Murray State vs. Marquette March Madness Prediction: Betting Line & Pick

Murray State NCAA tournament prediction

Getty Murray State guard Ja Morant

The Murray State Racers enter the 2019 NCAA Tournament as one of the most talked about and intriguing teams in the dance. This stems largely from their star point guard and top NBA draft prospect Ja Morant. With Morant running the show, Murray State went on to win the OVC title, knocking off the Belmont Bruins.

Although Murray State is led by their star guard who’s averaging 24.6 points, 10.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds this season, the Racers have a decent core around him as well. The likes of Shaq Buchanan, Tevin Brown and Darnell Cowart all average double-digits in scoring and are capable of stepping up and providing a spark when their number is called. This is big because, in the dance, it’s going to take more than just Morant to get the job done.

The Racers nearly knocked off the SEC champion Auburn Tigers in a road game and reeled off an 11-game winning streak to finish out the year and win their conference title. Now, the 12-seed draws a big matchup against the fifth-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles.

Marquette Golden Eagles Outlook

Marquette is going to be a tough team to beat, specifically thanks to Markus Howard. The Golden Eagles’ talented guard has averaged 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this year. He also has plenty of help from Sam Hauser, who’s posted 14.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

It was an impressive season for Marquette, who finished out the year with a 24-9 record. They are also considered one of the top-30 teams in the country according to their KenPom rating of 27. If not for a late-season stretch in which they lost four straight games and then fell in the second round of the Big East tournament, Marquette could have been an even higher seed than a five.

Updated Betting Line & Odds

*Note: Betting info courtesy of OddsShark

  • Murray State Racers vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (-4.5 at -107)
  • Over/Under 149

Murray State vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Prediction

While Morant will be a tough player to guard for Marquette, when looking at all-around talent on the two rosters, I think the Golden Eagles will be a bit too much to handle. Although the Racers are still a popular pick and have players capable of producing alongside Morant, this is a tough matchup.

If Marquette plays more like the team we saw in the Big East tournament than the one who lost four-straight to end the regular season, then they’ll be a team capable of making a bit of a run. Murray State is very capable of pulling the upset, but I’m rolling with Howard and company to get the job done in a close game.

Prediction: Marquette Golden Eagles 71, Murray State Racers 68

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