Basketball Betting — CIT Championship: Can Yale Prosper Without Its Best Player?

When basketball betting observers came into the post-season, much of the talk concerning Ivy League hopefuls centered around Harvard, which was a very popular upset pick in the NCAA Tournament, and wound up fulfilling that prophecy, at least for one game, with a victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats. But at this moment, there is only one Ivy League team left standing, and that is the Yale Elis, who have made it all the way to the championship game of the College Insider Tournament (CIT), where they will meet up at the Murray State Racers in basketball betting action that begins at 7 PM ET. Yale will once again travel for this game, playing their fourth straight contest on the road.

There is a situation that complicates things for Yale here, though. In their semi-final victory over VMI, Justin Sears, a 6′ 8″ forward who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, injured his wrist and will be unavailable. That is a big blow for the Ivy Leaguers, but they hope to make up for it with what they feel is a deep frontcourt.

In the CIT basketball betting odds posted at Get That Bet on this game, Murray State lays some points

CIT basketball betting odds Courtesy Of Get That Bet USA Sportsbook

Murray State Racers -7.5
Yale Elis +7.5

Over 138.5 points -110

Under 138.5 points -110

Sears averaged 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, so his absence will be felt. However, coach James Jones feels that Brandon Sherrod, who scored 13 against VMI, will be able to fill in. One of the things about Yale that is different from some other Ivy League squads is the fact that they can play a physical game. They had to go up against Quinnipiac, the nation’s leading rebounding squad, in the first CIT game, and prevailed by a single point. That was their only home game in the tournament. And for the edification of Get That Bet customers, Yale has had to ride five hours on a bus and take two plane flights to get to Murray for this game.

At least what they see on Thursday night won’t be foreign to them. Murray State plays the game with a very fast tempo, but you can’t get any faster than what VMI showed them in the semi-finals, since the Keydets are the highest scoring team in the country, at 87.7 points per game. But Yale was successful in holding VMI to 40% shooting and 62 points, so one can imagine the same defensive strategy will be in place for them here. The question is, how did the absence of Sears figure into that defensive strategy?

Basketball bettors should know that this isn’t just any road situation for the Elis. Murray State has been very formidable on its own floor, covering 12 of its last 14 games and shooting 49% from the field. In fact, the Racers have covered 18 of their last 24 games overall. With four starters averaging in double figures, they will spread the floor and make it difficult for Yale, not only with a transition game, but also in the half-court. Do the Ivy Leaguers have enough energy left over for this one?

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