Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#727 Southern Miss 144.5 vs.
#728 Middle Tennessee State -2.5
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 6:00pm EST
Written by Blake V.

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#727 University of Southern Mississippi
#728 Middle Tennessee State University
6-14
4-16
6-10-1
5-11
9-8
8-7-1
67
71
74
77

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Southern Mississippi will look to build on a big upset win when it travels to Middle Tennessee State on Saturday evening. The Golden Eagles improved to 6-14 with their road win against UAB on Thursday night. Middle Tennessee State dropped to 4-16 with its 11th consecutive loss on Thursday.

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Southern Miss starting to play well

Southern Mississippi has now won back-to-back games after snapping a five-game losing skid. The Golden Eagles started with an 81-68 win against Rice last Saturday in a home contest. With the win, Southern Mississippi picked up its first Conference USA victory of the year. Rice shot just 37 percent from the floor. The Golden Eagles built on that win with their best performance of the season, going on the road to pull off a stunning 84-77 win against UAB. Despite entering the game as a 9.5-point favorite, UAB was unable to recover from a 13-0 run by Southern Miss in the first half.

The Golden Eagles are led by sophomore guard Gabe Watson, who is scoring 12.8 points per game and is grabbing 3.3 rebounds per game. He is second on the team in assists with 2.8 dimes per contest. Sophomore forward Tyler Stevenson is scoring 11.8 points per game and is grabbing 6.1 rebounds per game. Junior guard LaDavius Draine is also in double figures, scoring 10.3 points per game. He is the team’s leading shooter from beyond the arc, making 39 of 107 attempts for a 36.4 percent clip. Draine poured in a game-high 28 points in the win on Thursday night. Senior forward Leonard Harper-Baker is scoring 8.4 points per game and is leading Southern Mississippi in rebounding with 7.3 boards per game.

Blue Raiders have lost 11 in a row

Middle Tennessee State has now lost 11 games in a row and has only won a single game since Nov. 13, sitting at 4-16 on the season. The Blue Raiders have been unable to record any wins, but have lost four of their last six games by single digits. Louisiana Tech jumped out to a 46-31 win against Middle Tennessee State at halftime and did not look back, holding off the Blue Raiders for an 80-73 win. Mubarak Muhammed scored a career-high 22 points and pulled down a ridiculous 17 rebounds in the win for Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs made 7 of 13 from beyond the arc.

Junior guard C.J. Jones leads Middle Tennessee State with 16.3 points per game. He has also been the best 3-point shooter on the team, making 48 of 117 attempts for a 41.0 percent clip. Senior guard Antonio Green is scoring 12.7 points per game and is grabbing 3.8 rebounds per game. Green has also been a threat from the perimeter, making 44 of 135 attempts. Junior guard Donovan Sims is the leading distributor, dishing out 3.8 assists per game to go along with 9.6 rebounds per game. He has made 35 of 95 from downtown, good for 36.8 percent. Sophomore guard Jayce Johnson is scoring 9.5 points per game and is grabbing 4.9 rebounds per contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Losing becomes a habit. So does winning. Southern Mississippi has simply shown too much life for me to bet against them in this game. Middle Tennessee State has been unable to close games out down the stretch, which becomes a major mental factor at the end of games. Southern Miss has a chance to build off its best performance of the season. Middle Tennessee State is just 4-11 against-the-spread in its last 15 games. The Golden Eagles have enough pieces to go on the road and get a win against a scuffling Blue Raiders team.

Prediction: Southern Mississippi

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will lean to the over in this game. Middle Tennessee State knows that it has to play its brand of basketball in order to give a slow Southern Mississippi team some issues. The Blue Raiders come in at No. 86 in KenPom’s adjusted tempo ratings, loving to get up and down the court. They are an awful defensive team, ranking No. 307 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Southern Mississippi is also bad on defense, coming in at No. 258 in adjusted defense. I think Middle Tennessee’s up-tempo play and outside shooting will be enough to get this one across the finish line.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.