The Belmont Bruins (14-5, 5-1 OVC) travel to Murray State to take on the Racers (13-5, 6-0 OVC) in a matchup that pits sensational offense against superb defense. The game will air on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 23, 2020.
Belmont Bruins vs. Murray State Racers ATS Prediction
In the Bruins’ last matchup, they blew out the Morehead State Eagles, 77-59. The Bruins were 9-11 from the free throw line (81.8 percent) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 38.5 (above their season average of 26.5). Belmont rallied around Nick Muszynski, who was the game’s high scorer with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting.
The Racers were victorious over the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks in their last contest, 96-91. Getting to the free throw line was one of Murray State’s biggest advantages. They had 40 free throw attempts, while Southeast Missouri State had 35. With 22 points and 10 rebounds, Anthony Smith put together a good performance for Murray State.
The game should be a showdown of strength against strength as the high-powered offense of Murray State (25th in the country with an offensive efficiency of 110.9) takes on the stingy defense of Belmont (33rd in the nation with a defensive efficiency of 90.7).
Both teams have had a player take their game to the next level over their last five games. Muszynski (16 points,9.2 rebounds,1.2 blocks) has been stellar for the Bruins while KJ Williams (15 points,7.2 rebounds) has made solid contributions to the Racers.
After splitting two games last season, this will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. In the most recent contest, the Racers won 77-65. The Racers had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (30.6 vs. 14.6) and had a much better free throw rate (0.258 vs. 0.125).
Belmont Bruins at Murray State Racers Pick
Prediction: ATS Winner – Murray State, O/U – Under
Belmont ranks 16th in three pointers attempted per game (28.5) while Murray State ranks 254th (17.8).
The Racers rank fourth in rebounds allowed per game (29.2) while the Bruins rank 189th (36.3).
Murray State ranks 38th in steals allowed per game (5.4) while Belmont ranks 138th (6.8).
The Bruins average 19.0 assists per game, which ranks second in the country. The Racers rank 47th in assists allowed per game (10.8).
Belmont ranks 97th in blocks per game (3.4) while Murray State ranks 139th in blocks allowed per game (3.9).
The Bruins’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 22.6, up from 14.7 for the season.
During their last five games, the Racers have scored an average of 82.8 points per game (5.1 above their season average) and allowed an average of 69.8 points per game (5.3 above their season average).