Marquette vs. Western Kentucky odds, score prediction: 2024 NCAA Tournament picks, best bets by proven model

Teams looking to make noise in the 2024 NCAA Tournament field clash when the second-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles battle the 15th-seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in a South Region first-round matchup at Indianapolis on Friday. The Golden Eagles (25-9), who finished in a second-place tie with Creighton in the Big East at 14-6, are looking to get past the first weekend of the tournament for the first time since reaching the Elite Eight in 2013. The Hilltoppers (22-11), who placed third in the Conference USA regular-season standings, won the C-USA Tournament championship. Western Kentucky last earned an NCAA Tournament bid in 2013, when they fell to top-seeded Kansas 64-57. Tyler Kolek (oblique) is expected to play for Marquette after missing the past six games.

The game from Gainbridge Fieldhouse will tip off at 2 p.m. ET. WKU is averaging 80.6 points per game, while Marquette averages 78.3. The Golden Eagles are 14.5-point favorites in the latest Western Kentucky vs. Marquette odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 157.5. Before making any Marquette vs. WKU picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model simulates every Div. I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters the 2024 NCAA tournament on a 148-106 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,700 for $100 players. It also has a strong 29-19 (+810) record on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Marquette vs. WKU. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are several college basketball betting lines and trends for WKU vs. Marquette:

  • Western Kentucky vs. Marquette spread: Marquette -14.5
  • Western Kentucky vs. Marquette over/under: 157.5 points
  • Western Kentucky vs. Marquette money line: Western Kentucky +725, Marquette -1199
  • WKU: The Hilltoppers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games
  • MU: The Golden Eagles are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games
  • Western Kentucky vs. Marquette picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why Marquette can cover

Senior forward Oso Ighodaro is nursing a knee injury but is expected to play. He missed the final seven minutes of the Big East championship game, but still finished with eight points, four assists and three rebounds. He poured in 20 points and added three assists and three boards in the semifinal win over Providence. Ighodaro has registered double-figure scoring in seven of the past 10 games, and has four double-doubles on the year. In 33 games, all starts, he is averaging 14 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 blocks and one steal in 32.3 minutes.

Junior David Joplin has reached double-digit scoring in 21 games, including each of the past three. In the loss to UConn in the Big East Final, Joplin scored 12 points, while grabbing six rebounds. He had 12 points, six boards and two blocks in the semifinal win over Providence. In 34 games, all starts, he is averaging 10.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 27.3 minutes. See which team to back at SportsLine. 

Why Western Kentucky can cover

Junior guard Don McHenry has played big during the postseason and is coming off a 25-point and five-rebound performance in the win over UTEP in the Conference USA title game. He had 18 points and four boards in the 85-54 semifinal win over Middle Tennessee. In 33 games, all starts, he is averaging 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and one steal in 27.7 minutes. He is connecting on 46.6% of his field goals, including 37.1% from 3-point range and 85.9% from the free-throw line.

Also helping power the Hilltoppers is senior guard Brandon Newman. He reached double-digit scoring in all three C-USA Tournament games, including 15 points in the title game win over UTEP. For the season, the former Purdue standout has played and started all 33 games, averaging 10.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 26 minutes. See which team to back at SportsLine. 

How to make Western Kentucky vs. Marquette picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 155 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 60% of simulations. You can see the March Madness picks only at SportsLine.

So who wins Marquette vs. WKU, and which side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model on a 148-106 roll on its top-rated college basketball picks, and find out.

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