College Basketball Odds & Picks for Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana Tech: High-Scoring Offenses in Action

College Basketball Odds & Picks for Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana Tech: High-Scoring Offenses in Action article feature image

Steve Roberts/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Western Kentucky.

  • Western Kentucky travels to Louisiana Tech to face the Bulldogs in what is expected to be a high-scoring C-USA affair.
  • The Hilltoppers are coming off of a blowout loss to Kentucky while the Bulldogs have won two straight.
  • Keg breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.

Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana Tech Odds

Saturday, Jan. 1
2 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Western Kentucky Odds
-110o / -110u
Louisiana Tech Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

After its Conference USA opener at Southern Miss on Thursday was canceled due to COVID-19 issues in the Golden Eagles’ program, WKU will now open C-USA play Saturday against Louisiana Tech at Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La.

The Hilltoppers were planning on the trip to Hattiesburg to open league play, but the game was called off Wednesday shortly before the team was slated to depart. Conference USA will explore options to reschedule the game at a later date.

Now WKU will head directly to Louisiana Tech to ring in the new year and league play against the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech boasts a 10-3 record and kicked off league play on Thursday with a blowout 79-56 win over Marshall. The Bulldogs and Hilltoppers have two of the top-five scoring offenses in C-USA in non-conference play. 
This game has all the makings of being an offensive shootout, but is the high total of 146.5 too big of a number for these two teams? And who will come out on top in a matchup of two C-USA powerhouses?

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

In its last game, Western Kentucky filled the space lost by Louisville due to COVID-19 issues and took on the Kentucky Wildcats. Unfortunately, WKU suffered a 95-60 loss at the hands of the Wildcats.

But more important than the result of the game was the injury that 7-foot-5 center Jamarion Sharp suffered at the end of the game. Head coach Rick Stansbury said it might have been a sprained ankle, but no further update has come out regarding Sharp. He should be a full participant in this game, but anything less than that from Sharp could be a huge issue for the Tops.

Western averages 77.2 points per game while shooting 47.0% from the floor. The Hilltoppers are connecting on 32.1% of shots from 3-point land and 70.9% from the charity stripe.

As a unit, Western Kentucky is pulling in 37.5 rebounds per game. However, it is turning it over 14.1 times per contest, and as a unit the Hilltoppers are committing 12.2 fouls every game.

On the defensive end, the Hilltoppers are forcing 16.5 turnovers per contest and drawing 17.2 fouls per game, while currently ranking 318th in the nation in giving up assists with 189 conceded this year. The Tops have been one of the best at limiting opponents from deep, as opposing teams have averaged just 35% from deep against WKU.

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Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

Louisiana Tech is led by Kenneth Lofton Jr. The 6-foot-7, 275-pound forward was third in C-USA through the nonconference portion of the schedule with 18.1 points per game. He ranks first in the conference in rebounding with 10.1 per game and is the only player averaging a double-double in the league.

Lofton was a preseason All-Conference honoree, as well as teammate Isaiah Crawford, but the Bulldogs announced in early December that Crawford would miss the remainder of the 2021-22 season due to injury.

The Bulldogs had two others averaging double-figure scoring in the nonconference schedule: Amorie Archibald at 13.6 points per game and Keaston Willis at 10.7.

When it comes to offense, the Bulldogs are connecting on 47.1% from the floor, which has them ranked 63rd in the nation, while they are 44th in scoring, averaging 77.3 points per game.

The Louisiana Tech defense has limited opponents to just 32.1% on shots from three-point range. Opposing teams have also averaged just 13.8 assists and 35.5 boards per contest, which is 257th and 217th in the country in those defensive categories. The Bulldogs rank 229th in college basketball in points allowed per game, surrendering 70.5 per contest.

Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana Tech Betting Pick

To be completely honest, I cannot believe this total opened where it did. I expect both of these teams to score into the 70s easily and wouldn't be surprised if they find their way into the 90s.

As previously stated, Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech are the two highest-scoring offenses in Conference USA. I have the over at 146.5, and this will be a three-unit bet for me. I  would feel confident in this over as high as 154. But I also want to note that if Sharp is out for Western — as there has been no information on his status — I will be buying out of this bet.

Pick: Over 154 or better

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