LSU vs Mississippi State Odds & Picks: A 1H Bet for SEC Showdown
Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mississippi State’s Tyler Stevenson (left) and Tolu Smith (right).
LSU vs Mississippi State Odds
-105o / -115u
|Mississippi State Odds|
-105o / -115u
Closing out Wednesday’s action in the Southeastern Conference, Mississippi State looks to add to its winning streak by beating LSU at the Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs have racked up three straight victories to enter this matchup with a 15-7 record overall and a 3-7 mark in the SEC.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have struggled since entering conference action, dropping 10 straight to sit at 12-11 on the year.
In a game with major postseason ramifications, we should have two desperate teams that are looking for a win under first-year head coaches.
Head coach Matt McMahon’s debut season in Baton Rouge was off to a great start after he picked up 11 wins throughout the nonconference schedule. However, the program has won just once since, which came all the way back on Dec. 28.
The struggles have really shown on the road, where the average margin of defeat in the SEC has been 17.2 points per game. The Tigers have also allowed an average of 79.2 PPG in those losses.
Even in the team’s poor performances, forward KJ Williams has been a bright star for LSU. He enters this game as the league’s third-best scorer at 16.7 PPG.
He also leads the Tigers in rebounding at 7.6 RPG, which is going to be very key in this matchup against Mississippi State big man Tolu Smith.
In a similar fashion to McMahon, Bulldogs head coach Chris Jans’ regime at his new school also got off to a flying start. He opened the season with 11 straight wins before stumbling to open SEC play.
However, the Bulldogs have responded with victories over No. 17 TCU, Missouri and South Carolina.
After this winning run, MSU has moved up to 46th in the NET rankings, which gives the program a chance to make the NCAA Tournament under its new coach.
The Bulldogs’ calling card this season has been their play on the defensive end of the floor, where they rank inside the top 20 in adjusted defensive efficiency (11th), effective field goal percentage (15th), forcing turnovers (12th) and defending 2-pointers (16th), according to BartTorvik.
This is also the same squad that ranks 42nd in opponent 3-point percentage.
Smith leads MSU on offense, and he was named SEC Player of the Week last week after averaging 20 PPG and 10 RPG. The veteran center leads the conference in field goal percentage (58.3%) to go along with averages of 14.9 PPG and 8.4 RPG this season.
LSU vs Mississippi State Betting Pick
When I look at the odds for this matchup, I’m not ready to back Mississippi State to win by double figures. But I’m also not running to the window to back LSU away from home.
Instead, I’m targeting a play in the opening half of the game. My best bet is for the first-half total to fall under 58.5 or better.
The Tigers’ issues have been well documented in SEC play, but they’re magnified in the opening periods of contests. LSU has averaged just 26.4 PPG in the first half of conference road games, which is not good when it’s facing a Bulldog squad that ranks third in the country in first-half points allowed.
Over the last six home games, MSU has held opponents to just 23.3 PPG, which is a stretch that includes No. 6 Tennessee, No. 3 Alabama, No. 17 TCU and a high-scoring Missouri team. This same bet would have cashed in four of those matchups and in 70% of all Bulldogs games this season.
Tempo is also key when betting totals, and both of these programs like to play at a slow pace. The Tigers rank 268th in tempo, KenPom, while Mississippi State is even slower at 329th.
If I were to pick a side, it would be the home team in the first half. But I’ll stick with this total in a slow-starting contest.
Pick: 1H Under 58.5 or Better
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