OVC Championship Odds: Will Murray State Cruise Into NCAA Tournament?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 5, 2022 - Last Updated on March 7, 2022
Murray State Morehead State

Within Saturday’s college basketball schedule, No. 22 Murray State – Morehead State will battle for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for this matchup. You’ll even find a promo offer for No. 4 Duke vs. North Carolina.

Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect the biggest games of the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

Murray State Racers vs. Morehead State Eagles

Although the Racers have already secured its NCAA tournament odds, the Eagles will need to earn an automatic bid to receive a ticket into the dance. That would require an outright victory in the OVC title game and knocking off Murray State for the first time in the 2021-22 campaign.

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Racing Towards The Glass

In both Murray State – Morehead State meetings this season, Matt McMahon’s bunch generated at least 12 offensive rebounds. Keep in mind, Racers are generating the 12th-highest offensive rebounding rate in the country — with the 6-foot-10 K.J. Williams leading the way.

It’s been an area of concern for the Eagles throughout the campaign, yet they present the length to limit those opportunities if they deliver a better effort on the boards. Morehead State’s Johni Broome, who’s accruing the 22nd-highest individual defensive rebounding percentage across Division I, must stay out of foul trouble to accomplish that.

Should Murray State control the glass overall, it would likely expose Preston Spradlin’s struggling transition defense.

Use The Broome

At the other end, the Eagles showcase the OVC’s most frequent post-up usage (via ShotQuality). They’re also the second-most efficient unit at doing so, running their action through the 6-foot-10 Broome. McMahon’s frontcourt struggles to defend that area, and Broome did his fair share of damage in both meetings.

If he provides a similar result in the third Murray State – Morehead State contest, the against the spread (ATS) result should boil down to Spradlin’s perimeter attack.

Despite the Racers surrendering the 21st-lowest 3-point clip (29.8%), they’ve still allowed efficient off-the-dribble looks from behind the arc in conference play. Meanwhile, the Eagles are manufacturing the 86th-highest 3-point scoring rate.

Their ability to play through Broome will open up clean looks from distance for Tray Hollowell & Co. Keep an eye out for their turnover issues, though, which would also aid Murray State’s transition game.

Murray State – Morehead State Betting Pick

The Eagles are playing for a third consecutive day, so tired legs could be a concern in the second half. Nevertheless, I’m willing to back the underdog because of their offensive mismatches while playing with desperation.

Best Available Line: Morehead State
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets:

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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