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In a battle between two of the bottom three teams in the SEC, the Vanderbilt Commodores travel to Mississippi to take on the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday. The Commodores lost their sixth straight game on Wednesday by a score of 61-52 to the Missouri Tigers. The Rebels lost a nine-point decision to the Auburn Tigers, 67-58, on Tuesday. This is the only meeting of the season between these two teams.
Commodores bitten by TigersThe Vanderbilt Commodores scored just 24 second-half points, as they turned a one-point halftime lead into a nine-point loss to the Missouri Tigers. Vanderbilt was just a two-point underdog, as they failed to cover the spread for the first time in their last three games. In their two previous games, they were three and 13 point underdogs, as they lost to Georgia and Tennessee by two and four points, respectively. The Commodores were paced by Scotty Pippen, Jr., who scored 19 points against Missouri. Saben Lee chipped in 14 points for Vanderbilt in the loss. They shot just 35.6% from the floor and 19% from three-point range. They were just 16-29 from the foul line.
"Sound like a broken record," coach Jerry Stackhouse said. "Did some things in the first half, come out in the second half and didn't execute quite as well on either end offensively or defensively. But we were pretty good for most of the possessions defensively, but we didn't secure the rebound. That was probably our biggest nemesis tonight."
The Commodores began the season 8-4, but it has been a struggle since. They have lost 15 of their last 16 games, but their one win in that span was against then-18th ranked LSU by a score of 99-90. Vanderbilt has been hit with the injury bug this season, as two of their top four scorers are out for the season. Aaron Nesmith, who was averaging 23.0 points per game in 14 games, has not played since January 8 because of a stress fracture in his foot. Clevon Brown averaged 9.0 points per game in his nine games before being sidelined with a knee injury.Lee and Pippen, Jr. lead the healthy Commodores with 17.8 and 11.5 points per game, respectively. Vanderbilt is averaging 71.1 points per game this season. They are shooting 42.9% from the floor and 33.1% from three-point range.
Rebels fall to 15th-ranked Auburn TigersThe Ole Miss Rebels failed to cover the spread for the third straight game, losing to Auburn by nine points as an 8.5 point underdog. The Rebels were favored by two points at home against Alabama before losing by 25 points. They were 1.5 point underdogs in the game before that against Missouri, as they lost by three points. Ole Miss covered the spread in seven straight games before that.
The Rebels have lost four straight games and 12 of their last 16. In their most recent loss, the Auburn Tigers led from start to finish, as Ole Miss fell behind by as many as 14 points before succumbing to the Tigers. KJ Buffen and Breein Tyree scored 16 points apiece to pace the Rebels. Ole Miss shot 34% from the floor and 33.3% from three-point range. They missed just two shots from the line, as they went 17-19.
"We tried a layup to get to two (down) and missed it," Rebels coach Kermit Davis said on espn.com. "That's the reason we're 4-11. That's the reason Auburn is 11-4.
Breein leads the SEC in scoring this season, scoring 20.4 points per game. Devontae Shuler averages 11.4 points per game, while Blake Hinson adds 10.2 points per game. The Rebels are averaging 69.3 points per game this season, while they shoot 43.2% from the floor and 32.7% from three-point range.
Trends found on oddsshark.com:
- The Rebels are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games against Vanderbilt
- The Commodores are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Despite being losers of their last six games, they have not played all that poorly, with four of those losses by 10 points or less. They nearly beat both Tennessee and Georgia in their last three games, both of whom are at .500 or better on the season. Vanderbilt does have a win over LSU this season. Ole Miss lost to Alabama by 25 points in their last home game, and they have lost five in a row overall. Neither team has anything to lose, as they are just playing out the string, as neither team will continue play after the SEC tournament. That having been said, it should be a close, competitive game, so it will be a single digit margin of victory at the end of the game. The Commodores have covered the spread in five of their last six games at Ole Miss.
Prediction: Vanderbilt +10.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This pick is made more because of the poor defenses in this game, especially Vanderbilt's, than the team's offensive prowess, although both teams do average around 70 points per game this season. Ole Miss gave up 103 points in their last home game versus Alabama. Vanderbilt is giving up over 74 points per game this season, and has given up at least 78 points in five of their last seven games. They also have one of the worst defenses in terms of opponents field goal percentage, ranking 333rd at 46.7%. Vanderbilt is 126th in pace of play and Ole Miss is 162nd, so I will be a moderately paced game, so expect the teams to score right around their averages in this one
Prediction: Over 141