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The 9-6 Missouri Tigers will go on the road to face off with the 9-6 Mississippi State Bulldogs on Tuesday night at 9:00 PM ET in Humphrey Coliseum. The Bulldogs are 4.5-point favorites at home and we’re looking at a 130 over/under. Missouri is coming off an emotional victory over the Florida Gators while Mississippi State has lost four of their last five. They’re favored at home and Vegas likes the Bulldogs to get back on track and defend their home floor. The two teams both like to slow the ballgame down, ranking 296th and 310th, respectively. With neither team in a hurry to press the ball, it’ll be paramount for these defenses to show up. It’ll be interesting to see if Missouri can avoid the let-down game after UF and upset another team. Mississippi State is grasping on to dear life and they badly need a win here.
Much-needed bounce back winAfter losing tough games to the Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Vols, the Missouri Tigers bounced back in a big way with a 91-75 win over the Florida Gators. Mizzou got off to a fast start, taking a 51-36 lead at halftime and never looking back. The Tigers did it with a balanced attack, but Dru Smith led the way with 22 points, six assists, and five steals in 36 minutes of work. He was complemented by Mark Smith and Javon Pickett (off the bench), who put up 14 points apiece. The Gators shot a disastrous 38.5% from the field while Missouri stroked it at a 61.5% clip. Dru Smith was simply too much to handle in the first half and the Tigers held their ground in the second. They’ll win once again if the whole team shows up as they did here.
Missouri is a tough team to predict as they play a very different quality of basketball from night to night. The team that took the court against Kentucky and Tennessee is significantly worse than the one that beat up Florida. It starts with Dru Smith (12.0 pts, 4.3 reb, 4.2 ast), but he needs help from second-leading scorer Mark Smith (11.3 pts, 4.8 reb). The two Smith teammates are the only ones that average double-figures and they’re asked to do a ton of someone else doesn’t get hot. Javon Pickett has been over 13 points in four of his last seven games off the bench, so he’s been picking it up a bit as a scorer when needed. The team shoots just 43.8% from the field, but do rank 77th with a 73.5% free-throw percentage.
Desperate for the WIt’s been a terrible recent stretch for the Bulldogs, losing four of their last five and three straight divisional match-ups. Most recently, the Bulldogs were bested 60-59 by the LSU Tigers in a game that was close to the stretch. Mississippi State was down by eight at halftime, but came roaring back and had the lead by the eight-minute mark in the second. They then increased the lead to eight before LSU bounced back late and swiped it. Charles Manning Jr. was huge off the bench with 15 points and Emmitt Williams led the way with 17 points, five boards, and two blocks. Both of these teams shot under 40% from the floor, and it was ultimately the bench presence of Charles Manning that played the difference. He was a very efficient 7-of-9 from the field.
Despite losing four of their last five and looking quite disappointing while doing so, the Bulldogs aren’t a bad team by any stretch. They’re a defensive-minded squad that makes every shot tough and plays efficient offense. They rank 109th of 353 teams with a 45.2% field-goal percentage and rebound the 68th most with 38.7 a game. Defensively, the Bulldogs block a whopping 5.3 shots per game. Reggie Perry, Robert Woodward, and Abdul Ado all average over a block per game. You won’t get any easy baskets in the paint. Perry leads the way on offense with 15.5 points and 10 rebounds as one of the best big men in the SEC. Nick Weatherspoon and Tyson Carter both average 13+ points at guard and are crucial to Perry having room in the paint.
- Bulldogs are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Tuesday games.
- Bulldogs are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite.
- Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Missouri is just as good of a team and they’ve been playing much more cohesive basketball of late. Mississippi State is coming off a game where they shot 33% from the floor and Missouri will by no means make it easy. Dru Smith and Mark Smith were both unstoppable against the Gators and I expect nothing less against a similar-quality Bulldogs defense. This game is a complete toss-up and I love getting four points with a Missouri team that could very well walk away victorious.
Prediction: Missouri +4
Full-Game Total Pick
Both of these teams are in love with slowing the game down and it excites me even more that the home Bulldogs are a very efficient offense. They’ll want to control the pace at home and I expect the under to hit with ease. Even when these two teams do get hot from the field, it’s not from three. They both rank in the bottom 270’s from three and make most of their bread in the paint. Expect this game to comfortably stay under.
Prediction: Under 130.5