Marquette, Ohio State Face Off In Carrier Classic

By: Willie Bee | Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
College Basketball Betting Preview
11/9/2012, 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Ohio State -5, O/U 139 ½
(click for latest college basketball odds)
Television: NBC Sports Network

Marquette Golden Eagles: Gone from a squad that went 27-8 last season before bowing out in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament are Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder. The duo combined for nearly 36 points per game, and Crowder led the team in rebounding with 8.4 boards per game. Those are big holes for head coach Buzz Williams to fill, but the good news is he has a nice mix of experienced upperclassmen along with incoming freshmen and transfers to build from. Some of the scoring is expected to be made up by Trent Lockett, a senior who transfers in from Arizona State, where he averaged at least 13 points and more than five boards per game over the past two seasons. The backcourt should be directed by Junior Cadougan with Vander Blue looking to build off his sophomore campaign. Once Todd Mayo returns from his academic suspension, there's even more depth on the outside. Marquette begins the season as a middling 12/1 pick to with the Big East and 60/1 to win the national championship.

Ohio State Buckeyes: Head coach Thad Matta and the Buckeyes made it to the Final Four last March before falling to Kansas, and as a consensus Top-5 squad going into the 2012-13 season, they're a good bet to once again reach the national semifinals in Atlanta next April. Two of last year's top three scorers, Jared Sullinger and William Buford, are gone. The biggest question going into this campaign is, how will OSU fill the hole in the post left by Sullinger? Amir Williams and Evan Ravenel are expected to team with Sam Thompson and returning junior Deshaun Thomas (15.9 ppg) to help pick up the slack left by Sullinger's departure. Talented point guard Aaron Craft directs the offense once again, and Lenzelle Smith Jr. gives Matta another scoring threat in the backcourt. Eventually, freshman Amedeo Della Valle should become a big part of the backcourt rotation. Ohio State is a 5/1 pick to win the Big Ten and 20/1 to return to the Final Four and win the NCAA title.

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