Akron vs Mississippi State College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions (Friday, Nov. 11)

Akron vs Mississippi State College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions (Friday, Nov. 11) article feature image

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Image. Pictured: Xavier Castaneda (Akron)

  • The Akron Zips and Mississippi State Bulldogs basketball teams converge in Philadelphia, PA on Friday at 7 p.m. ET to take part in the Barstool Sports Invitational.
  • The underdog Zips opened as 6.5-point underdogs, and the point spread has moved to Akron +5.5 or Akron +6 across the betting market as of Friday afternoon.
  • Akron ranks among the top mid-major teams in the country, but can it challenge an entrenched Power 5 foe in Mississippi State?

Akron vs Mississippi State Odds

Friday, Nov. 11
7 p.m. ET
Akron Odds
-105o / -115u
Mississippi State Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

After needing overtime to get past South Dakota State, the Akron Zips now head to Philadelphia to take on Mississippi State in the Barstool Sports Invitational.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State notched a 19-point win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi in its first game. However, I don't think the final score is a true indication of how the Bulldogs performed against the Islanders.

Akron returns 61.4% of its minutes from a team that made it to the tournament last year, while Mississippi State brings back just two starters and is led by first year head coach Chris Jans.

In two previous meetings in this series, the Bulldogs have never beaten the Zips. Can Jans change that in his first attempt?

Akron Zips

Xavier Castaneda and Enrique Freeman went off for 31 and 23 points, respectfully, but as a team, the Zips didn't shoot well against the Jackrabbits. At the defensive end, they were even worse and allowed South Dakota State to shoot better than 50% from the floor while it racked up 80 points.

However, the good news for Akron is I think a majority of the struggles were a result of it being the first game of the season. The Zips should improve in both three-point shooting and in their success on the defensive end.

One thing they have done well that should continue and help them immensely against Mississippi State is limit turnovers. The Zips turned the ball over just nine times against SDSU and the Jackrabbits managed just three steals. In the Bulldogs first game of the season, they benefited greatly from an Islanders team that gave up 21 turnovers.

Expect the Zips offense to get better while the defense finds its footing.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mississippi State beat the Islanders by 19 on Monday, but trailed by four at halftime. The Bulldogs came out of halftime and pushed a full-court press and a tight zone that held Corpus Christi to just 14 points in the second half.

It was an impressive comeback, that can't be denied. But I don't think State's offensive struggles were just first game jitters. What's more, the defensive lockdown in the second half is more on the Islanders inability to adjust than the Bulldogs' effectiveness.

State shot just 24% from beyond the arc and Dashawn Davis was the only Bulldog who made more than one three pointer. And, despite a massive advantage over the Islanders when it comes to height, the Bulldogs only out-rebounded Texas A&M Corpus Christi by nine.

Akron faces a similar height disadvantage, but is considerably better at drawing fouls. The Zips ranked seventh a year ago in offensive free throw attempts and were led by Castaneda, who averaged almost four free throw attempts a game.

Akron vs. Mississippi State Betting Pick

These teams both struggled in their first game.

Akron's three-point shooting should take a big step forward in this game and could pay dividends against a Mississippi State team that simply doesn't have the talent outside the arc to keep up. The Akron defense isn't necessarily going to change overnight, but against a Bulldogs team that relies almost entirely on close twos, there should be some improvement.

Both teams also play a slow tempo with Akron being one of the slowest in the country, ranking 354th in adjusted tempo. The lack of possessions will make the Zips ability to get to the line even more important.

I was able to get Akron at +7 not long after it opened, but I would recommend taking any points you can get with the Zips, as well as making a wager on the moneyline. Akron is the better team I can see them pulling off the upset, even on a neutral court.

Pick: Akron +6 | Can play the moneyline as well

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