on 2-of-12 shooting from Howard. It was the Golden Eagles’ sixth road win in league play versus one defeat.
The six road wins against conference foes represents the most in a single season since Marquette joined the Big East in 2005. Howard has scored 30-or-more points on eight occasions in 2018-19, the most of any player on a major conference team. Five of those efforts have come in league play.
It’s possible that defending national champion Villanova drops out of the Top 25 on Monday as it lost a third straight Sunday, 66-54 at Xavier. The Cats led 42-38 but saw Xavier go on a 17-0 run. Villanova misfired on nine consecutive field goal attempts in a scoring drought that lasted more than nine minutes.
VU was 8-of-29 (.276) in the second half and connected on 3-of-19 attempts over the game’s final eight minutes. Villanova did not attempt a free throw until more than 37 minutes of the game had been played.
Expert NCAA Basketball Betting Predictions
Villanova keeps its conference title hopes alive with a win, while LSU also wins but doesn’t cover a big number.