NIT Quarterfinals Betting Picks: Murray State Racers at Old Dominion Monarchs

2015 NIT Quarterfinals
Murray State Racers at #1 Old Dominion Monarchs
Ted Constant Convocation Center – Norfolk,  Virginia
Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Old Dominion -2
Current Line: Old Dominion -1
Opening Total: 138 1/2
Current Total: 139 1/2
Opening Money Line: Old Dominion -115 / Murray State -105
Current Money Line: Old Dominion -120 / Murray State +100

College Football Sportsbook
Old Dominion is a slight favorite against Murray State in the NIT quarterfinals.

The Murray State Racers were denied a spot in the NCAA Tournament despite a 25 game winning streak when they lost on a buzzer beater to Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship Game. The 29-5 Racers had to settle for a berth in the NIT and a #3 seed. Murray State has made it to the quarterfinals against the #1 seed Old Dominion Monarchs who are 26-7. The winner will play the Stanford Cardinal in the semifinals next week at Madison Square Garden. Murray State leads the series 2-1 against Old Dominion. The two teams split a home and home series in 2012 and 2013

Murray State went 16-0 in the OVC. The Racers beat UTEP 81-66 at home in the first round of the NIT and won at Tulsa 83-62 in the second round Monday. Murray State is making their eighth trip to the NIT and made it to the quarters for the first time since 1980. They lost in the first round in each of their last six trips to the NIT.

Old Dominion finished tied for second with UTEP at 13-5 in Conference USA two games behind Louisiana Tech. The Monarchs were upset by Middle Tennessee in the Conference USA quarterfinals. Old Dominion beat Charleston Southern 65-56 in the first round of the NIT and Illinois State 50-49 in the second round Monday. Old Dominion is making their 11th appearance in the NIT and made the semifinals in 2006.

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Murray State is coached by Steve Prohm. The Racers have a home loss to Houston, a road loss to Xavier, neutral site losses to Portland and Valparaiso in a tournament in Nashville and Belmont in the OVC Tournament. The Racers have road wins at Middle Tennessee, Evansville, Southern Illinois, Morehead State, Eastern Illinois, and Tennessee-Martin, neutral site wins over Drake in Nashville and Morehead State, plus home wins over Western Kentucky, Illinois State, Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee-Martin, and Eastern Illinois. Murray State is 15-14-1 ATS and the total is 13-8 this season. Murray State was a 3 point underdog at Tulsa and the total was 143.

Old Dominion is coached by Jeff Jones The Monarchs have neutral site losses to Illinois State in the Virgin Islands, and Middle Tennessee in the C-USA Tournament, road losses to Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, UAB, UTSA, and UTEP. The Monarchs are undefeated at home this season. ODU has won 8 of their last 9 games. Old Dominion has a neutral site win over LSU in the Virgin Islands, home wins over Richmond, VCU, Georgia State, William & Mary, Louisiana Tech, and Western Kentucky, plus a  road win over George Mason. The Monarchs are 16-14 ATS and the total is 7-17 this season. ODU was a 4.5 point favorite against Illinois State and the total was 128.5.

Murray State is outscoring teams 79-68 this season. The Racers are #8 nationally in scoring. Murray State is shooting 48.5% from the field and 39.2% from 3 point range. The Racers are #17 or better nationally in both categories. Murray State makes 69.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40.6% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. MSU averages 37 rebounds and opponents average 30.4 per game. The Racers average 15.6 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 7.2 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.8 assists, 13.1 turnovers, 5.6 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.

Cameron Payne averages 20.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Jarvis Williams averages 15.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. T.J. Sapp averages 12.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Jeffery Moss averages 11.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Five other players average at least 11 minutes a game.

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Old Dominion is outscoring teams 65-57 this season. The Monarchs are #8 in points allowed nationally. ODU is shooting 43.2% from the field and 32.8% from 3 point range. The Monarchs make 66.9% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.9% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. ODU is #46 or better in both categories.  The Monarchs average 36.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.5 per game. ODU is #35 nationally in rebounds allowed. The Monarchs average 13.5 rebounds, 10.8 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 9.6 assists, 13 turnovers, 4.6 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.

Trey Freeman averages 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Aaron Bacote averages 10.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Jonathan Arledge averages 8.8 points and 4.9 rebounds. Richard Ross averages 8.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Ambrose Mosley averages 6.8 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Four other players average at least 10 minutes per game.

Murray State is 4-0 ATS in Wednesday games, 6-0-1 in non-conference games, 7-2 against Conference USA teams, and against teams with winning home records, 8-3-1 in road games, 4-9 after a straight up win, and 1-5 after a cover.

Old Dominion is 6-1 ATS after allowing less than 50 points, 5-1 in Wednesday games, 4-1 against teams with winning road records, 11-4 in non-conference games, 5-2 after a straight up win, 17-8 at home, 3-8 against teams with winning records, and 1-5 after failing to cover.

This is a battle of Murray State’s high octane offense against Old Dominion’s stifling defense. I think Murray state is on a mission after getting snubbed for the NCAA Tournament and I like the Racers to win.

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