Battle for Ohio Valley Conference Supremacy: Morehead State at Murray State

Morehead State Eagles AT Murray State Racers
Feb 24, 2011 at 9 PM EST
Opening Line: Murray St. -3.5
Current Line:  Murray St. -4
Opening Total: 125.5
Current Total:  125
Opening Moneyline:  Murr -175 / More +155
Current Moneyline:  Murr -175 / More +155

Murray State is a 4 point favorite over Morehead State

For Ohio Valley Conference fans, it doesn’t get any better than this.  Morehead State and Murray State are currently tied for first place in the Ohio Valley Conference (12-4) and both boast excellent overall records of 21-8 (Morehead) and 21-7 (Murray).  Murray State has won 9 of their last 10 games and have won their last 5 at home.  Morehead State has won their last 9 games and their last 5 on the road, as well.

As could be expected from two teams with nearly identical records playing in the same conference, both have nearly the same point differential as well.  Morehead State is +8.1 and Murray State is +7.7.  The combinative total of their offensive output is 138.2, well above the total set for tonight’s game.  An over bet would be a wise move on this one.

Some betting trends:

Morehead State is 5-0 SU in their last 5 road games and 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 road games against Murray State.  Morehead State is 0-5 SU in their last 5 road games against Murray State.

Murray State is 9-1 SU in their last 10 games and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of Murray State’s last 5 games.  Murray State is 5-0 SU in their last 5 at home and 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against Morehead State.  Murray State is 14-3 SU in their last 17 against Morehead State and Murray State is 5-0 SU in their last 5 home games against Morehead State.

Morehead State is led by the duo of Kenneth Faried and Demonte Harper.  Faried, a 6’8″ senior center, leads the way in scoring with 17.5 points per game and he also grabs 14.2 rebounds a game.  He has had a double double in 25 of Morehead State’s 29 games and they are 1-3 in the four games he failed to get a double double in.  He’s already posted 5 games with 20+ rebounds and he is averaging 14.0 rebounds per game over the last 4 games.  Demonte Harper, a 6’4″ senior guard, averages 15.6 points per game, 3.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds and shoots 39.7% from distance (48 of 121).  He’s been pretty inconsistent, with a high game of 35 and then several gaems in single digits.  This year, his senior year, has been his best so far and he’s playing a career high 33.5 minutes per game this year.

Murray State is led by the trio of Isaiah Canaan, B.J. Jenkins, and Isacc Miles.  The three combine to average 33 a game (47% of Murray State’s total output).  Canaan, a 6’0″ sophomore guard, leads the way in  scoring with 12.2 a game.  He also gets 2.5 assists per game and 2 boards, but his best attribute is his outside shooting.  He shoots 41.1% from three (53 of 129) and has hit at least one three in all but two Murray State games. He’s shot 5 or more threes in 16 of Murray State’s 28 games.  His backcourt mate B.J. Jenkins puts up 10.5 a game, to go with 3.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds.  He, too, is a marksman, hitting 38.6% of his threes (49 of 127).  He’s been very inconsistent, but is capable of big games.  Interestingly, when he scores 20 or more, Murray State is 2-3, so perhaps they might be best not being overly reliant on Jenkins.

Tonight’s game will settle the lead for the Ohio Valley Conference.  Expect both teams to come out focused on taking the lead going into the Conference tournament.

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