The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (4-12, 0-3 CUSA) will attempt to put an end to their seven-game losing streak when they clash against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (9-6, 2-1 CUSA) at Murphy Athletic Center. The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 11, 2020.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders ATS Prediction
In the Hilltoppers’ last matchup, they were defeated by the UAB Blazers, 72-62. UAB’s 0.193 free throw rate was their largest advantage over Western Kentucky, who had a rate of 0.111. The Blazers’ mark was below their season average of 0.217, while the Hilltoppers’ was below their season average of 0.291. Taveion Hollingsworth was the top scorer from either team with 19 points on 8-for-18 shooting.
The Blue Raiders lost to the Marshall Thundering Herd in their last outing, 79-75. Marshall’s free throw rate was their biggest strength over Middle Tennessee. The Thundering Herd had a rate of 0.141 (below their season average of 0.189), while the Blue Raiders posted a mark of 0.082 (below their season average of 0.202). With 18 points and seven rebounds, Donovan Sims put together a solid performance for Middle Tennessee.
After the Hilltoppers won the only contest against the Blue Raiders last season, 71-63, this will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams. Western Kentucky had a much better effective field goal percentage (0.561 vs. 0.406). Middle Tennessee, meanwhile, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (42.9 vs. 17.6).
Middle Tennessee may have trouble getting to the free throw line in this contest. The Blue Raiders rank 264th in the nation with a free throw attempt (FTA) rate of 0.193, while Western Kentucky ranks 25th in FTA rate allowed (0.156). Moreover, the upper-echelon offense of the Hilltoppers ranks 58th in effective field goal percentage (0.535), while the Blue Raiders are 42nd-worst in the country at effective field goal percentage allowed (0.528).
Western Kentucky vs. Middle Tennessee Betting Pick
Prediction: ATS Winner – Middle Tennessee, O/U – Under
Middle Tennessee ranks 69th in three pointers attempted per game (24.6) while Western Kentucky ranks 209th in three pointers allowed per game (24.3).
The Hilltoppers rank 34th in steals allowed per game (5.4) while the Blue Raiders rank 129th (6.9).
Western Kentucky ranks 37th in blocks per game (4.5) while Middle Tennessee ranks 82nd (3.7).
The Blue Raiders rank 80th in assists per game (14.4) while the Hilltoppers rank 121st in assists allowed per game (12.5).
Western Kentucky averages 35.0 rebounds per game, which ranks 169th in the country. Middle Tennessee ranks 191st in rebounds allowed per game (37.2).
The Hilltoppers have been outscored by an average of 3.0 points in their last five games. On the season, Western Kentucky has defeated opponents by an average of 5.0 points.
During their last five games, the Blue Raiders have scored an average of 64.8 points per game (7.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 74.4 points per game (1.4 below their season average).