Marquette vs. Western Kentucky Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Written by: Richard Janvrin
Published March 22, 2024
5 min read
  • Tyler Kolek is slated to suit up for Marquette after missing the Big East Tournament

  • WKU is led by Don McHenry

  • Western Kentucky shot just 3-of-16 from three-point range in the Conference USA Tournament and still won by seven points

On Friday, March 22, we have the second day of the Round of 64 and included in that slate is a No. 2 vs. No. 15 matchup with Marquette taking on Western Kentucky. 

Below, we’ll discuss this matchup and show you five of the best online sports betting sites with welcome bonuses you can earn exclusively through us.

March Madness 2024 Betting Predictions Marquette vs. Western Kentucky

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Marquette vs. Western Kentucky Prediction and Odds 

Marquette 

Finishing the season 25-9 (14-6 in Big East conference play), Marquette lost to UConn in the Big East championship game 73-57. On their way there, Marquette had an overtime thriller against Villanova and beat Providence by double-digit points. 

While they lost the championship game, remember that they did this without Tyler Kolek. He didn’t play in the Big East tournament because he was recovering from an oblique injury. Now, with the NCAA Tournament here, he’s expected to go. 

Marquette has a coach in Shaka Smart, who, you might remember, led VCU to numerous victories in the NCAA Tournament years ago. He’s had nine straight first-weekend exits in the NCAA Tournament. 

Four players on this team score double-digit points per game: Kameron Jones, Kolek, Oso Ighodaro, and David Joplin. 

Without Kolek in the lineup, they lost production in the form of 15 points, 4.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Jones leads the team in scoring at 16.8, while Ighodaro leads the team in rebounds, just shy of seven per contest. 

Marquette is a team that can do it all, and their No. 2 South Region seeding shows that. They hold teams to under 96 points per 100 possessions and score in bunches with 118.3 points per 100 possessions. KenPom ranks them as the No. 12 overall team. 

The Golden Eagles excel in shooting percentage from the floor, at 47.8% (26th), and teams have shot 25.6% from beyond the arch over their last three games. 

Western Kentucky

Going 22-11 and 8-8 in Conference USA play, the Hilltoppers won their conference tournament, beating UTEP 78-71. What’s notable about that game is that, as a team, they shot just 3 of 16 from three-point range (18.8%) and still won by seven points. As a team, they typically shoot 34.4% per game on average, which is just 152nd in the country, but it shows that if they did shoot up to that mark, they would’ve obliterated UTEP. 

This team is led by Don McHenry, who is playing his first season in Division I basketball after playing at Indian Hills Community College last season. 

Here, he’s averaged 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists, shooting 46.6% from the floor and 37.1% from deep. 

The Hilltoppers average 79.1 points per game (39th) and 105.6 points per 100 possessions. However, defensively, they allow 102.5 points per 100 possessions. Of the teams in the NCAA Tournament, that’s 15th-worst. 

In addition to being a top 40 scoring team per game, they also crash the boards, averaging 39 per game, which is top 25 in the country. 

Marquette vs. Western Kentucky Pick

Western Kentucky can certainly attack the boards and score in ways other than the three-point shot, but Marquette will be a tough team for them to overcome and beat. 

Marquette has been shutting teams down from beyond the arch, but we must question how healthy Kolek is until we see it. 

Western Kentucky can crash the boards, and they get to the free throw line more often than Marquette. 

The Hilltoppers allow a lot of points per game, but the spread here is a bit too lopsided for our liking. Coming off a win, the Hilltoppers are 13-7 against the spread and 8-3 against the number as an underdog. 

At FanDuel Sportsbook, Marquette is a 14.5-point favorite, and here, we’ll take Western Kentucky +14.5 (-114). If you join FanDuel today, you can bet $5 on this game and earn $200 in bonus bets if your bet wins. Marquette wins this one, but WKU covers. 

Marquette vs. Western Kentucky: How to Watch

  • Teams: Marquette vs. Western Kentucky

  • Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Date: Thursday, March 21 at 2:00 PM ET

  • TV: TBS

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Richard Janvrin

Sports Betting Analyst

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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.
Nationality: American
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