Conference USA rivals square off when the No. 3 seed Western Kentucky Hilltoppers take on the fourth-seeded Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the 2021 National Invitation Tournament on Thursday in Frisco, Texas. The Hilltoppers (21-7) rebounded from a third consecutive defeat in the Conference USA Tournament championship game to outlast Saint Mary’s 69-67 in the opening round of the 2021 NIT. Louisiana Tech (22-7), which lost in the semifinals of the C-USA tourney, upset Ole Miss 70-61 to earn a third crack at Western Kentucky. The teams split two regular-season meetings.

Tip-off from the Comerica Center is set for 10 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Hilltoppers as one-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 136 in the latest Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky odds. Before making any Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana Tech picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Louisiana Tech vs. WKU. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for WKU vs. Louisiana Tech:

  • Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky spread: Louisiana Tech +1
  • Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky over-under: 136 points
  • Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky money line: Louisiana Tech +100; Western Kentucky -120
  • LATECH: The Bulldogs are among 20 teams with at least 20 wins in eight of the last nine seasons
  • WKU: The Hilltoppers advanced to the NIT Final Four in 2018

Why Western Kentucky can cover 

Center Charles Bassey is a dominant force for the Hilltoppers and is the only player in the nation over the 11 last seasons to notch four games with at least 20 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. He was only the fourth player in Conference USA history to be awarded both the league’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player in the Year. The junior ranks among the top six players in the country in both rebounds (11.4) and blocked shots (3.1).

A native of Nigeria, Bassey was immense in both matchups vs. the Bulldogs with 24 points and 17 rebounds in a 66-64 victory and 14 and 13 in a 63-58 setback. Senior guard Taveion Hollingsworth averaged 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals vs. Louisiana Tech in January and has scored in double figures in nine of his last 11 games, including 21 points last time out. Western Kentucky has allowed an average of 62.4 points in its last five games.

Why Louisiana Tech can cover

Sophomore forward Isaiah Crawford leads four players averaging between 11.9 and 10.0 points for the Bulldogs. Second-leading scorer Kenneth Lofton Jr. managed only a combined four points in the two matchups against Western Kentucky, but he has scored in double figures in 13 of his last 15 games and tallied a game-high 22 points in the first-round win over Ole Miss. Point guard Amorie Archibald has at least five assists in six straight games.

However, the strength of Louisiana Tech is at the defensive end, where the Bulldogs surrendered an average of 64.7 points. The Bulldogs have not allowed their last 13 opponents to score 70 points and erased a 10-point deficit against Ole Miss by collecting 15 steals while forcing 21 turnovers. Louisiana Tech held Western Kentucky under 36 percent shooting in each matchup, including 2-of-17 from behind the arc in their first meeting.

How to make Louisiana Tech vs. Western Kentucky picks

The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 140 points. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana Tech? And which side of the spread hits over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.

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