Tennessee State vs Western Illinois Prediction College Basketball Picks 3/7/24

Western Illinois (20-11) vs Tennessee State (17-14)

Game Info: Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 7:30 pm (Ford Center)

Betting Odds: Western Illinois -2.5 -- Over/Under: 134.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Tennessee State Tigers and the Western Illinois Leathernecks meet in college basketball action from the Ford Center on Thursday night. Who comes out and advances from this OVC Tournament Quarterfinal matchup? Let’s dive in and find out with our Tennessee State vs. Western Illinois Prediction.

Tennessee State Team Preview

The Tennessee State Tigers come into this game looking to build on a 78-64 win over Southern Indiana last time out. EJ Bellinger led the Tigers in scoring with 17 points on 5 of 10 shooting with 6 rebounds and a pair of steals while Christian Brown has 16 points with a 9 of 12 mark from the foul line along with a team-high 7 rebounds. Michael Shanks added 13 points off of the bench while Kinyon Hodges chipped in 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting with a team-high 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a pair of steals to finish off the scoring in double figures for Tennessee State in the win. Marcus Fitzgerald Jr. added 7 points with 3 assists and 3 steals as well in the victory.

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Western Illinois Team Preview

The Western Illinois Leathernecks come into the conference tournament as the 4-seed, finishing the year with a 20-11 overall record including a 13-5 record in OVC conference record. Ryan Myers leads the Leathernecks in scoring with 13.4 PPG while James Dent Jr. has 11.4 PPG with 3.9 RPG as the only other double-digit scorer for Western Illinois up to this point in the year. Jesiah West has 9.6 PPG with 5.9 RPG and a team-high 2.4 APG while Drew Cisse has 8.6 PPG with a team-high 11.1 RPG to lead the Leathernecks on the glass as well as 2.4 APG of his own. As a team, Western Illinois is averaging 69.5 PPG on 43.3% shooting from the field, 32.8% from three and 61.8% from the foul line this season.

Tennessee State vs. Western Illinois Prediction

I’m leaning towards Tennessee State here. Western Illinois has the better defensive percentages on the floor, but the Tigers’ defense is no pushover either and both of these teams have been relatively inefficient on offense. The one difference is that Western Illinois struggles mightily at the free throw line, ranking bottom 5 in the country, while Tennessee State is top-35 at the free throw line. If this game comes down to pressure shots late, I want the team that’s going to be able to hit their free throws when the clock is stopped and tension is high and we’re getting a free bucket with them as well. Not to mention Tennessee State’s already had a game to knock off any rust. Give me the Tigers and the points.

Chris’s Pick Tennessee State +2.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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