Missouri State vs. Murray State Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Missouri Valley Conference First Round

Dec 13, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Murray State Racers guard Rob Perry (2) gives direction
Dec 13, 2023; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Murray State Racers guard Rob Perry (2) gives direction / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament gets started on Thursday afternoon with Murray State and Missouri State tipping off in the afternoon window.

Murray State won the two meetings against Missouri State this season, will the Racers be able to complete a season sweep on Thursday afternoon? The Racers are currently small favorites in this one, here's our full betting preview:

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Missouri State vs. Murray State Odds, Spread and Total

Murray State vs. Missouri State Betting Trends

  • Missouri State is 7-10 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog this season
  • Murray State is 13-17 ATS this season
  • Missouri State has gone OVER in seven of 10 games this season

Missouri State vs. Murray State How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 7th
  • Game Time: 1:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Enterprise Center
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN+
  • Missouri State Record: 16-15
  • Murray State Record: 12-19

Missouri State vs. Murray State Key Players to Watch

Missouri State

Alston Mason: Mason is averaging nearly 18 points per game, but struggled in the road loss at Murray State on February 14th, making only two of his 11 shots, can he bounce back on a neutral floor? Mason will need a big game for the Bears to keep up on Thursday afternoon.

Murray State

Quincy Anderson: The 6'4" senior guard has been the team's dangerous floor spacer all season, shooting about 40% from beyond the arc on nearly five attempts per game. He has cooked Missouri State this season, scoring a combined 34 points in the two meetings.

Missouri State vs. Murray State Prediction and Pick

I'm going to side with Murray State to take care of business in the opening game of the tournament.

Looking at the first two meetings, Murray State shot north of 60% in both from two-point range as the team got whatever it wanted on the inside. Meanwhile, Missouri State's porous offense wasn't able to take advantage of a compact Murray State defense that shuts down the interior, allowing the highest three-point rate in the MVC, as Missouri State is shooting 30% from beyond the arc in conference play.

The Racers are reliant on getting inside, and the Bears' inability to turn over the likes of Anderson or Perry opens up driving lanes for Murray State to get easy buckets.

Meanwhile, Missouri State's inability to cash in from beyond the arc will have the team playing from behind for much of this one. Barring a strong shooting display, Murray State's aggressive defense should prevail. I'd bet Murray State inside of -3.

PICK: Murray State -2.5, play to -3

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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