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Murray State vs. Belmont prediction and pick for Thursday's college basketball action. Lightning Locks breaks down their pick for this one and tells us if they think Belmont can hang with the hottest team in the country.

Murray State vs. Belmont Prediction: Can Murray State Stay Hot Against Belmont?

If we asked you who is the hottest team in the country, winning 17 straight games, would you know the answer? We are going to say no, you wouldn't. Because when you hear about a school in Kentucky, usually you hear about Calipari and his Wildcats. Well, let's learn about the best team in the Ohio Valley Conference, and the best school in Kentucky, that no one talks about. The Murray State Racers are No. 19 in the country. They are on a 17-game winning streak since they lost to Auburn and they have the MOST wins in Division 1, with 26. Now you know a little about this best team in the Ohio Valley let's look into this game and its importance today.

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Murray State vs. Belmont Prediction

The Belmont Bruins are on a 10-game winning streak. They are no slouch at all as they are 24-5 on the year and 10-3  on the road. All very impressive marks. But one thing that wasn't impressive was thier showing the first time these two teams met. Murray State came into Belmont and beat the stuffing out of them, 82-60, as a 6 point dog.

Belmont really only has a 6-man rotation which hurts them. But if you haven't, you need to learn about Grayson Murphy. This guy had 6 steals in his last game, marking the 7th time this year he has had 5 or more. He leads the team in steals, assists and rebounds, and he is only 6-foot-3.

He is also the Ohio Valley's career leader in assists and with 6 more steals tonight he would break the all-time record for steals as well (279). Belmont has a great offense, averaging over 80 a game, but Murray State has a top defense that gives up only 62. Belmont plays right into Murray State's strengths, ranking 222 at rebounding while Murray State is 34th. Every stat you can find on Murray State's defense trumps Belmont's offense, which explains the 22-point road blowout last time. It also helps when you shoot 56% from the 3-point line and 51% from the field.

This game is very important to Murray State. Why is that the case? Well, they win the conference outright if they win tonight, instead of sharing it.

Murray State clearly had their eye on this game because they almost lost to UT Martin, a team that was 7-19 before the game but they came back like the Racers do and hit a three to win it with 10 seconds left. Murray State is all about the inside-outside game, as they have two of the best with players in the OVC. KJ Williams, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, and guard Tevin Brown, who has the most 3 pointers in OVC history with 337 and is shooting almost 40% from downtown.

We must also remind people of Justice Hill, who leads the team in assists and had 8 three-pointers on his way to a career-high 36 the last time these two met. If you look at the numbers, Belmont is a bad match on both sides of the ball against Murray State, which is why that 22-point blowout wasn't an anomaly, but rather something we can see happening again.

We don't expect a 22-point blowout again as Belmont has won 10 in a row and is playing good ball. But Murray State has won their last 4 at home in double-digit blowout fashion and we won't be surprised if they win by double digits again. We will gladly lay the -3 available at every book currently and hope the Racers are the first to race to the 80-point threshold to win this game. Once you see this play, go race to the books and get your money on Murray State before the line goes up. Let's win another college game to keep this February run going. This game is on ESPNU for your viewing pleasure.

Murray State vs. Belmont Line Movement

Murray State vs. Belmont Pick

PICK: Murray State -3 @ -110 (Bet $110 to win $100)

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