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Kansas State vs. Western Illinois - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Western Illinois Leathernecks (10-17) at Kansas State Wildcats (17-16)

College Basketball: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm (Bramlage Coliseum)

The Line: Kansas State Wildcats -19.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX Sports

The Western Illinois Leathernecks and Kansas State Wildcats open the 2016-17 college basketball season Friday night at the Bramlage Coliseum.

The Western Illinois Leathernecks have won just 18 games the last two seasons and hope to take a leap in the third year under coach Billy Wright. Garret Covington returns after averaging 17.9 points and two assists while Jabari Sandifer averaged 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds. Mike Miklusak grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game and Dalan Ancrum played 122 minutes. Western Illinois gets another year of its top player in Covington, who is easily one of the best guards in the Summit League. That alone makes the Western Illinois Leathernecks a dangerous team this season, especially if they can find some depth along the way. The Western Illinois Leathernecks have lost 10 of their last 11 road games.

Kansas State vs. Western Illinois - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas State Wildcats have won a combined 32 games the last two seasons and hope Bruce Weber can turn things around sooner than later. Wesley Iwundu returns after averaging 11.9 points and 3.7 assists while Dean Wade averaged 9.9 points and 5.1 rebounds. Kamau Stokes dished 2.7 assists per game and D.J. Johnson grabbed 5.2 rebounds per game. Despite losing its top player in Justin Edwards, Kansas State returns five of its top six scorers from last season and has a roster led by five seniors. With Weber on the hot seat, the Kansas State Wildcats have the returning talent to make a run in the Big 12 and push for a possible NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since the 2013-14 season. No excuses this year for KSU. The Kansas State Wildcats have split their last eight home games.

The Leathernecks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Friday games. The Wildcats are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The under is 40-19-1 in Wildcats last 60 non-conference games and the over is 8-2 in Leathernecks last 10 non-conference games.

This is a make or break season for Weber and the talent is there for Kansas State to make a big push this season. I expect the Wildcats to get off to a fast start and blowout subpar teams on their home court. Western Illinois has a great player in Covington but lacks the depth to beat a team such as KSU on the road. I look for the Wildcats to make a statement and get the job done here in a big way.

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Kansas State Wildcats -19.5

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