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Odds Picks and Predictions for OVC Title Game

KJ Williams (0)

Murray State forward KJ Williams (0) and guard Carter Collins (13) celebrate after they defeated Tennessee-Martin in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in Martin, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

  • No. 22 Murray State is an x-point favorite over Morehead State in the OVC title game Saturday
  • Morehead State is the defending OVC tournament champion
  • Read below for analysis and a betting prediction

No. 22 Murray State (29-2) is an x-point favorite over Morehead State in the Ohio Valley Tournament championship game at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., at 8:30 pm ET Saturday on ESPN2. The Racers have won 19 straight games, the longest winning streak in Division I.

Morehead State (23-10) eliminated Belmont from the OVC tournament for a second straight season with a 53-51 victory in the semifinals Friday to set up a third meeting with Murray State. The Racers won the two regular-season games for a total of 15 points, covering both.

Murray State vs. Morehead State Odds

Team money line Spread Total
Murray State Racers -320 -8 (-110) Over 128.5 (-110)
Morehead State +260 +8 (-110) Under 128.5 (-110)

odds from Fan Duel Sportsbook on March 4.

Murray State is an x-point favorite over Morehead State in the Ohio Valley championship game with the total set at xxx.x. Murray State is -xxx on the moneyline, which means the Racers have a xx.x% implied win probability. Morehead State is +xxx on the moneyline, meaning the Eagles have a xx.x% implied win probability.

Murray State Safe, Morehead Needs To Win

No. 22 Murray State will make the NCAA Tournament whether beats Morehead State or not, although finishing the conference season a perfect 20-0 should provide all the motivation necessary.

The Racers’ resume is too loaded to ignore — a Division I-keading 29 victories, and 19 straight since a 71-58 loss at Auburn on Dec. 22. Murray State could find itself in the middle of the pack when the NCAA Tournament Odds are posted.

The OVC was a two-bid league in Morant’s senior season in 2019, but Morehead State’s NCAA NET Ranking of 118 is too low to merit consideration.

Murray State has won a league-record 17 tournaments, but this would be its last. The Racers are moving to Missouri Valley Conference next season, and it will be interesting to see where they are seeded in the projected NCAA Tournament bracket.

Racers Stay Together

Murray State is an anomaly — it has used the same starting lineup in all 31 games. The Racers, who have recent a tradition of quality point guards in NBA first-round draftees Cameron Payne and Ja Morant, are led by big man 6’10 KJ Williams.

Williams is averaging 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 54.7 percent from the field. A strong guard corps includes starters 6’5 Tevin Brown (16.7 points. 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists) and 6′ Justice Hill (12.9 points, 5.1 assists) and reserve South Carolina transfer 6’2 Trae Hannibal (9.0 points,. 4.9 rebounds ).

Brown had a 29/10 double-double and Brown had 26 points and six rebounds in the never-in-doubt 88-74 victory over Southeast Missouri The Racers opened on a 17-1 run and led 51-31 at half as they await the March Madness Regional odds.

Brown had three 3-pointers Friday and has OVC career-record 345 threes.

Morehead State, Broome Sweep Out Belmont

Morehead State center 6’10 Johni Broome did it again. Broome hit a short jumper in the lane for the final basket in the 53-51 victory, and he blocked two shots in the final 90 seconds, the last on Nick Muszynski’s desperation 3-pointer from the top of the key with one second remaining.

Broome had 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots after getting 27 points and 12 rebounds in the Eagles’ 86-71 victory over No. 1 seed Belmont in the 2021 league title game. He was the 2021 tournament MVP. Broome, a second-year freshman, is third in Division I in blocked shots (129) and blocked shots per game (3.91).

In an ironic twist Friday, Belmont called a timeout with 7.5 seconds remaining, a split-second before Ben Sheppard released (and made) a 3-pointer from the right wing.

Murray State vs Morehead State H2H Results

Murray State won and covered their two regular-season games against Morehead this season, continuing a trend. The Racers are 7-2 straight up and 6-3 ATS in the last and 14-4 straight up and 12-6 ATS since 2012. The teams met in the OVC tournament in 2015-17, the Racers winning and covering twice.

The teams met in the OVC tournament in 2015-17. Murray State won the first and third game, and the winner covered in all three.

Betting Trends

Murray State may have the best win-loss record in Division I, but the oddsmakers have been wise from the start. The Racers are 5-7-1 ATS while winning their last 13 games after failing to cover the 14.5-point number against Southeast Missouri on Friday. Morehead State is 4-3 straight, 3-4 ATS in its last seven.

The Eagles were a 3-point underdog when Murray State posted a 57-53 victory at Morehead on Feb. 12. The Racers won at home 77-66 on Jan. 29. The game has gone under the total in seven of Murray State’s last nine.

Murray State vs Morehead State Prediction

The oddsmakers have caught up to both these teams recently, but Murray State is the play here. Take the Racers to win (and cover) to finish 20-0 in the OVC.

The pick: Murray State -8 (-110)

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Jack Magruder

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