Murray State (11-10) at Eastern Illinois (10-10)
The Line: Eastern Illinois + 2 1/2
Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 8 p.m. EST
When I talk sports with friends, at the gym or in a social situation, people often wonder how I know so much about just about every team. Whether it be college football, hoops, or baseball, I usually have a solid handle of what is going on with the participants. If anyone wants to know my "secret", you are reading it. On a night like Monday, when there are only 12 lined games and only two games involving major conferences, I am out scouring the boards for an under-the-radar game where I can apply my same theories and formulas I use for the prime-time games to determine where teams sit and hopefully predict a winner against the spread. And while a lot of the time it gets lost in the shuffle, a month from now when you are hearing and reading articles from experts about the minutiae of the conference tournaments and the strength of some of the lower seeds in the NCAA and NIT tournaments, I will be among them because I have done my homework all along.
I'll admit I don't know a heck of a lot about the Ohio Valley Conference. I mean I know that the Murray State Racers are 6-5 in the conference. I know they have won four of their last six games and most importantly in this one, I know they beat Eastern Illinois by 12 points a little over two weeks ago at home. I also know that the Eastern Illinois Panthers are 8-4 in the conference, which puts them ahead of Murray State and have won three in a row, all at home. I also know neither of these teams have played much out of conference.
Murray State comes in at 8-9 against the spread, while Eastern Illinois is 8-6-1 against the number. Murray State is just 2-5 against the spread in the last seven meetings between these two and they have been favored each time. Eastern Illinois is 11-4-1 against the spread in their last 16 Ohio Valley Conference games, 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine home games, and 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven against a team with a losing road record. While it's tough to get past the 12-point loss not too long ago, I think Eastern Illinois gets their revenge.
Mitch's Pick: Eastern Illinois +2 1/2
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