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NCAA Tournament Betting: Colorado vs. Marquette Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33
NCAA Tournament Betting: Colorado vs. Marquette Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Colorado vs. Marquette Betting Odds

Date and Time: Sunday, March 24th at 12:10 p.m. ET

Spread: Marquette -3.5 (-110)

Total: 146.5

Moneyline:

  • Colorado: +136
  • Marquette: -163

Colorado vs. Marquette Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Colorado Buffaloes

  • numberFire Ranking: 23rd
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 27th
  • KenPom Ranking: 24th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 42nd
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 25th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 165th

Marquette Golden Eagles

  • numberFire Ranking: 13th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 8th
  • KenPom Ranking: 12th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 19th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 21st
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 91st

Colorado vs. Marquette Best Bet

Marquette -3.5 (-110)

If you watched the first half of the Marquette Golden Eagles game on Friday, it looked like you were watching a 2 seed that had the potential to get bounced in the first round of the tournament.

But if you stuck around to watch the second half, you may understand why I am backing them to cover against the Colorado Buffaloes this Sunday.

After going into the half down by seven points against Western Kentucky, Marquette won the second half by a score of 51-26. Tyler Kolek, the heart and soul of Marquette's offense and defense, had yet to suit up in March prior to this game.

With Kolek's return came a slower-than-normal pace and a bit of offensive rust for the Golden Eagles. After halftime, Marquette showed why they are one of few teams that boast a top-25 offense and defense.

Colorado is a great team, touting a top-50 offense and defense. They managed a 102-100 victory over Florida Friday, but their tournament run may come to a screeching halt tomorrow.

Marquette ranks 89th in three-point rate, but they allow a lot of threes too, with their defense ranking 335th in three-point attempt rate.

But the Buffaloes are not a three-point shooting team. They rank 327th in three-point attempt rate and took just 10 shots from downtown on Friday despite putting up a whopping 102 points.

Marquette, on the other hand, took a towering 36 three-point attempts in their first-round game.

While Colorado's 25th-ranked offense is clearly skilled at scoring, I think Marquette's insistence on shooting threes will ultimately favor the Golden Eagles.

Marquette plays at a faster pace (91st) than the Buffaloes (165th). If they can set the pace on Sunday, I imagine we could see a large discrepancy in three-point attempts from these teams.

And while Colorado has proved they can lose the three-point battle but still win games, Marquette may be too skilled on both ends of the floor for this to happen.

Sloppiness won't win you games. Just ask Wisconsin, who allowed 19 turnovers in Friday's upset loss, including 27 points allowed off turnovers, good for a 17-turnover point discrepancy between them and James Madison.

Marquette is pretty clean-cut, turning the ball over at the 27th-lowest rate and forcing turnovers at the 20th-highest rate. Colorado's numbers aren't as pretty. They rank 249th in turnover rate and force turnovers at a 298th rate.

I think we will see a competitive first half turn into a dominant second half for the clean, connected, and three-point-shooting Golden Eagles, eventually leading to a cover.

Colorado vs. Marquette Prop Bet

Tyler Kolek Over 7.5 Assists (+104)

Averaging 7.8 assists per game, Tyler Kolek is college basketball's assist leader.

He dished out 11 dimes in the first round of the tournament, and I'd look for him to put on another playmaking clinic against Colorado.

Colorado's 42nd-ranked defense is nothing to shake a stick at, but in a game that looks primed to feature a fast pace, I want to side with Kolek.

It doesn't hurt that Marquette's Kam Jones has been on a scorcher as of late, averaging 23.8 points across his last 10 games, including 28 points in the first round.

Kolek's main duty is running Marquette's offense, and he plays like an old-fashioned guard. With Jones taking on a bigger scoring role and shot volume, Kolek's assists numbers will benefit.

In games where he has played more than 20 minutes, Kolek is clearing 7.5 assists at a 53.8% rate. These +104 odds imply just a 49.0% probability.

Kolek played 38 minutes in the first round, a number we should expect him to at least near on Sunday. In six games this season where Kolek has played 38 minutes or more, he is averaging 10.2 dimes and recorded over 7.5 assists in all but one game.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.