Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#637 Mississippi St 139.5 vs.
#638 Oklahoma -1.5
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 2:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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#637 Mississippi State University
#638 University of Oklahoma
12-6
12-6
11-7
7-10-1
11-6-1
8-10
73
72
64
68

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Mississippi State takes on Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday from Norman. The Bulldogs have won three straight after losing three straight. The Sooners lost three of their last four games, including a 61-57 defeat at No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 20.

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Nice homestand for Bulldogs

Mississippi State is having a mediocre season in the SEC (3-3) and a solid season overall. They may have turned things around after a 3-0 homestand. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs beat Arkansas 77-70, despite shooting just 39% from the field. Reggie Perry (16.9ppg, 10.3rpg) led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds on 14-of-15 from the line. The key was rebounding as they outrebounded the Razorbacks 41-31. Mississippi State leads the SEC in rebounding margin (+8.2) and they took advantage of the worst rebounding team in the league.

According to KenPom, Mississippi State is ranked 41st, 19th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 83rd in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Bulldogs average 73.3 points per game on 46.3% shooting and 32.9% from beyond the arc. They allow 64.9 points on 41.4% shooting (30.6% 3pt). Tyson Carter is the second leading scorer with 13.6 points per game on 35.8% shooting (31.2% 3pt).

Tough loss but solid performance

Oklahoma found themselves down by 11 at the half to Baylor on Jan. 20, who had won 14 straight games. But they pulled within two at 59-57 on three-pointers from Brady Manek and Austin Reaves. After a steal, Reaves had a chance to win the game, but missed a three-pointer in the corner with six seconds left. Manek led the Sooners with 21 points after scoring a career-high 31 two days earlier against TCU (83-63 win). Oklahoma shot 35% from the field, but they were outrebounded by nine.

“I was proud of our guys for fighting and scratching and hanging in there,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said after the game. “I can’t say we had anything drawn up, it was a steal and it’s a break.”

Oklahoma averages 72.3 points per game on 42.4% shooting (32.6% 3pt). Kristian Doolittle (6-7, 232) leads the Sooners with 15.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on 44.2% shooting (40.5% 3pt). Manek (6-9, 231) adds 15.6 points and 6.5 rebounds on 46.8% shooting (43.9% 3pt).

In terms of defense, KenPom has the Sooners at 57 in adjusted defensive efficiency. They tend to struggle on the boards (-1.7) but they hold teams to just 39.9% shooting.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I don't understand these challenges in the middle of the conference season. I think it's difficult for teams to get up for these games. Mississippi State just played Arkansas on Wednesday and had a successful three-game run. But now, they have to go on the road and play a non-conference game. Is this game that meaningful for them? Oklahoma is 47 in the latest Net Rankings, so a win over 53 Mississippi State is not going to get them in the tournament or vice versa. The Sooners are 7-1 at home and Mississippi State is 1-2 on the road. They've played just three true road games. Take the Sooners.

Prediction: Oklahoma

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

In terms of pace, Oklahoma is at 157 with 71.9 possessions per game, but Mississippi State is just 304th with 68.7 possessions per game. Yet, Oklahoma has gone under in five of their last six games. Neither squad has a lot of great shooters. Oklahoma is shooting just 42.4% from the field and their defense holds teams to under 40% from the field. Take the under.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!