Mississippi State vs South Carolina Odds, Pick for Saturday

Mississippi State vs South Carolina Odds, Pick for Saturday article feature image

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Jans (Mississippi State)

Mississippi State vs South Carolina Odds, Pick

Saturday, Jan. 6
12 p.m. ET
Mississippi State Odds
-110o / -110u
South Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

South Carolina and Mississippi State battle on the hardwood in Columbia to tip off SEC play.

The Gamecocks have already eclipsed their win total from a season ago after racking up 12 victories in the non-conference.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are also off to an impressive start to the campaign, owning an 11-2 record.

This is an SEC matchup between two teams inside the top 50 of the NET, and I expect a great game to start a busy Saturday of hoops.

Below, we have Mississippi State vs. South Carolina odds and a pick for Saturday.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Following a trip to the NCAA tournament in his debut season, head coach Chris Jans has his program off to another great start this year.

This is also another campaign with a strong non-conference record. In his two years as coach, the Bulldogs have won 23 of 27 games against non-SEC opponents. This includes posting an 8-2 mark against power-conference programs.

One of the more impressive things about this season is that MSU has done it mostly without center Tolu Smith III, who returned from injury in the last game.

Without Smith, the Bulldogs have been led by freshman Josh Hubbard. The first-year guard is averaging 14.5 points per game and shooting just under 40% from the 3-point line.

Hubbard and Smith give Jans a great high-low game to compliment his stout defense.

This could be a dangerous team in March.

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South Carolina Gamecocks

Coming into SEC play, I don’t think many people had Ole Miss and South Carolina as the two teams with the most wins.

This has been a big turnaround in year two under coach Lamont Paris.

However, you have to wonder how much of this is due to a very soft non-conference schedule. KenPom ranks the Gamecocks’ strength of schedule outside the top 330 in the country.

Paris’ team does have a couple of great wins over top-100 teams in the NET in Virginia Tech and Grand Canyon, so the Gamecocks are more than capable of competing against better opposition.

One of the keys to this strong start has been the veteran transfers Paris brought in during the offseason. Stephen Clark (The Citadel), Ta’Lon Cooper (Minnesota), B.J. Mack (Wofford) and Myles Stute (Vanderbilt) have played in over 430 combined games.

Mississippi State vs. South Carolina

Betting Pick & Prediction

Whenever a Jans-coached team is involved, I have to start the handicap by looking at the total of the game, which is exactly where I see the betting value in this one.

My best bet is for this game to fall under the total of 137.5, which I would play down to 133.5.

Starting first with the Bulldogs, this is a squad that ranks in the top 15 in multiple defensive categories by Bart Torvik, including AdjD (14th), EFG (7th) and defending 3-pointers (5th).

Meanwhile, the Gamecocks are also solid on defense, ranking in the top 50 in opponents’ 2-point percentage (17th) and EFG (42nd). This will be key against MSU, which gets most of its baskets from inside the arc.

This is also a matchup where both programs are outside the top 180 in tempo on KenPom, and they don't allow offensive rebounds.

If you like trends, five of the seven games the Bulldogs have played away from home or on neutral floors have gone under this same total.

Also, only five of 15 SEC contests for MSU under Jans have finished with more than 137 points.

This is a big conference opener for both schools on CBS, but I’m not expecting many points.

Pick: Under 137.5 (Play to 133.5)

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