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Pick on the total for Marquette-Villanova on December 31

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Saturday’s college basketball matchup between the Marquette Golden Eagles and Villanova Wildcats

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Villanova Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Marquette Golden Eagles go to Philadelphia for New Year’s Eve to face a Villanova Wildcats squad that has won five of their last six games.

Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Villanova Wildcats (-2.5, 145.5)

The Wildcats began the season 2-5 in their first seven games prior to their current 5-1 run with all of those games coming without 6-foot-7 wing Cam Whitmore, who’s averaging 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

The Wildcats’ defense has improved with Whitmore as the team was allowing opponents to shoot 37.9% from 3-point range without him, which ranked 302nd in the country and were 283rd in points allowed on a per possession basis. Villanova is allowing 11.7 points per 100 possessions fewer since Whitmore’s debut with opponents making just 30.8% of their 3-point attempts in this span.

The Marquette defense has been solid itself in games that have not gone to overtime, surrendering 70 points or fewer in eight of their last nine games that have ended in regulation.

Neither team is giving themselves a lot of second chances on offense with Villanova ranked 324th in percentage of missed shots that result in an offensive rebound and Marquette is 264th in this category.

With Villanova consistently getting their slow tempo in games, ranking 327th among Division I teams in possessions per game, the 2022 calendar year will conclude without a lot of offensive fireworks for Marquette and Villanova.

The Play: Marquette vs. Villanova Under 145.5