College Basketball Picks

Marquette vs Western Kentucky Prediction Basketball Picks 3-22-24

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (22-11) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (25-9)
March 22, 2024 2:00 pm EDT
The Line: Marquette Golden Eagles -14; Over/Under: +159.5
(Get latest betting odds)

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Marquette Golden Eagles meet Friday in NCAA Tournament First Round college basketball action from Gainbridge Fieldhouse. We will look at this from a betting perspective and determine the best bets for the game. Here’s a Yale vs Auburn prediction. We will examine:

  • The Western Kentucky recent form and player performance
  • The Marquette recent form and player performance
  • Recent betting trends and streaks involving Western Kentucky
  • Recent betting trends and streaks involving Marquette
  • Recent betting trends in games played between Western Kentucky and Marquette
  • A summary that ties it all together and produces a favorable betting outcome for the Western Kentucky vs Marquette game

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Betting Preview

The Hilltoppers had a nice five-game win streak going in February, but didn’t finish off the regular season well. Western Kentucky hit a four-game losing streak to end the schedule, but then took out New Mexico State, Middle Tennessee and UTEP in the conference tournament.

In the UTEP matchup back on Saturday, the Hilltoppers came out of the break with a 40-36 edge. Western Kentucky hit a 38-35 run the rest of the way for a 78-71 win in the end. Leading team scorer Don McHenry was the top performer on 25 points, five rebounds and four steals.

Marquette Golden Eagles Betting Preview

Over on the Marquette side, they’re a tepid 6-4 over their last ten outings. That said, the Golden Eagles haven’t lost to an unranked team—or a team not named UConn or Creighton—since January 10. Marquette beat Villanova and Providence in the tournament before falling to the Huskies.

Matched up against UConn on Saturday, the Golden Eagles weren’t able to do much damage. Marquette kept the pace pretty well in the first half, but was then outscored 47-33 the rest of the way for a 73-57 loss. Kam Jones managed a team-high 13 points with eight boards in the defeat.

Marquette Golden Eagles Team Facts

  • Marquette has won each of its last 14 games against non-AP-ranked opponents.
  • Each of Marquette’s last 13 games at a neutral venue have produced a total of 153 or fewer points.
  • Marquette has lost the first half in seven of its last eight NCAA Tournament games against a lower seed.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Team Facts

  • Western Kentucky has lost each of its last seven games against AP-ranked opponents.
  • Each of Western Kentucky’s last 10 Friday games against non-Conference opponents have produced a total of 152 or fewer points.
  • Western Kentucky has won the first half in each of its last six games played at neutral venues.

Matchup/League Facts

  • Marquette ranks T16th among Division 1 teams for field goals made per game this season (29.6).
  • Marquette ranks T17th among Division 1 teams for opponent turnovers per game this season (15.1).
  • Western Kentucky ranks 1st among Division 1 teams for pace this season (75.7).
  • Western Kentucky ranks 20th among Division 1 teams for rebounds per game this season (39.8).

Western Kentucky vs Marquette Prediction

I’ll lean toward Marquette here. The Golden Eagles had the misfortune of running into UConn in their last game, and were only able to post 38.9 percent shooting from the field. Marquette didn’t rebound too badly (32) though, and hit 9-of-11 from the line. The Eagles had scored 71 or more points in three consecutive games prior to that loss and should hit a pretty solid total here as well. Marquette is a big favorite in this one, and if they go though, the Golden Eagles will meet Colorado or Florida.

As for Western Kentucky, I expect them to put up a pretty good fight on Friday. The Hilltoppers didn’t shoot well from outside (18.8 percent) versus UTEP and had 16 turnovers in their last game though, so there’s plenty to improve on. WKU hasn’t finished below 70 points since way back on December 16, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a shootout here. Should be a fun one to watch.

Andrew's Free Pick: Marquette Golden Eagles -14

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Andrew has been writing about college, professional and fantasy sports betting since 2013. Andrew's goal is to break down the complicated numbers and trends into a language that's easily accessible to novice sports bettors and seasoned professionals alike.

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