Murray State Racers vs. Houston Cougars - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Houston Cougars (17-16) at Murray State Racers (23-11)
College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm (CFSB Center)
The Line: Murray State Racers -9.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The AAC and OVC collide when the Houston Cougars and Murray State Racers open the season.
The Houston Cougars were never a factor in the AAC a season ago and the hiring of Kelvin Sampson probably won't have a huge impact given the amount of talent that was lost. Sampson has had a successful coaching career but he lost some key players that would hve given the Cougars a cpmpetitive roster. The biggest loss was TaShawn Thomas who transferred to Oklahoma after leading Houston with 15 points and eight rebounds while Danuel House takes 13 points to Texas A&M and was probably the best defender on the team. Sampson does have some experience in Jherrod Stiggers at eleven points and LJ Rose at nine points with both needing to increase production with too many unknowns around them.
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The Murray State Racers were a top 20 team a few short seasons ago with that talent gone today but the Racers have done a nice job of rebuilding on the fly and have one of the top teams in the OVC West with an abundance of experienced talent coming back. Murray went 13-3 in the Ohio Valley and won 23 games overall and there is nothing that says this team won't win another 20+ games and make a run in the Big Dance. The Racers get back their top four scorers from a season ago with guard Cameron Payne averaging nearly 17 points as a freshman. Second Team All OVC forward Jarvis Williams was 2nd in scoring at 15 points and tops in rebounding at nearly ten per contest. Expect former Clemson guard TJ Sapp to see an increased role and watch a rather smallish team outscore and out hustle the competition.
The Cougars are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Murray State is 16-5-2 ATS in their last 23 home games and 18-6-2 ATS in their last 26 games overall while going 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Fri. games. The Racers are one of the top teams in the Ohio Valley while Houstonhas some potental in the AAC but are probably not a top four squad. This is probably too many points here but with Rose out I'll take a shot at potential for now...