Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Pick & Prediction: Murray State vs. Auburn Betting Preview

Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Pick & Prediction: Murray State vs. Auburn Betting Preview article feature image

Alex Menendez/Getty Images. Pictured: Bruce Pearl.

  • Auburn is a double-digit home favorite over Murray State on Wednesday night.
  • Both the Tigers and Racers are 10-1 and bring highly ranked offenses into this matchup.
  • Alex Hinton breaks down the game and delivers his pick for bettors below.

Murray State vs. Auburn Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 22
6 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Murray State Odds
-110o / -110u
Auburn Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Auburn Tigers are 10-1 and look like a team to be reckoned with in the SEC, having outscored opponents by 16.5 points this season. However, Auburn showed the ability to come back last Saturday by erasing a 13-point deficit in a 74-70 victory at Saint Louis.

The Tigers will be back home on Wednesday night to host Murray State.

While the Racers are known mostly for being Ja Morant's alma mater, don't sleep on this year's squad. They're 10-1 and have outscored opponents by 20.9 points per game. While Murray State has faced a less difficult schedule than Auburn, it does have a win at Memphis.

Auburn leads the all-time series between these programs 5-1. Two of those meetings have come since Bruce Pearl has been on The Plains. In 2017, Auburn pulled out an 81-77 road victory and in 2018, the Tigers won 93-88.

Could this year's matchup result in another shootout?

Murray State Racers

Murray State ranks sixth nationally in scoring offense at 86 points per game and fourth in offensive rating. However, KenPom hasn't been as impressed, as that model ranks the Racers 76th in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Racers have four players averaging in double figures.

Guard Tevin Brown leads the way at 19.1 points per game with 5.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists on 44.4% shooting from 3-point range. As an Alabama native, you would expect him to be looking to put up a big performance against one of the big schools in his home state.

Forward K.J. Williams is averaging 16.5 points and seven rebounds while hitting 64.4% of his 2-point attempts. Point guard Justice Hill, meanwhile, is averaging 12.2 points and five assists and guard Trae Hannibal contributes 10.7 points off the bench.

Murray State out-rebounds its opponents by nearly 10 rebounds per game. I'm sure it will notice that Auburn was out-rebounded 46-27 at Saint Louis. The Racers will be undersized compared to the Tigers, although Saint Louis also was.

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Auburn Tigers

The Tigers are led by star freshman Jabari Smith, who paces them with 16.5 points per game while ranking second with 6.9 rebounds.

Center Walker Kessler anchors the frontcourt along with Smith, averaging 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The Tigers are third nationally in blocks (7.2 per game), and Kessler's 3.4 are a big reason why.

In the backcourt, guard K.D. Johnson averages 13.7 points, while Wendell Green Jr. is putting up 11.6 points and five assists per contest. Johnson hit the decisive fadeaway jumper with 10 seconds left against Saint Louis to put the Tigers ahead for good. He had 11 points while Green dished out eight assists.

Both Johnson and Green are hounds on the perimeter and combine for 3.4 steals per game. Auburn averages 10.2 steals per game, which is 16th nationally.

The Tigers average 82 points per game, which is 20th nationally. They're 18th in adjusted offensive efficiency and have no problem pushing the pace, ranking 57th in adjusted tempo. Auburn also is solid defensively at 16th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Murray State vs. Auburn Betting Pick

Murray State and Auburn have a history of playing high-scoring affairs, and I expect this year's matchup to be no different. Combined, the programs average 168 points per game. Auburn plays faster than Murray State does, but there should be a lot of possessions in this game.

Auburn forces opponents into 16.5 turnovers, while Murray State forces 15.4. The Racers turn the ball over 12.6 times per game, so you can expect there will be a lot of turnovers leading to transition opportunities.

Murray State averages 11.8 offensive rebounds while Auburn averages 11.7 offensive rebounds. The extra possessions should fuel two good offensive teams.

Murray State and Auburn shoot 37% and 35%, respectively, from 3-point range. Auburn gets to the free throw line 18 times per game. Smith and Kessler should have no problem scoring down low, as well.

All of those numbers that favor offense have a point. The over has hit in Murray State's last three games and in three of Auburn's last five games. With the total sitting at 145, I like the over once again.

Pick: Over 145 (Play to 148)

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Nick Sterling
Jul 25, 2024 UTC