Top College Basketball Picks and Predictions Today (Back Marquette, Providence and More on Thursday)

Marquette takes on Creighton in the Big East Tournament.
Marquette takes on Creighton in the Big East Tournament. / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Conference tournament week has yet to disappoint, and we've got a ton of games to watch on Thursday afternoon and night.

Here are some of the BetSided editors favorite picks for the action on Thursday, with all odds via WynnBET:

Northwestern vs. Iowa Prediction and Pick

I think we may be getting a little value on the Hawkeyes at -9, as they are just a far superior team to the Wildcats this season. 

Iowa ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency at KenPom, and the Hawkeyes are the best team in the conference in terms of turnover percentage on both the offensive and defensive end. 

That could spell trouble for Northwestern, who is a solid defensive team, but ranks dead last in the conference in effective field goal percentage. The Hawkeyes’ offense was simply too much for the Wildcats in their last meeting, and I’d expect more of the same on Thursday. 

This line has soared from Iowa -7.5 to Iowa -9, but it makes sense considering the Hawkeyes are top 100 in the country in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, points per game and effective field goal percentage. Iowa is also 19-12 against the spread this season, covering in nine of its 13 games it was favored by more than nine points. 

Lean: Iowa -9 (-110) -- Peter Dewey

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.

West Virginia vs. Kansas Prediction and Pick

The Mountaineers and Bob Huggins are known for their aggressive, pressing defense, but that hasn't always translated to lower-scoring games this year. "Press Virginia" has actually gone 19-13-0 in OVERS this season, hitting the UNDER at just a 41.6% clip.

Today, however, I believe the under to be the right side.

Both West Virginia and Kansas have very good defenses, with KU coming in as the 32nd ranked KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency team in the country. WVU follows at 58th in the country overall.

However, to me, this is less about the Mountaineers' defense and more about how KU can stop West Virginia from getting going.

West Virginia ranks fourth in the Big 12 in three point shooting percentage at 33.3%. Kansas is best in the league in limiting threes; with opposing schools shooting just 27.5% against them this year. The Jayhawks have also been sensational at limiting teams to quality shots, ranking 50th in the country in opponent effective field goal percentage. The Mountaineers have struggled all season with looks inside the arc, and that trend should continue to day, limiting their ability to get easy looks and drive inside.

The Mountaineers went 4-18 and 3-11 in their two games vs. the Jayhawks this season for a combined 3-point percentage of 24.1%. When you can't make shots from anywhere on the court, your already doomed against this KU game.

I'll back the under in West Virginia's short turnaround from last night.

PICK: UNDER 146.5 (-110) -- Ben Heisler

Follow all of Ben Heisler's betting plays in real-time HERE.

Marquette vs. Creighton Prediction and Pick

While Creighton has the best defense in the conference, it doesn't have much else to offer. The Bluejays are 9th in the Big East in offensive efficiency, 9th in three-point percentage and last in turnover percentage. The Jays just don't have the offense to keep up with Marquette.

The Golden Eagles, as every Shaka Smart team becomes, is a solid defensive team and is just as good on the other side of the ball. Marquette is fourth in the conference in offensive and defensive efficiency. It is also first or second in 3-point percentage, 2-point percentage, effective field goal percentage and free throw percentage.

Marquette is an all-around team that has the shooting numbers that allow me to trust them when the game gets late. Marquette has lost to Creighton twice this season, but those losses were in double overtime and by one point. Today will be a different story.

Lean: Marquette -2.5 (-110) -- Donnavan Smoot

You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.

Butler vs. Providence Prediction and Pick

I faded Butler yesterday against Xavier, and it looked like a winning bet until Xavier decided to miss all of their free throws at the end of the game which allowed the Bulldogs to tie it up and force overtime. I see no reason to not try to fade Butler once again today, especially against a better team in Providence.

Butler ranks 289th in the country in effective field goal percentage, whereas Providence ranks 117th. The Friars also have a significant advantage on defense, ranking 86th in defensive efficiency compared to Butler at 218th.

It may be hard for Butler to get up for this game, after an emotional overtime victory yesterday. I have no problem laying the points with Providence, who continues to be an underrated team.

Pick: Providence -7.5 -- Ian MacMillan

Check out Iain's full 2022 betting record here.