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Auburn vs. Murray State - 12/22/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Murray State Racers (8-1) at Auburn Tigers (9-2)
Date & Time Saturday December 22, 2018, 4:30 PM (EST)
Location
The Line
The Line: Auburn Tigers -13 -- Over/Under: 138.5
TV Channel
SEC
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The Murray State Racers and the Auburn Tigers meet in college basketball action from Auburn Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Murray State Racers will be looking for a big road win to add to their current 5-game winning streak after a narrow 66-64 win over Evansville in their last outing. Ja Morant led the Racers with 27 points along with a game-high 10 assists along with 8 rebounds and a pair of blocks for the double-double while Shaq Buchanan added 10 points with 8 rebounds of his own as the only other Racer to score in double figures in the winning effort. Darnell Cowart and Tevin Brown each had a pair of blocks as well in the winning effort for Murray State. Morant leads Murray State with an average of 22.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 9.6 assists per game this season. As a team, Murray State is averaging 77.2 points per game on 47.9% shooting from the field, 33.8% from behind the arc and 74.4% from the foul line this season. Murray State is also one of the toughest defensive units in the country, sitting top-5 in scoring defense allowing just 57.3 points per game, good for 5th in the country, while allowing opponents to shoot just 36% from the field, good for 3rd in D-I and giving up the lowest 3-point percentage in the country, allowing opponents to shoot just 21.6% from downtown this season.

The Auburn Tigers will be looking for a bounce-back performance after a 78-71 loss to NC State in their last outing. J’Von McCormick led the Tigers with 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting with 3 steals while Austin Wiley came right behind with 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting with a team-high 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Malik Dunbar added 12 points and Jared Harper chipped in 11 points with a team-high 5 assists to round out the foursome of double-digit scorers for the Tigers in the losing effort. Chuma Okeke added 7 points and 6 rebounds with 3 steals as well in the losing effort. Harper leads Auburn with an average of 15.7 points and 6.3 assists per game while Okeke leads the Tigers in rebounding with 6.6 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Auburn is averaging 83.5 points per game on 45.6% shooting from the field, 34.4% from behind the arc and 68.3% from the foul line this season.

Murray State is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 non-conference games. Auburn is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 games following a loss.

Auburn is one of the best teams in the country and should have a nice bounce back game after the loss to NC State. However, Murray State is no joke, and have shown the ability to cover against some solid opposition with solid offense combined with suffocating defense. Auburn will be without a doubt the toughest test Murray State will have taken to date, but I think the Racers have had this date circled on their calendars and will be ready so I’ll take Murray State and the points here.

Pick:
Murray State +13

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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