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Rice vs. Western Kentucky - 2/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (19-7) at Rice Owls (5-21)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Autry Court)

The Line: Rice Owls +11.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3

On Saturday from Tudor Fieldhouse, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Rice Owls will be locking horns in college basketball activity. 

Western Kentucky comes into this matchup at 19-7 on the year. The Hilltoppers have won their last three straight, including Thursday’s win over North Texas in OT. In that one, Western Kentucky’s Taveion Hollingsworth put up 30 points. 

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Rice vs. Western Kentucky - 2/17/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

Tops in scoring for the Hilltoppers this year is Darius Thompson with 14.9 PPG, and Justin Johnson has 14.6 PPG with 9.3 RPG. Also in double-figures for WKU are Hollingsworth (13.8 PPG), Dwight Coleby (11.9 PPG; 8.3 RPG) and Lamonte Bearden (11.0 PPG). 

Over on the Rice side, they’re sitting at 5-21 this season. The Owls have lost their last five straight games, dropping to Marshall on Thursday. In that one, Rice guard Connor Cashaw put up 24 points. 

Cashaw heads up the scoring for Rice on the season with 16.2 PPG  and a team-high 6.8 RPG with 3.0 APG. Also in double-figures for the Owls is Ako Adams with 10.3 PPG and 3.2 APG to his credit. 

The Hilltoppers are 6-2 ATS in the last eight road games and 1-4 ATS in their last five Saturday games. Western Kentucky is also 4-0 in their last four following an ATS win and 4-1 ATS in their last five Saturday games. 

Meanwhile, the Owls are 4-1 ATS in the last five games following a straight-up loss and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six overall. Rice is also 4-1-1 ATS in their last six versus Conference USA and the over is 26-10-1 ATS in their last 37 home games. 

Western Kentucky stumbled out of the gate this year, but since December 19 they've lost just twice. The Hilltoppers have also scored a combined 185 points across their last two games. I think WKU can keep rolling here so I’ll take them to cover.

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