Murray State vs. West Virginia Prediction
Will Murray State and West Virginia turn into a defensive struggle Friday afternoon when this 12-5 matchup tips off at 4:00 p.m. ET?
Friday, March 16, 2018
TV: TNT, 4:00 p.m. ET
According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Mountaineers are 10-point favorites to knock off the Racers, while the over/under currently sits at 145.5 at the majority of online sportsbooks.
West Virginia opened as a 10.5-point favorite to beat Murray State but the line has dropped to 10 at the majority of online sportsbooks. The total, meanwhile, sits at 145.5 points now after hitting the board at 146.5.
PUBLIC BETTING INFORMATION
As of Friday morning, 54% of betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Racers to cover the point spread this afternoon. Meanwhile, 55% of the betting tickets are on the under.
There is only one player listed on either team's injury report today and that's Brandon Knapper (knee, out for the year) of West Virginia. Otherwise, these two teams are relatively healthy.
I see some value in Murray State given that both five seeds survived yesterday and historically there's usually a 12-seed that advances to the second round. That said, when you dive into the defensive metrics for both of these teams, I can't pass on the under.
West Virginia presses on 35 percent of its opponents' possessions, which is the most in the Big 12 and fifth-most in the nation. The Mountaineers also force a turnover on 24 percent of their opponents' possessions, which is the fourth highest in Division I and second in the NCAA tournament field. Simply put, they put pressure on teams defensively.
For Murray State, the Racers hold opponents to 30.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc, which is the lowest percentage in the Ohio Valley Conference and eighth-lowest in the country. Points should be at a premium today.
MARCH MADNESS COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREDICTION: MURRAY STATE/WEST VIRGINIA UNDER 145.5