The West Region of the 2023 NCAA Tournament features a highly competitive environment, and an appetizing matchup is set for Thursday evening. The No. 7 seed Northwestern Wildcats face the No. 10 Boise State Broncos at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. Northwestern is making its second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, and the Wildcats are 21-11 overall this season. Boise State, representing the Mountain West Conference, is 24-9 overall including wins over San Diego State and Texas A&M.
Caesars Sportsbook lists Northwestern as a 2-point favorite, and tip-off is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 128 in the latest Boise State vs. Northwestern odds. Before making any Northwestern vs. Boise State picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Northwestern vs. Boise State and revealed its coveted picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament 2023. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Boise State vs. Northwestern:
- Boise State vs. Northwestern spread: Northwestern -2
- Boise State vs. Northwestern over/under: 128 points
- Boise State vs. Northwestern money line: Northwestern -135, Boise State +115
- BSU: The Broncos are 2-7-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
- NW: The Wildcats are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
- Boise State vs. Northwestern picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Boise State can cover
Boise State's defense is outstanding as it ranks in the top 15 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, and Boise State has an elite 76.2% defensive rebound rate. Opponents are shooting just 31.0% from 3-point range and 47.8% inside the arc against the Broncos, who allow fewer than 11 assists per game. Boise State is strongly above the national average in free throw prevention, and Northwestern's offense has a clear weakness in shooting.
The Wildcats land outside the top 300 nationally in shooting efficiency, making only 32.1% of 3-point attempts and 36.5% of 2-point attempts. Northwestern is also below-average in free throw creation, and Boise State can take solace in above-average marks in turnover rate (16.7%), 3-point accuracy (36.0%), and free throw accuracy (73.9%) on offense this season.
Why Northwestern can cover
Northwestern is known for its defense, but the Wildcats have a top-tier creator in All-Big Ten guard Boo Buie. He is averaging 17.1 points and 4.5 assists per game this season, and Buie has matched or exceeded 20 points in 13 games. Northwestern's offense is also boosted by ball security, as the Wildcats are in the top five nationally with a 7.0% live-ball turnover rate and near the top of the country with a 14.8% turnover rate overall.
On defense, the Wildcats truly excel, ranking in the top 20 of the country in allowing 62.5 points per game. Northwestern creates havoc on a consistent basis, forcing a turnover on 21.7% of possessions and generating a steal on 12.1% of possessions. The Wildcats also have a tremendous 13.5% block rate, and opponents are shooting only 46.6% on 2-point attempts against Northwestern. When the Wildcats force a missed shot, they also secure nearly 73% of available rebounds on the defensive glass.
How to make Boise State vs. Northwestern picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 133 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 60% of the time. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Northwestern vs. Boise State? And which side of the spread hits over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.