St. Peter’s Peacocks vs Murray State Racers Pick – NCAA Tournament March 19, 2022

The Madness is already underway as the North Carolina Tar Heels and Baylor Bears kicked off the round of 32 this morning, with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line! The opening round is always the best, as there are so many games and so much action, but as teams get eliminated, the pressure starts to mount, and for me, that makes the 2nd half of the opening weekend that much more exciting.

To go along with the Tar Heels and Bears, we have games on the schedule between Michigan and Tennessee, Richmond and Providence, St. Mary’s and UCLA, St. Peter’s and Murray State, New Mexico State and Arkansas, and the nightcap between Memphis and top-seeded Gonzaga. With the carnage that went down on Thursday, we have several teams trying to see if the slipper fits to be this year’s Cinderella squad that captivates the nation.

Double-digit seeds that picked up upset wins on Thursday and are looking to stay alive today include Michigan, Richmond, New Mexico State, and St. Peter’s, and if today goes anything like what we saw on that first day, we could end up with the craziest Sweet 16 ever! We have had a great start to March Madness when it comes to betting with a 75% winning percentage through the first couple of days, and we will look to stay hot today, as we head to the East Regional for the game between 15th seeded St. Peters and the 7th seeded Murray State Racers.

St. Peter’s Peacocks (20-11)

When the St. Peter’s Peacocks sent the Kentucky Wildcats home on Thursday afternoon, it wasn’t just your normal run of the mill March Madness upset. It was truly an all-time level upset to go along with UMBC beating Virginia as a 16-seed a couple of years ago. This was a win that will be talked about for decades to come. In today’s day and age, we like to call everything the greatest of all time and overreact to the moment, but St. Peter’s, a team that shouldn’t even be in this tournament, beating the bluest of blue bloods, in Kentcuky, was a true stunner.

The question now is, does St. Peter’s have another win in them after shocking the world? History tells us no, as of the 10 teams that have won a game in the NCAA tournament as a 15 seed or above, all but 2 of them lost in their next game. Florida Gulf Coast became the first 15-seed to ever survive the first weekend back in 2011 and Oral Roberts followed that up with an unlikely run as a 15 last year. That’s it. In all of the years we have been playing this tournament only 2 teams ever have started out on the 15 line and made it to the Sweet 16.

That’s not to say that the Peacocks can’t get it done, it just puts into context the tough path that they have ahead of them.

St. Peter’s actually played a fairly tough slate in the non-conference, with an SOS of 74th, but the problem for the Peacocks, is that they lost all of those games that they played against decent competition. I am sure that experience playing against quality teams helped them against the Wildcats, but this is a team that didn’t have a single win over the top-100 until Thursday. And they only had 3 wins over teams ranked in the top-200, and all 3 of those came over Monmouth.

All season long it was looking like Iona would run through the MAAC and take the league’s auto-bid into the Big Dance. But when the Gaels got upset in the MAAC tournament, the door was open for St. Peter’s and they took full advantage.

It was unlikely that the Peacocks would be playing meaningful games in March, and it was even more unlikely that they would beat Kentucky, so even though it would be nearly unprecedented to see St. peter’s win today, don’t tell that to this team, because all they have done in the last month is prove the world wrong.

Murray State Racers (31-2)

When you look at the teams that have been the Cinderellas in the past, the Murray State Racers fit that mold to a T. The Racers play in a decent, but not elite conference, they have won a huge percentage of their games, and they can shoot the lights out. Murray State didn’t play a tough schedule this season, but there is something to be said for a team that just refuses to lose.

The Racers have won 28 of their last 29 games, and that lone loss came in a true road game at Auburn, against a Tiger’s team that has spent time at number 1 in the nation this year. And even with their weak schedule, the Racers have wins over Memphis and Chattanooga, teams that both played in the NCAA tournament, and a win over Bellarmine, who won their league tournament and would have gone dancing if they weren’t on probation. So, this is a team that can beat tournament-level teams given the opportunity.

Murray didn’t play great down the stretch in their opening round game against San Francisco, as they allowed the Dons to close a 9-point gap to take the game into overtime, but they still found a way to win that game, and beating the Dons wasn’t an easy task, as Kenpom had San Francisco ranked 21st entering the tournament. All this team does is win basketball games and I like them to do more of that tonight against St. Peter’s.

St. Peter’s Peacocks vs Murray State Racers Betting Odds And Team Statistics

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
St. Peter’s Peacocks +8.5 (-110) +330 Over 129.5 (-110)
Murray State Racers -8.5 (-110) -410 Under 129.5 (-110)
Team Data St. Peter’s Peacocks Murray State Racers
Overall Record 20-11 30-2
ATS Record 22-9 16-13-1
Away/Home Record NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
ATS Away/Home NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
Points Per Game 67.4 79.3
Points Against Per Game 62.3 62.3
Field Goal % 43.3% 47.9%
Three Point % 35.8% 35.3%

St. Peter’s Peacocks vs Murray State Racers Prediction:

I really want St. Peter’s to win this game. There is nothing that I enjoy more than to see a small school like this go on a run. It is quite literally what makes the NCAA tournament the best sporting event in the world. That being said, I think this is the end of the road for the Peacocks, and that isn’t the worst possible outcome, as the Racers can still take up that mantle as the underdog, as there are plenty of doubters for Murray State as well.

Not only do I think Murray State is going to win this game, but I think that they are going to blow it completely out. St. Peters spent much of the season ranked outside of the top-200 nationally, and even with this late-season run and win over Kentucky, the Peacocks still aren’t in the top-100. When I look at how the Racers have played against teams of that level this year, they have been dominant.

St. Peter’s Peacocks vs Murray State Racers Betting Trends:

St. Peter’s Peacocks
  • Saint Peter’s is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Saint Peter’s’ last 7 games
  • Saint Peter’s is 8-0 SU in their last 8 games
  • Saint Peter’s is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games this season
  • Saint Peter’s is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games played in March
Murray State Racers
  • Murray State are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Murray State’s last 10 games
  • Murray State are 10-0 SU in their last 10 games
  • Murray State are 20-0 SU in their last 20 games this season
  • Murray State are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games against an opponent in the West Coast conference

The Racers finished 4th in the nation in average margin of victory this season at nearly 14 points per game. To put that into perspective, the rest of the top five is composed of Gonzaga, Arizona, Houston, and Baylor. That is some elite company for the Racers. In the regular season, Murray State won 20 of their 28 games by double digits, and that is where I see this game ending up as well.

My heart wants the Peacocks to win, but my brain says that they won’t. It is so hard for a team to stay up after such a crazy upset. Letdown games are real and there won’t be a single player, coach, or fan of St. Peter’s that will be disappointed in this team if they lose today. The Peacocks did what they came to do in this tournament and now it is the Racer’s turn to do what they came to do, and that is make a run to the Final Four.

Murray State wins this game, and it won’t be close. I am never too big of a fan of laying this many points in a game, but St. Peter’s is going to run out of gas at some point in this one and when they do, Murray State is going to put their pedal to the metal and pull away. Give me Murray State laying the eight and a half as the Racers race their way to the Sweet 16!

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St. Peter’s Peacocks vs Murray State Racers Pick
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Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL

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