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MTSU takes on Marshall in a Conference USA matchup for the first time this season. MTSU is 5-8 in C-USA and 8-18 overall, while Marshall is a disappointing 13-13 overall and 6-7 in the league. That puts them tied for seventh place with three other teams. Middle Tennessee State has lost two straight, after winning three straight games. The Thundering Herd are slumping, having lost four straight games.
MTSU falls apart against Western Kentucky
The Blue Raiders had won three straight games over UAB (twice) and Charlotte before falling to ODU at home (55-50) and Western Kentucky on the road (71-63) on Thursday. Middle Tennessee State played well against the Hilltoppers, opening up with a 32-28 halftime lead. They outrebounded Western Kentucky by 16 but ultimately shooting woes cost them as they made just 34.4 percent of their field goal attempts. Donovan Sims led the way with 18 points for the Blue Raiders, while Reggie Scurry added 16 and eight boards. The Hilltoppers shot 47.4 percent from the field and 10-of-23 from beyond the arc (43.5%) to make up for the rebounding disparity.
“I thought we played really well and really hard for most of the night tonight,” (head coach Nick) McDevitt stated. “For about 36 or 37 minutes we were really good.”
On the season, Antonio Green leads the Blue Raiders with 17.8 points per game, while Scurry leads in rebounds (6.1rpg) and field goal percentage (57.6%). The main issue right now for MTSU is scoring the basketball. They average just 66.3 points per game (321st) on 41.5 percent shooting (307th) and 32.8 percent from beyond the arc. Defensively, they are allowing 73.5 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting (35.6% 3pt).
They are defensless
Marshall loves to play at a fast tempo but at some point, you have to play defense. The Thundering Herd rank fourth in the nation in possessions per game with 79.1. Ultimately, they are only average 78.8 points per game on 43.4 percent shooting (32.5% 3pt). So while they may be pushing the ball, they aren’t shooting it as well. They are also horrendous defensively, allowing 82.8 points per game (350th) on 47.4 percent shooting (333rd) and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc (300th). That shows in their four-game losing streak and in allowing 116 points at home in overtime to UTSA and 101 points at Southern Miss on Jan. 26 in a 50-point loss.
All of a sudden, the offense has now fallen asleep. They’ve averaged just 63 points per game over their last three. That includes a 77-68 home loss on Thursday to UAB. Jon Elmore led Marshall with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists. But he’s getting little help as the Thundering Herd shot just 40.4 percent from the floor. Defensively, they played well, holding UAB to 40.6 percent shooting but they forced just six turnovers, while committing 15. Elmore leads the team with 19.5 points per game and 5.0 assists.
- 7-19-1 ATS last 27 overall.
- 1-11 ATS last 12 vs. Conf-USA.
- 5-0 ATS last 5 overall.
- 4-0 ATS last 4 after an ATS win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
These used to be two very good mid-major teams. Marshall is one of the worst covering teams in the nation right now. They are 1-11 ATS their last 11 vs. Conference USA. As bad as the Blue Raiders have played, at least they’ve covered five straight. They have also covered in five of the last seven in this series. There’s something wrong with Marshall. Have to go with the Blue Raiders.
Full-Game Total Pick
Once again, there’s something wrong with Marshall’s offense. They used to score in the 80s and now they are putting up 60-65 points? MTSU is having their own issues, averaging just 63.5 points per game on the road and they are shooting a pathetic 40 percent. MTSU is 4-1 Under their last 5 road games. They are 4-1 Under their last 5 against Marshall.