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Middle Tennessee vs. Vermont - NIT First Round - 3/13/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Vermont Catamounts (27-7) at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (24-7)

College Basketball: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Murphy Center)

The Line: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders -6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV:

We have some NIT First round action in the Baylor bracket, as the #6 seed Vermont Catamounts take on the #3 seed Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Tuesday in a college basketball matchup. 

The Vermont Catamounts come into the NIT as a #6 seed after finishing with a 27-7 overall record, including a 15-1 conference record which gave Vermont the conference regular season title and the top seed in the America East tournament where the Catamounts took down Maine and Stony Brook before falling to eventual tournament champion UMBC by a final score of 65-62 in the conference title game. The Catamount tested themselves early, narrowly losing by 4 to Kentucky in their season opener before rattling off wins against Bradley, Northern Kentucky, Yale and Richmond with a couple of losses to St. Bonaventure and Marquette thrown into the rest of the conference schedule. Trae Bell-Haynes leads Vermont with an average of 14.9 points and 4 assists per game while Payton Henson leads the Catamounts in rebounding with 5.6 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Vermont is scoring 74.2 points per game on 48.8% shooting from the field, 40.4% from behind the arc and 75.3% from the foul line this season.

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Middle Tennessee vs. Vermont - NIT First Round - 3/13/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders come into this one as the #3 seed after finishing the regular season with a 24-7 overall record, including a 16-2 mark in C-USA play, giving the Blue Raiders the regular season title and the top seed in the conference tournament. However, the Blue Raiders’ stay in the C-USA tournament didn’t last very long as Middle Tennessee lost in their opening matchup with a 71-68 overtime loss in the quarterfinals to Southern Miss. Middle Tennessee did schedule themselves tough, with wins over an NCAA tournament team in Murray State in addition to victories over Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and a pair of wins over Florida Gulf Coast. The Blue Raiders also hung around with Miami, USC, Belmont and Auburn in their lone blemishes out of conference. Nick King leads the Blue Raiders with an average of 21.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while Tyrik Dixon leads Middle Tennessee in assists with 3.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Middle Tennessee is scoring 74.8 points per game on 46.5% shooting from the field, 36.9% from behind the arc and 74.2% from the foul line this season.

Vermont is 7-21-1 ATS in their last 29 games against a team with a winning record and 7-15 ATS in their last 22 non-conference games while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 road games. Middle Tennessee State is 20-8 ATS in their last 28 home games and 35-16 ATS in their last 51 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 20-9 in their last 29 games overall. 

I’m not sure I’d want to go against either team right now, but the trends favour the Blue Raiders and I have to think that Middle Tennessee has to be a little bit more ticked off as they had a real shot at an at-large bid before it got ripped away. The America East was always going to be a one bid league for Vermont, but Middle Tennessee feels like they got slighted. I don't think we are getting enough points here to take a shot at the Catamounts, so I'll take a shot laying the points with Middle Tennessee as I think the Blue Raiders have some frustration to get out.

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