BlueRaiders hit the road after a pair of home victories
MiddleTennessee State is coming off back-to-back home wins over the MississippiRebels and UAB Blazers, which makes them a dangerous road underdog in thisaffair. The Blue Raiders are 12-9 against the spread (ATS) when gettingpoints the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 9-8 in that situation.
Bruins havebeen inconsistent in the early going
Belmont hasalternated wins and losses over its last five games, coming off a 100-66victory over Lipscomb, with senior guard Ian Clark leading the way in scoring aseason-high 30 points. Clark leads a group of four probable starters thataverage double figures in scoring, as he’s pouring in 19.4 points pergame. The Bruins are 0-3 ATS as a favorite this season, but they haven’tdressed up at home at this short of price since at least 1997.
The BlueRaiders landed in the top spot in this year’s Sun Belt Preseason Coaches’ Poll,which wasn’t a big surprise due to returning 10 of their top 12 scorers from aseason ago. Middle Tennessee is getting tremendous production out of itsreserves this season, with the bench outscoring opponents by a dominating304-130 margin through nine games.
Collegebasketball handicappers need to be aware that the Bruins have long been one ofthe best perimeter teams in the national—a theme that has carried over into the2012-13 season. Belmont ranks third in the country in averaging 9.83-pointers per game, while sitting fifth in knocking down 43.6 percent of itsshots from beyond the arc. Thursday’s opponent is capable of defendingthis area, limiting its foes to 29.7 percent shooting from long range thisseason.
Winning onthe road
MiddleTennessee State head coach Kermit Davis has stressed the importance of winningon the road in his 11 years on the sideline, which definitely shined throughlast year, with the program setting a school record with 11 wins away fromhome. The Blue Raiders look awfully attractive at their current price onthe college basketball odds page, considering they’ve covered 13 of their last19 games on the road.
I’m goingto recommend that readers back the Blue Raiders as one of their collegebasketball picks against the spread on Thursday, as their numbers in guardingthe perimeter are absolutely legitimate when looking over their schedule. Belmont is favored solely on the fact that this game is being played at theCurb Event Center, but it won’t be enough.
College Basketball Pick: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders+2 at Pinnacle