Marquette vs NC State Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2024

The NC State Wolfpack will look to keep their magical March run going when they take on No. 2 seed Marquette in the Sweet 16 on Friday night at American Airlines Center.

After winning five games in five days to secure the ACC Tournament title, the Wolfpack dispatched Texas Tech and Oakland to become the only double-digit seed (11) to make the second weekend of this year’s tournament.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles breezed past Western Kentucky and outlasted Colorado, boosted by the return to the lineup of Second Team All-American guard Tyler Kolek.

To prepare for this intriguing contest, let’s take a look at the latest Marquette vs NC State odds and pick out my best bets.

Marquette vs NC State Odds

Sportsbooks have found a consensus with their NCAAB odds for this matchup, making Marquette a 6.5-point favorite against the upstart Wolfpack.

That means the Golden Eagles are the third-biggest favorite of the Sweet 16, with only the UConn Huskies (-11.5) and Arizona Wildcats (-7.5) laying more points ahead of their Thursday night matchups against San Diego State and Clemson, respectively.

The Marquette-NC State total is currently sitting around 151 points depending on the book, which falls in line with that matchup between the Wildcats and Tigers as well as the Purdue-Gonzaga showdown.

Marquette vs NC State Prediction

Marquette 83, NC State 79

As much as the nation has fallen in love with this NC State squad over the past two weeks, I’m not sure I see its Cinderella run continuing beyond this point.

However, don’t expect DJ Burns Jr. and Co. to bow out quietly.

Burns should continue to eat down low as he has a significant weight advantage against the Marquette frontcourt, which will allow the Wolfpack to run their offense through the post.

The 6-foot-9, 275-pound senior is a tremendous scorer (20 points per game during the tournament) and an elite passer for his size, giving him the ability to create open looks for his teammates out of double-teams.

The issue for NC State is that it will likely have a hard time on the other end of the floor defending Marquette’s high ball screen offense.

Kolek is one of the top point guards in the country, and he should carve up a Wolfpack unit that ranks 75th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.

Marquette vs NC State Best Bets

Over 151 Points (-110)

bet365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 1.5 Units

This game won’t have a frenetic pace like UNC-Alabama, but much like Marquette’s second-round game against Colorado, I expect both teams to have success scoring the basketball.

Efficiency will be the key to this Over hitting, and I don’t trust either defense to negate the opposition’s strength, making this my best college basketball bet today.

NC State +6.5 (-110) vs Marquette

bet365 Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Underdogs of five points or more in the Sweet 16 have a 36-26 record against the spread since 2005.

After a run of favorites covered the spread in the Round of 32, I’m backing an underdog NC State team that continues defying expectations and doesn’t turn the ball over to keep this game close until the final whistle.


John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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