OVC title game odds favor Belmont
The top two seeds in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament will meet in the finals. No. 1 Belmont defeated Tennessee State 82-73 and No. 2 Murray State defeated Eastern Kentucky 81-73 on Friday night to set the championship matchup between Belmont and Murray State.
Belmont was the more successful team this season with a 24-6 SU and 14-13 ATS record compared to Murray State’s 20-9 SU (11-15 ATS) mark, but Murray State did win their one head-to-head matchup this season 79-74 in Murray State.
Belmont will be playing for its third straight NCAA Tournament bid after winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament in each of the last two seasons.
The Bruins are 25-6 so far on the season, and 14-14 ATS vs. the number. The Racers, meanwhile, are 21-9 and 12-15 ATS. OVER/UNDER bettors have seen Belmont go 14-11 and the Racers go 10-12-1 on the totals.
Watch for the opening odds at Bovada.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
According to new college basketball power rankings here, it's the No. 29-ranked Bruins and the No. 80-rated Racers in this matchup. Computer formulas aimed at predicting NCAAB scores point to a 84-76 win for the Bruins on Saturday.
How They Match Up:
Rebounding is always a key handicapping consideration and Racers is ranked No. 116 in NCAA hoops at 36 per game. Contrast that with Belmont’s No. 263 mark in the paint. When it comes to three-point shooting, Belmont is the No. 11-ranked team in the country at 8.6 per game, while Murray State rates No. 44 at 7.8 per game.
Comparing how these foes stack up statistically, Murray State owns the country's No. 156-rated mark, allowing 68.7 points per game on the highway. Belmont, on the other hand, rates No. 10 in scoring at home.
Murray State won its last outing, an 81-73 result against Eastern Kentucky on March 8. They covered in that game as a 1.5-point underdog. Isaiah Canaan scored 29 points for Murray State on Friday, leading the Racers to an 81-73 win over Eastern Kentucky at Municipal Auditorium.
Last time out for Belmont, they were an 82-73 winner as they battled Tennessee State at home. They failed to cover in the match as a 12-point favorite. Ian Clark went off for 26 points and added 2 rebounds, leading Belmont over Tennessee State, 82-73, on Friday at Municipal Auditorium.