Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma Betting Guide: Which Covering Machine Has Edge in NCAA Tournament?

Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma Betting Guide: Which Covering Machine Has Edge in NCAA Tournament? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree, Oklahoma guard Christian James

#8 Ole Miss vs. #9 Oklahoma: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Ole Miss -1
  • Over/Under: 142.5
  • Date: Friday, March 22
  • Time: 12:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: truTV
  • Location: Columbia, S.C.

>> All odds as of Thursday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

Both of these programs have been extremely profitable against the spread this season: Ole Miss went 23-9 ATS while Oklahoma went 19-10-3.

But which team presents more value in this Round of 64 matchup? Let’s break down the most critical factors.

Success With Tighter Spreads

Ole Miss and Oklahoma have not only been covering machines — they’ve also been successful with tighter lines. According to our data at Bet Labs, the two teams have strung together a 17-9 (65.4%) ATS mark with a single-digit line.

Both coaches have their fair share of NCAA Tournament experience, with Kermit Davis doing so most recently at Middle Tennessee, so that will be a factor in what should be a close game. Remember that Davis led the Blue Raiders to an outright win over Michigan State as a No. 15 seed in 2016, so his squads aren’t afraid of the moment.

Rebels’ Perimeter Gunners

Davis’ attack is fairly diverse, but its 35th-ranked Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (112.8 points per 100 possessions) stems from its 3-point shooting, as the Rebels generate the 98th-highest 3-point clip (35.8%) in the nation.

The Rebels have four players who shoot at least 34.7% from behind the arc, guided by their leading scorer Breein Tyree (38.5%). Despite the Sooners’ 23rd-ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (94.0 opponents’ points per possession), they’re still letting up the 32nd-highest 3-point scoring rate (37.1%).

If Ole Miss is able to control the tempo, its perimeter offense should own Oklahoma.

The Sooners have struggled on the glass at both ends of the court, too, and the Rebels have racked up the 102nd-highest offensive rebounding percentage (30.4%) in Division I. They’ll produce their share of second-chance looks from distance.

Will Sooners’ Interior Offense Excel?

For Oklahoma to succeed at the other end, it’ll need guard Christian James (14.4 ppg) to attack off the dribble while utilizing Kristian Doolittle in the low-post. Lon Kruger’s unit presents the 46th-highest 2-point scoring rate (54.3%) in the nation.

Nevertheless, its below-average 2-point clip (49.6%) doesn’t deliver much confidence. Ole Miss has yielded the 74th-lowest 2-point clip (47.8%) in the country, too. Doolittle should have a difficult time with the 6-foot-8 Bruce Stevens — the Rebels’ top interior defender.

The Sooners have struggled with turnovers at times, especially in attack mode, and they’ll square off against the 45th-highest opponents’ turnover rate (21.0%) in the country.

Look for the Rebels’ ballhawks — paced by Devontae Shuler and Terrence Davis — to generate enough havoc to stymie Oklahoma’s offense.

Eli’s Pick: Ole Miss -1, but I wouldn’t bet it past Ole Miss -2

Action Network Projected Spread

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Mississippi PK
  • Total: 140
  • Proj Score: Mississippi 70 | Oklahoma 70
  • Win Probability: Mississippi 50% | Oklahoma 50%

Editor’s note: The opinions on these games are from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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