Racers vs. Golden Eagles Prediction
One of the more anticipated games of the first round of the NCAA Tournament will happen this afternoon when the fifth-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles take on the 12th-seeded Murray State Racers?
Thursday, March 21, 2019
XL Center at 4:30PM ET
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Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, the Golden Eagles are a 3.5-point favorite on the spread line. The total is set at 149.5 points. As of Thursday morning, 61 percent of public bets are being placed on Murray State. Check out our College Basketball Public Betting Page for up-to-date information.
Racers win 11th straight
Murray State won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on March 9 with a 77-65 win over Belmont in the championship game. The Racers (27-4) pulled away in the second half by outscoring the Bruins 51-34 over the final 20 minutes. Murray State shot 29-of-62 from the floor, 3-of-14 from 3-point distance plus 16-of-22 at the free throw line. Ja Morant paced the Racers with 36 points on 13-of-25 shooting including 1-of-4 from 3-point range plus 9-of-9 at the charity stripe. He also notched seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Tevin Brown accounted for 12 points, nine boards and two assists. Darnell Cowart added 11 points, three dimes and two caroms.
Golden Eagles edged by Pirates
Marquette lost 81-79 versus Seton Hall Friday night in the Big East Tournament in what became a chippy game that included three player ejections. The Golden Eagles were outscored 48-43 in the second half of the defeat. Marquette shot 21-of-59 from the field, 8-of-26 from 3-point range plus 29-of-41 at the free throw line. Sam Hauser led the Golden Eagles with 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting including 4-of-7 from 3-point distance plus 4-of-4 at the free throw line. He added nine rebounds and three assists. Markus Howard scored 21 points despite shooting only 1-of-15 from the floor, connecting on 18-of-24 at the free throw line. Howard was hampered by a wrist injury, but has stated he is good to go for the NCAA Tournament. He also notched four rebounds and four assists. Joey Hauser had 12 points, six boards and two assists. Sacar Anim added 10 points in 15 minutes of action.
College Basketball Betting Trends
The Racers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Murray State is 7-2 ATS in its last nine non-conference games.
The Golden Eagles are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six NCAA Tournament games. Marquette is 1-5 ATS in its last six games overall.
This should be a fantastic game and the Racers have played their toughest opponents well this season but their only win against a top 50 team came against Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. If Howard is healthy, I think Marquette should be in good shape here as it is battle-tested against a much tougher schedule and has a decent enough defense to slow down Morant and company. While the Golden Eagles have been cold lately, they aren't far removed from being one of the hottest teams in the country. Expect a big performance out of Howard and Marquette here.
NCAA DAILY PREDICTION: MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES -3.5