College Basketball Odds & Picks for Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss: Saturday’s Betting Guide
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Howland.
- Mississippi State and Ole Miss square off in an in-state SEC rivalry matchup.
- Will the Bulldogs be able to continue their success on the road?
- Keg will break down the game for you and offer up his best bet.
Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss Odds
|Mississippi State Odds|
+100o / -120u
|Ole Miss Odds|
+100o / -120u
Fans of the two Mississippi SEC schools don’t feel as passionate about their respective teams squaring off on the hardwood as they do on the football field.
But as far as Kermit Davis is concerned, this game may be even bigger for him and his program.
Ole Miss boasts the 25th-toughest schedule in the country, which of course is a given when you play in the SEC where it just means more. But after just losing in overtime at Tennessee as a 20-point underdog and without their best player, there’s a lot of hope around Oxford for these Rebels.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, who were projected to finish sixth in the SEC, kicked off conference play with a big win Wednesday. Mississippi State knocked off Arkansas, 81-68, and moved to 10-3 on the season.
But Arkansas was just the second win for the Bulldogs over a team ranked inside the top 100, per KenPom. In fact six of their 10 wins have come over teams ranked outside the top 150, and their other win over Richmond came in overtime on a neutral court.
Saturday will also mark the first true road game for Ben Howland’s team, and against their rival no less. Will they move to 2-0 in conference play? Or will the Pavilion prove too much for them, as it did for Penny Hardaway and his Memphis team earlier this season?
The Bulldogs have been led by Iverson Molinar, who is racking up 16.8 points, 4.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game while also being the best free-throw shooter in the SEC at 88.9%.
But the Bulldogs’ offense is far from a one-man show.
Five Mississippi State players are averaging in double digits, while as a team it has posted an average of 74.7 points per game. The Bulldogs are a slow team — ranking 321st in adjusted tempo — but they have been able to make the shots they do take count, posting an effective field goal percentage of 53.4%.
The Bulldogs are even more selective from deep, as they rank 292nd in the country in 3-point attempts at 32.9 per game. However, they are hitting at the 80th-best clip in the country (35.6%).
Defensively, MSU has been aggressive, yet able to prevent fouling. The Bulldogs rank second in the SEC and 19th in the country, recording just 13.7 fouls per game.
The Bulldogs allow opponents to record just 61.9 points per game and have held five opponents to 60 points or fewer and four to 50 or fewer. That makes MSU the SEC’s sixth-best scoring defense.
Ole Miss’ top scorer missed its last game against Tennessee, but it didn’t seem to play a factor. The Rebels lost by six points in overtime.
Davis said after the game that he’s not sure if Jarkel Joiner will be available Saturday, and no further information has come out.
The Rebels didn’t seem to have an issue scoring without Joiner. The issue was ball security. Ole Miss recorded 27 turnovers at Tennessee, and if the concerns continue, it’s unlikely the score will remain as close. Mississippi State racked up 25 points off of 17 turnovers in its win against Arkansas.
The Rebels will also need Luis Rodriguez to step up, something he wasn’t able to do against Tennessee. He didn’t score a single point in that affair.
The Rebels’ defense has been their biggest asset. In their last game, they held the Volunteers to below 70 for just the fourth time all season.
On the year, Ole Miss is holding opponents to just 63.6 points per game and is allowing them to shoot only 40.9% overall.
Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss Betting Pick
MSU hasn’t played since a 81-68 home victory against Arkansas on Dec. 29. While there may be some rust to shake off, I don’t think it will be a huge issue. It’s more concerning that the Bulldogs will be playing their first true road game against their in-state rival.
Ole Miss may be without Joiner, but it has proven its ability to still be a high-level team at both ends of the court without him. And the Pavilion has already demonstrated it’s a tough place to play, with Ole Miss posting impressive wins over Dayton and Memphis.
The Rebels are 7-1 at home this season, the lone outlier being an off game against Samford.
I think Ole Miss knows it needs to get a win here over a rival and important conference opponent. State isn’t a bad team by any means, but it’s only going to get harder from here.
I’m taking Ole Miss ML at +140 and would bet it down to +125.