March Madness Expert Picks: Murray State vs. Marquette

Round one games for the West Region of the NCAA Tournament will take place on Thursday at the
XL Center in Hartford, CT. The second game of the day will see the #12 seed Murray State Racers
take on the #5 seed Marquette Golden Eagles.

Our series of March Madness Predictions continues as we take a look at this matchup in full detail.

Date/Time/TV: Thur. March 21, 4:30 PM EST, TBS

Vegas Odds March Madness

Spread: Marquette Golden Eagles -4.5 (-110)

Total: 149.5

Game Preview

The Racers closed out the regular season on fire by winning their final nine games in a row. The
strong play carried over into the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, where they would defeat
Belmont by 12 points in the final. For the year, Murray State is 27-4 (19-10 ATS).

The Golden Eagles were solid for much of the regular season, but the team struggled down the
stretch and dropped its last four regular season games. They made it to the semifinals of the Big East
tournament before falling to Seton Hall. Marquette is 24-9 (19-14 ATS) on the season.

Murray State Racers

Murray State’s record of 16-2 in conference play was good enough to tie with Belmont for the
regular season crown. Over the last 10 games overall, the squad is 10-0 (7-3 ATS). The Racers have
only dropped two games since the calendar changed to 2019.

Totals stand at 17-12 on the year with the Over coming in for five of the last seven. Ja Morant is the
biggest offensive threat for Murray State. He’s averaging 24.6 ppg and 10.0 dimes. Shaq Buchanan
chips in with 13.0 ppg and 4.0 boards. Morant led the way versus Belmont with 36 points.

Marquette Golden Eagles

Marquette finished one-game behind 1st place Villanova in the Big East regular season standings.
The team seemed to be in control of the conference before dropping its final four games. For the last
10, the Golden Eagles are 5-5 (4-6 ATS).

Totals have been Under for five of the last seven and lean that way on the year at 12-18-2. Markus
Howard tops the team with averages of 25.0 ppg and 4.0 apg. He’s dealing with a wrist injury and
currently listed as questionable for Thursday. Sam Hauser was the leading scorer last time out with
22 points.

Murray State vs. Marquette March Madness Prediction

The Racers were in the tournament last year and lost to West Virginia in the first-round by a score of
85-68. Marquette last appeared in 2017, falling in the first round to South Carolina by a score of 93-

Murray State gets the nod on offense and defense, and they have the talent to make Marquette
nervous. The status of Howard will be key, so keep an eye on injury reports. An upset wouldn’t stun
us, but we like Murray State plus the points either way.

Murray State Racers vs. Marquette Golden Eagles NCAA Tournament Pick: Murray State +4.5

Christopher Feery

    A freelance writer by trade and lifelong sports fan, Chris got off the fence and entered the world of sports betting content when his home state of New Jersey finally legalized wagering in the summer of 2018. This quickly became his full-time focus, and he absolutely loves sharing information with loyal readers and subscribers. He subscribes to the theory that numbers don't lie, but he also knows they don't always tell the whole story. Chris likes to keep it simple to avoid paralysis by analysis, but he's not shy about digging deep to find the answers he seeks. A two-time nominee and one-time winner of Fantasy Sports Writers Association year-end awards for football content, Chris will gladly discuss fantasy pigskin all year long, as well as anything else to do with the NFL or CFB. While football tops his list, he also has quite the affinity for other fields of play, priding himself on delivering exceptional content with actionable information that provides positive results.

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