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Marquette vs. Kansas State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet Dependent on Key Wildcats Player

Marquette vs. Kansas State Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet Dependent on Key Wildcats Player article feature image

Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Nijel Pack

  • Marquette goes head-to-head with Kansas State in a Big East-Big 12 battle.
  • Shaka Smart and the Golden Eagles have won three games outright as underdogs this season.
  • Mike Randle breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.

Marquette vs. Kansas State Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 8
9 p.m. ET
Marquette Odds
-110o / -110u
Kansas State Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Two of the bigger surprises in college basketball meet on Wednesday night in Manhattan, Kan., when Kansas State (5-2) hosts Marquette (7-2).

Kansas State is 4-3 against the spread including 2-2 at home. Marquette is 4-5 ATS including 0-1 on the road.

The Wildcats have one of the best home-court advantages in college basketball at the Bramlage Coliseum, “Octagon of Doom.” But will Kansas State have enough to hold off a gritty Marquette team led by enthusiastic head coach Shaka Smart?

Marquette Golden Eagles

Shaka Smart has recreated this Marquette roster in the likeness of his former VCU team that made the Final Four in 2011. The Golden Eagles play at one of the fastest paces in the country, and maintain their high effort throughout the game.

Marquette has three very impressive neutral court wins over Illinois, Ole Miss and West Virginia. They are coming off a tough true road loss at rival Wisconsin, 89-76.

The Golden Eagles’ pressure can disrupt even the most efficient offenses, generating 11 turnovers from reliable Wisconsin at home.

The key to Marquette’s offense is making shots from beyond the arc. In those three key wins, Marquette shot a combined 30 3Ps, while maintaining their solid 53% efficiency from inside the arc.

The big concern with Marquette is their youth. The average experience for the Golden Eagles is just 0.76 years, ranking 354th out of 358 teams, per KenPom. This inexperience led to Marquette ranking ninth of out 11 Big East teams in the preseason conference poll.

Marquette also sacrifices offensive rebounds for defensive pressure, trying to compensate for their lack of experience. Smart’s team is only 275th in offensive rebounding efficiency, limiting second-chance opportunities.

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Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State has been an even bigger surprise after being projected ninth out of 10 teams in the Big 12 preseason poll. The Wildcats have found success based on relentless defensive pressure that has them ranked 10th in effective field goal percentage allowed.

The Wildcats are coming off a fantastic true road win at Wichita State, where they overcame a 20-8 deficit to win, 65-59. Kansas State earned this win despite playing without leading-scorer Nijel Pack (15.8 PPG, 48.6% 3P) who missed this game with a concussion. The Wildcats had four players in double-figures, led by junior Markquis Nowell’s 16 points.

The Wildcats forced Wichita State into 14 turnovers, while stifling the Shockers into shooting just 5-for-23 (21.7%) from 3P.

The issue here is Pack’s health. Teams will often get a boost from the absence of a star player, and the Wildcats played a fantastic game against Wichita State. But can they repeat that performance if Pack does not play again?

Historically, Kansas State has been difficult to beat at home, but that is not true in non-conference December games where the fans are not a huge factor.  In fact, in those exact situations under head coach Bruce Weber, the Wildcats are well-below .500 against the spread.

Marquette vs. Kansas State Betting Pick

This pick in entirely dependent on Pack’s health. If Pack is starting, I would gladly lay the points, on a line that would likely climb to 5.5.

However, if Pack is out again, I’m backing Shaka Smart and Marquette in a nice upset spot during a mid-week nonconference home game. I’m not sure if the Wildcats can reproduce this effort without their leading-scorer.

Pick: Kansas State -3.5 (if Pack starts); Marquette +3.5 (if Pack is ruled out)

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