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Last Updated Dec 26, 2021, 23:45 PM

Murray State Racers vs. Auburn Tigers Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 22, 2021
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert
VegasInsider.com

The Murray State Racers (10-1) of the Ohio Valley Conference take on the Auburn Tigers (10-1) of the SEC on Wednesday at Auburn Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on the SEC Network.

Score Prediction

Auburn 82, Murray State 73

Best Bets

Murray State +12.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Over 145.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Murray State Racers vs. Auburn Tigers Predictions

Over the years the Racers of the OVC have been an exciting mid-major program which has made some occasional noise in the NCAA Tournament. Most basketball fans know of Popeye Jones, Cameron Payne and Ja Morant, a few of the most famous and prosperous players to make it to the NBA from Murray. Tevin Brown and K.J. Williams might be ready to add their names to that list. They can really make a name for themselves with an upset victory over a ranked team, especially with more eyes on them with more and more big-time games getting postponed or canceled.

Bruce Pearl's Tigers aren't going to go quietly into the night, however. This is as Top 15 team, and they're just one double-overtime loss against Connecticut on a neutral floor away from being unbeaten. That 115-109 loss in The Bahamas was not the only black cloud on the season, however, as the men's basketball program was placed on four years' probation. Pearl was also suspended for two games after admitting he did not adequately monitor former assistant coach Chuck Person and did not promote an atmosphere of compliance with the NCAA. You might remember Pearl was given a three-year show-cause penalty in 2011 after reportedly misleading investigators about impermissible contact with recruits at Tennessee. I personally find it easy to cheer against Pearl, as he is a snake oil salesman, and shady. But that's neither here nor there, and not why we're discussing this game. Who will win, and who is the most talented team?

The answer to those questions above is clearly Auburn, as they're deeper and they have the better size. And, to make matters worse for the Racers, G Allen Flanigan might be ready to debut against Murray State after recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon. He has been practicing in full with the team, and if and when he does return, his minutes will be carefully limited. That could be in this one.

Murray State Racers vs. Auburn Tigers Betting Odds

  • Murray State +650
  • Auburn -1000
  • Murray State +12.5 (-110)
  • Auburn -12.5 (-110)
  • Over 145.5 (-110)
  • Under 145.5 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

Murray State Racers vs. Auburn Tigers Betting Resources

  • Matchup: OVC vs. SEC
  • Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
  • Venue: Auburn Arena
  • Location: Auburn, Alabama
  • TV-Time: SECN - 6:00 p.m. ET

Murray State Racers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 10-1
  • ATS: 6-2
  • O/U: 4-4

The Racers have rattled off seven consecutive victories since their only setback against East Tennessee State on a neutral floor back on Nov. 22 at the Moe Kent Family Fieldhouse in Naples, Fla. Murray State has covered four of the past five games with a spread, too, including a 74-72 outright win at Memphis on Dec. 10, an 87-76 win over a very good Chattanooga mid-major team, and victories over Middle Tennessee and James Madison which will ultimately look good at the end of the season.

Murray State had three consecutive UNDER results from Nov. 22-24 in a three-game, three-day span on a neutral-floor tournament setting. It has hit the OVER in each of the past three, including the upset win at Memphis as a 10-point underdog.

Auburn Tigers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 10-1
  • ATS: 7-4
  • O/U: 6-5

We mentioned the Pearl situation, and the loss to Connecticut above. Let's talk about some good things. This team has some nice victories over recent NCAA Tournament darling Loyola-Illinois, as well as a convincing 21-point win on a neutral floor over a sharpshooting Syracuse side. Don't overlook wins against UL Monroe, UCF and Yale, either, as well as a road victory at St. Louis last time out, although the Tigers did fail to cover a 5.5-point number in the 74-70 win. In fact, the Tigers are 0-2 ATS in the past two after a 5-0 ATS run. The offense has had a bit of a power outage against the likes of North Alabama and SLU, although the defense more than was able to shine through.

Auburn has posted an impressive 8-3-1 ATS mark in the past 12 games as a favorite, while going 7-1 ATS in the past eight as a home fave. They're also 8-2 ATS in the past 10 game at Auburn Arena, while going 4-0 ATS in the past four at home against teams with a winning home mark. While that's all well and good, facing a good Racers team is going to be the biggest challenge to date.

Inside the Stats - Murray State Racers

  • Record: 10-1
  • VI Ranking: 48
  • PS/G: 86.0 (6th)
  • PA/G: 65.1 (107th)
  • ORtg: 119.3 (4th)
  • DRtg: 90.3 (70th)

Inside the Stats - Auburn Tigers

  • Record: 10-1
  • VI Ranking: 13
  • PS/G: 82.0 (20th)
  • PA/G: 65.5 (112th)
  • ORtg: 111.2 (45th)
  • DRtg: 88.9 (52nd)

Key Players to Watch

  • MURR: Tevin Brown - G (19.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.4 SPG)
  • MURR: K.J. Williams - F (16.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 55.5 FG%, 30.6 3P%)
  • AUB: K.D. Johnson - G (13.7 PPG, 2.2 SPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.3 APG)
  • AUB: Jabari Smith - F (16.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.7 SPG)

Murray State Racers vs. Auburn Tigers Betting Conclusion

I don't think Murray State is going to pull off the upset like they did at Memphis a couple of weeks ago. The Racers picked off the Tigers, who were slumping at the time. This particular group of Tigers haven't covered in the past two, yes, but they're not losing games on the regular like Memphis. Auburn is going to win, the only matter is by how much?

I think as long as Brown and Williams can remain out of foul trouble, they have the chance to be a real thorn in the side of the Tigers. And if Flanigan plays for Auburn, will his inclusion upset the chemistry of a team which has won 10 of the first 11 games without him? Where does he fit in, exactly? I am sure Pearl will fold him in nicely, and it's always nice to get another scorer and fierce defender. It's quite a nice problem to have, as Auburn will have an embarrassment of riches when he is finally back up to speed. I think Murray is able to hang around in this one, however, as Auburn gets its biggest test since the UConn game. They didn't fare well against Adama Sanogo, a kid with good size for the Huskies. Murray doesn't have quite the same size to create matchup problems, but the Racers have a chip on their shoulder, always having to prove themselves as the little guy. They're going to put a scare into the ranked Tigers before the home side pulls away for a solid win. Murray will hang on for the cover, however.

Murray State Racers vs. Auburn Tigers Betting Trends

  • Murray State is 4-1 ATS in the past five games overall.
  • Auburn is 5-2 ATS in the past seven games overall.
  • Auburn is 8-2 ATS in the past 10 games at home.
  • Auburn is 8-3-1 ATS in the past 12 games as a favorite.
  • Auburn is 7-1 ATS in the past eight as a home favorite.
  • The UNDER is 29-14-2 in the past 45 games for Murray State.
  • The OVER is 6-1 in the past seven home games for Auburn.


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