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The best player you’re not watching is why Marquette will cover tonight

You’re not watching Markus Howard. You should. And Kansas with Rock Chalk should be in a rock fight with West Virginia tonight.

Marquette Golden Eagles guard Markus Howard high fives fans following the game against the DePaul Blue Demons at Fiserv Forum. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There’s some really good basketball games tonight. Even if you’re a marginal college hoops fan, get in front of a TV this evening, as this is one of the best nights of the 2020 schedule. The storylines for the season are coming together, and we’ve got enough sample size to know things about these teams.

Now let’s win some money. We’re 5-1 this week, and looking to extend.

Kansas +2 at West Virginia Under 134.5

It should be a classic, and there’s a reason WVU is giving instead of getting: they’re undefeated at home this year.

But these are the top two teams in college basketball in adjusted defensive efficiency, and KU has better scorers, but that’s harder to do on the road. Keep in mind Bob Huggins got fined $10,000 last time these teams played for calling the refs “three blind mice” so you wonder if that will be in the back of their minds in front of what will be an insane crowd in the Coliseum in Morgantown.

But they can’t call every foul in this game, and there will be a lot of them. First one to 60 wins.

Marquette +5.5 at Villanova

We can give you all these stats about how Marquette is underrated and how Villanova struggles with Q1 teams at home. Or how the Eagles can really shoot it, and that the Wildcats don’t close out on the 3 very well. Or even mix in how the Wine & Cheese Crowd at The Pavilion just doesn’t provide enough of a home court advantage.

But forget all that. One team has Markus Howard, the best player you’re not watching, and one doesn’t. KenPom has him as the second-most valuable human in college basketball this season. He’s getting 30+ tonight in Radnor, and Marquette gets closer to a protected Top-4 seed in the NCAA’s. Let’s throw a taste on the money line at +195 as well.

Nevada +2 at UNLV

Look, friends: we miss Jerry Tarkanian too. Visited his statue in December. The Shark and his Amoeba Defense influenced how we think about college basketball as much as anyone.

But he isn’t walking through that door. So why are the Rebels giving points to a team that beat them by 14 three weeks ago? The Wolfpack have lost four MWC games in a row on the road straight up... but they didn’t play anyone as bad as their rivals downstate.

This isn’t the Eric Musselman’s Nevada, but they’re still pretty good, and they still have Jalen Harris when they need a bucket. You shouldn’t need the points, but take them anyway and fade a UNLV team that turns it over more than once every five possessions while not playing with any pace either. They’ll get better under T.J. Otzelberger, but not this year.

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