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How to Bet the Fort Myers Tip-Off: Previewing Georgia Tech vs. Utah & Mississippi State vs. Marquette

How to Bet the Fort Myers Tip-Off: Previewing Georgia Tech vs. Utah & Mississippi State vs. Marquette article feature image
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Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: David Joplin (Marquette)

The Fort Myers Tip-Off begins on Monday with the tournament being split into two divisions and each playing for a separate trophy.

However, each team from the Beach division squared off against a team from the Palms division prior to heading to Fort Myers, FL for the event.

Every team in the Beach division beat their opponent by more than 15, except Utah, which lost to Sam Houston by 10.

Mississippi State is the highest-ranked KenPom team in the tournament, but has yet to be truly tested. Can the Bulldogs stay undefeated in Fort Myers?


Georgia Tech vs. Utah

Monday, Nov. 21
6 p.m. ET
FS1

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

KenPom Ranking 11
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-0
ATS Record ’22-23 2-0
Over/Under Record ’22-23 0-2

Georgia Tech heads to Fort Myers having yet to lose game this season.

The Yellow Jackets’ best quality has been their defense, as they’re holding opponents to an effective field goal percentage of just 34.3%. They’re the second-best team in the country when it comes to 3-point defense, giving up just 18.4% of shot attempts from beyond the arc.

However, the Yellow Jackets have struggled on offense, and no one on the team truly presents themselves as a threat from beyond the arc.

In fact, the Yellow Jackets rarely even attempt to pull up from deep. Georgia Tech gets more points from the free-throw line than it does 3-pointers.

Not to mention, the three teams the Jackets have played so far include a non-Division I program and two schools that are outside the top 200 in KenPom rankings.

Utah Utes

KenPom Ranking 74
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-1
ATS Record ’22-23 2-2
Over/Under Record ’22-23 0-4

Yes, the Utes suffered a bad loss to Sam Houston, but I don’t think that means they’re going to lose to Georgia Tech.

The Utes have been great at both ends of the floor, but they’re at their best on defense.

The Utes are holding teams to 38.2% in terms of effective field goal percentage, and with Georgia Tech’s lack of interest in the 3-point line, I think stopping the Jackets becomes even easier for the Utes.

Utah should have no problem controlling the boards against Tech, as the Utes are the 19th-tallest team in college basketball when it comes to average height. Georgia Tech is 190th and has already had issues this season when it comes to rebounding.

Georgia Tech vs. Utah Prediction

Don’t let a bad game against Sam Houston cause you to lose sight of how good this Utah team is. And more importantly, how much better the Utes are than the Jackets.

Back the Utes as a 10-point favorite or better.

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Mississippi State vs. Marquette

Monday, Nov. 21
8:30 p.m. ET
FS1

Mississippi State Bulldogs

KenPom Ranking 27
Straight Up Record ’22-23 4-0
ATS Record ’22-23 4-0
Over/Under Record ’22-23 0-4

I was low on Mississippi State coming into the season. I doubted the Bulldogs, and I didn’t think they were good.

I think I’ve actually bet against them in each of their first four games so far this season, and they’ve proved me wrong every single time.

The Bulldogs’ bench has been one of their best assets. They rank second when it comes to bench minutes, as there’s almost no noticeable drop off when starters are rotated off of the floor.

The defense has been amazing, holding opponents to just 46.8 points per game, while also ranking 11th in all of college basketball when it comes to steals per game (12.5 per contest).

The Bulldogs’ offense has been great, but if there was one concern, it would be how heavily they rely on Tolu Smith and D.J. Jeffries. Smith and Jeffries are the only two players averaging double digits for the Bulldogs.

The team, as a whole, also struggles at the charity stripe, hitting just 63% of its attempts so far this season.

And despite the Bulldogs having proven me wrong in every game so far this season, Marquette will be its biggest challenge yet and the largest step up in competition they’ve faced.

Can they keep their undefeated streak alive?

Marquette Golden Eagles

KenPom Ranking 67
Straight Up Record ’22-23 3-1
ATS Record ’22-23 3-1
Over/Under Record ’22-23 2-2

Marquette might not have the undefeated record the Bulldogs do, but its one loss came against a top-25 Purdue team that it kept it close with the whole game.

The Golden Eagles are great when it comes to sharing the ball, ranking in the 99th percentile when it comes to assists per game.

Marquette moves at the 16th-fastest tempo in all of college basketball, and more importantly against slow teams — like Purdue — it was able to dictate the pace. That’s something that will be a massive factor on Monday against State.

Marquette has been shooting the ball decently, posting an effective FG% of 54%. However, what’s more important for the Eagles is getting the shots up.

Marquette ranks inside the 92nd percentile in field goal attempts per game. As long as it can keep this game moving at a decent pace, I think it can get enough shots up to challenge the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State vs. Marquette Prediction

They’ve proven me wrong in every game so far, but I simply have to learn things the hard way, which is why I’ll once again be betting against the Bulldogs and backing the Golden Eagles at any number +3 or better.

This is the final test in my eyes for Mississippi State. If it can overcome Marquette, I’ll believe it’s truly a good team. But it’s resume so far has just not cemented that for me.

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