Our Friday night stop on the college basketball betting schedule finds us in the Ohio Valley Conference as the Murray State Racers head 70 miles east from the Bluegrass State
to the Volunteer State
to take on the Austin Peay Governors.
Dave Aaron Arena is the site for the tip-off a little past 9
PM (ET), and the CBS Sports Network will provide the broadcast between the
longtime rivals. Murray State
started at -4 on the NCAA basketball odds, and that spread is now -3.5. A total has yet to be released, but it should
be close to the number from their game a few weeks ago.
It's the second meeting between the two this season, the
first taking place Jan. 11 on the Racers' home floor. Murray
State notched the 89-67 victory
as 7.5 point chalk. The triumph was the
sixth straight over the Governors for the Racers, and marked their fourth cover
in that span while the final skipped above the 147.5 point total for the fifth
'over' in the last five matchups.
The win gave Murray
State a 77-41 bulge in the series, and
the Racers have cut into the Governors'
27-26 advantage in Clarksville
by winning their last four on this floor.
Friday's Clash Begins
Trip For Racers
Steve Prohm has to guard against complacency setting in on
his Murray State (12-8 straight up, 10-7 against
the spread at sportsbooks) squad right now, especially as the Racers begin a string of three
games on the road. Off to a 7-1 start on
OVC action, they have a 3-game lead in the West Division, and should breeze to
that title or even the regular season crown.
But that cushion could vanish real quick, in part due to the
Racers winning just two of their previous nine contests away from Murray (3-6
ATS). And with a game coming up at current East Division and overall conference
leader Belmont a week from now, there's a real danger of going no better than
1-2 on this trip if they can't get a win Friday in Clarksville.
The Racers are led by Cameron Payne's 14.9 PPG, and the
freshman guard also tops the squad in assists (5.4 apg). Jarvis Williams is one of three more players
averaging double-digits on the offensive end, and is 14th in the country
grabbing 10.2 rebounds a game.
Gov's Ending 3-Game
Homestand On Friday
State is just beginning
its road trip, Austin Peay (9-12 SU, 8-7 ATS) is ending a 3-game
homestand. Dave Loos' lads can get back
to even in the Ohio
Valley standings with a
victory, and the Governors certainly have the offensive firepower to pull it
off thanks to a squad that is top-20 nationally in shooting (48.7%).
The problem, however, has been keeping their opponents from
scoring. Peay is giving up nearly 76
points per game for the season, good enough for the bottom-50 in the country,
though the Governors have tightened that up a bit in conference play (72.7
The first matchup between the Racers and Governors started
with both teams playing tight defense and no points scored until more than two
minutes into the game. It went a bit
back-&-forth after that before Murray
State took control in the
final 6½ minutes of the first stanza and never looked back.
State was able to keep
Austin Peay's big man Chris Horton on the bench in foul trouble in the Jan. 11
meeting, and I look for the 6-8 sophomore to remain on the floor more tonight
to make the difference. I'll ride with
the Governors for my free NCAA basketball pick.
My pick: Austin