Odds, picks and college basketball predictions for Western Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky (Thursday, November 10)

Odds, picks and college basketball predictions for Western Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky (Thursday, November 10)

Western Kentucky vs Eastern Kentucky odds

The 161st edition of “The Battle of the Bluegrass” will take place Thursday night as the Hilltoppers open their season at EKU at the Alumni Coliseum.

The Colonel began their season with a convincing 137-52 victory over Miami (Ohio)-Middletown on Monday, a win that saw seven different players score in double digits for the Colonel.

Thursday’s game will be more significant than it already is, as EKU is set to highlight the 60 seasons being played at the Alumni Coliseum. The arena is set to undergo a complete renovation after this season.

WKU leads the all-time series (116-44), however, EKU gave the Hackers all they could handle at Diddle Arena pre-season (85-80 in favor of WKU).

Western was selected by USA coaches as the 2nd in the league and holds over 150 places ahead of EKU. But don’t lose sight of the colonel. This is only an easy start to a season with high expectations for the West.

The Hilltoppers brought back four starting players from last season, as well as 70% of their goals, 70% of rebounds and 84% of their shots.

Large portions of those rebounding blocks and bumps came into question when Jamarion Sharp in the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year looked at the transfer gate. Fortunately for Western, the tallest player in Major League Soccer decided to return to Hill.

Dontaie Allen (Kentucky) joined a strong group of returnees, which gave coach Rick Stansbury a household name in Bluegrass.

Emmanuel Acott, who played for Boise State a season ago, is also joining Western and is already making quite a bit of hype after being named to the Preseason All-Conference team along with Sharp and Dayvion McKnight.

Stansbury outperformed expectations during his time at Western, setting an all-time record of 122-73. Unfortunately, that coveted ticket to the Big Dance has always eluded him despite playing in all three conference tournaments.

This year’s team might be the best team Stansbury has ever had, but are the Hilltoppers good enough to take it all the way?

Yes, Eastern Kentucky played an average extension college in its first game, but putting in 137 points is impressive — I don’t care if you play YMCA 15 and under the team.

The colonel dealt with a lot of injuries a season ago, but now they’re back with three starters that could really allow them to make some noise at ASUN if they stay healthy.

EKU also brings in one of the most talented recruiting classes ever, including the first new four-star student to enlist at Leland Walker.

Via the transfer gate, EKU adds Dardan Kapiti, who has become significantly stronger since his time with the FAU Owls and could do very well in the breakout season.

The colonel also adds Isaiah Cozart, who previously played for Western and was recruited by EKU out of high school when he was the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year.

Western Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky Betting Pick

It is likely that both teams will seek to push the pace of this game. The Westerns finished 96th nationally in a season-adjusted tempo, but the Col will be the real driving force.

Hamilton, the head coach of the team, made the rhythm of play one of the pillars of the Colonels’ basketball team. EKU has finished 25th every season when it comes to Adjusted Tempo since taking over.

Pair that with how well both teams score, and that leads me to believe this is going to be a high-scoring issue. And while this is already a rivalry, expect the rivalry to be even closer.

Both teams feature several previous Kentucky Mr. Basketball, and few of them had the chance to play against each other. Of course, they want to win the game, but the bragging rights that come with proving that you’re the best of the bunch only increases the competition.

I’m confident he’ll take the job here at either No. 160 or better.

picking Over 160 or better

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