Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#7957 Ole Miss vs.
#7958 Missouri
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Jordy

After putting an end to a three-game losing streak, the Missouri Tigers will be hell-bent on staying on the right track in Tuesday’s head-to-head meeting with the Ole Miss Rebels. An ugly three-game run for the Tigers included an 80-59 blowout loss on the road to the Rebels. They’ll be looking to cash in on a shot at vengeance when hosting the rematch at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers took care of business on the road against South Carolina on Saturday, while the Rebels fell against Mississippi State.

Joiner’s hot hand

Ole Miss experienced an offensive explosion Missouri wasn’t prepared to defend against when these two teams met well over a week ago. They’re averaging under 70 points per game, and they managed to drop 80 points at home against the Tigers.

Jarkel Joiner had the hot hand on that night and finished with a team-high 21 points, while Devontae Shuler knocked down five 3-pointers to help do his part. If the Rebels can find the same level of offensive success on Tuesday, they’ll be well on their way towards winning the rematch. Of course, that’s a big if when considering the lack of offensive efficiency the Rebels have shown all season. They’re a defensive team that was riding a scorching hot wave.

They could certainly get hot again, but this game is going to come down to their ability to defend and limit the Tigers offensively. Missouri isn’t a big 3-point shooting team, and most of their work will likely come inside of the arc. The lack of consistency to stretch the floor with long-distance shooting is a lingering problem for the Tigers that could once again play out in the Rebels’ favor.

Tigers can’t fall behind

Missouri didn’t really give themselves a chance to have a competitive game against the Rebels in the first meeting. They shot 5-of-15 from the free-throw line, got bullied on the boards and allowed a predominantly defensive team to go off for 80 points. Imagine trying to play catch-up against a team that’s ranked 21st in the country in Kenpom’s adjusted defensive efficiency ratings.

The Tigers have to make a defensive stand at some point in the rematch. Their last four losses this season have come against teams that have scored 80-plus points against them. Ole Miss is coming into the rematch averaging 67.8 points per game on the road. So it isn’t like the Tigers are facing an explosive offensive team consistently blowing opponents off the floor.

Speaking of offense, the Tigers clearly have to do better than 59 points. Dru Smith was the only starter in the first game that finished in double scoring figures. Leading-scorer Xavier Pinson and Jeremiah Tilmon were held to a combined 12 points. That can’t happen if Missouri has any hopes of avenging the loss.

You can rest assured there won’t be nearly as many clean looks at the basket as the team saw against South Carolina on Saturday.

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The Tigers are on the verge of falling out of the top-25 rankings, and they’ll be facing the same team that kick-started the three-game losing streak they recently overcame. They’ll surely come out with a bit more fire than they had in the first meeting.

Ole Miss is a solid defensive team, but they aren’t holding Xavier Pinson and Jeremiah Tilmon to only six points each in both head-to-head meetings. The Rebels will come off of their offensive high, while the Tigers find better luck getting their shots to fall in the second meeting.

Ole Miss is only averaging 43.2 percent shooting on the road this season. Missouri’s defensive problems aren’t going to suddenly disappear in this matchup, but they’ll have enough juice to at least make a stand in this game.

The Rebels aren’t running away with an 80-point performance this time out. I’m laying the points and taking the Tigers to come out on top for some late-season redemption.

Prediction: Missouri Tigers (-3.5)

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Missouri will step up on defense in the rematch, but make no mistake, they won’t completely shut the Rebels down. They don’t pose a defensive threat like Ole Miss saw when being held to only 56 points in a recent outing against Mississippi State. The Tigers are allowing an average 81.3 points in their last three games, and the Rebels have scored 80-plus points in three of their last four outings. Things won’t get that crazy, but the Rebels will put up enough points to push the total over. Missouri is built more for scoring points instead of stopping them.

Prediction: Over (134)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.