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Marquette vs. UMBC - 11/6/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
UMBC Retrievers (24-11) at Marquette Golden Eagles (21-14)
Date & Time Tuesday November 6, 2018, 9:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Marquette Golden Eagles -18 -- Over/Under: 143
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NCAA BB | UMBC Retrievers (24-11) at Marquette Golden Eagles (21-14)
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The UMBC Retrievers and the Marquette Golden Eagles square off in opening night non-conference college basketball action on Tuesday night.

The UMBC Retrievers will look to build on a historic season, finishing 25-11 overall, including a 12-4 mark in America East conference play, good for the 2nd spot in the conference tournament, defeating UMass Lowell, Hartford and Vermont en route to earning the conference’s lone automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Retrievers received a #16 seed, and went on to make history as the first #16 seed to take down a #1 seed and doing so in convincing fashion, winning by 20 points as 20.5-point underdogs. The problem for the Retrievers, is that UMBC lost their backcourt tandem of Jairus Lyles and K.J. Maura who combined for 31.5 points per game last season. The good news for UMBC is that their frontcourt remains in tact, with Arkel Lamar and Joe Sherburne back after averaging double figures scoring last season. Only time will tell if the Retrievers can remain efficient from 3-point range (32nd in D-I last season with 38.7%) and climb back to the top of the America East rankings this season.

The Marquette Golden Eagles will look to improve on what many would consider a decent season in 2017-18, finishing 21-14, including 9-9 in Big East conference play to finish in a tie for 6th. The Golden Eagles received the #7 seed in the Big East tournament, defeating DePaul before falling to Villanova in the quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles were invited to the NIT, defeating Harvard and Oregon before losing to Penn State in the quarterfinals. Markus Howard and Sam Hauser are back after combining for 34.5 points per game last season while also adding former Fordham guard Joseph Chartouny who averaged 12.2 points and 3.3 steals per game for the Rams last season. Marquette expects to be back at the NCAA tournament come March, and coach Steve Wojciechowski has all the pieces to get them there, but the question is can all the pieces fit together?

UMBC is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 road games. Marquette is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall while the over is 9-3 in their last 12 games overall. 

The Retrievers were solid last season, and if they can keep hitting the 3-pointer like they did last season, they'll be one to watch this season again. However, I need to see that UMBC can fill the void left by Lyles and Maura before putting any confidence in UMBC. Marquette brings back their top guys in Howard and Hauser and the addition of Chartouny can only help matters, so while the line is steep for opening night, I'll lay the points with Marquette here.

Pick:
Marquette -18

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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