LSU Tigers (12-11) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (15-8)
Week 14 of the 2022-23 NCAA men’s basketball season is in full swing on Wednesday, February 8, when the LSU Tigers take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in this SEC clash at the Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Mississippi.
This will be the one meeting between these teams this season. LSU defeated Mississippi State last year on February 12, 69-65, and has won the last four meetings between the teams. The Bulldogs were a 6.5-point underdog in the victory with the total going slightly under 136.5. No line or total was set for this contest at the time this analysis was written.
Tigers Look to Snap Losing SkidThe LSU Tigers (12-11, 8-14-1 ATS) will be looking to snap their 10-game losing streak when they take on Mississippi State. The Tigers lost to Alabama on Saturday, 79-69, and will head to the road where they are winless (0-5). LSU was an 11-point underdog in the loss, giving them the ATS victory, which snapped a string of eight games where the club was 0-7-1 ATS.
Alabama shot 53.3% in the first half while LSU hit 10-36 (27.8%) of their shots and finished at 30.7% from the floor. That included going 7-27 from three-point range (25.9%) it was the free-throw shooting that kept the Tigers in this game, as they hit 24 of 31 attempts, while Alabama had just 15 free-throw attempts, hitting 14. The Tigers were led by Derek Fountain, who had 26 points and seven rebounds. Fountain was the only shooter to hit more than 50% of his shots (6-9).
+1 for DFount 💪— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) February 4, 2023
📺 ESPNU pic.twitter.com/BHSPioZUaK
LSU is averaging 106.3 points per 100 possessions (155th) while allowing 102.7 points per 100 possessions (120th). The team is averaging 68.6 possessions per game, but has increased that number slightly over their last three, averaging 69.1. The Tigers are averaging 67.1 points per game (295th), while allowing 69.0 points per game (166th). This is a terrible shooting team, ranked 327th in the nation at 41.3%.
Bulldogs Snap Skid with Victory over TCUThe Mississippi State Bulldogs (15-8, 11-11-1 ATS) had been in a rut of late, losing five straight games, but were able to snap the skid with an 81-74 victory over No. 11 ranked TCU in overtime. The victory moved the Bulldogs to 10-3 at home this season and they are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games. They have gone under in four of the last five contests.
The Bulldogs shot 42.9% in the first half despite going 2-13 from three-point range. They finished 7-24 from beyond the arc overall but still had a solid shooting performance, hitting 50% of their shots, including all four attempts in the extra frame. Tolu Smith led the way with 27 points and 13 rebounds and Cameron Matthews also recorded a double-double, recording 10 points and 10 rebounds.
SEC Player of the Week 😤— Mississippi State Men's Basketball (@HailStateMBK) February 6, 2023
🌟 @ToluSmith1 #HailState🐶 pic.twitter.com/d951bHNzkf
Mississippi State is averaging 69.5 per game, 212th in the nation. Mississippi State is averaging 105.2 points per 100 possessions, and is one of the best defensive teams in college basketball, allowing 90.3 points per 100 possessions, sixth best. The Bulldogs are allowing 58.7 points per game (6th) and are seventh in opponent field-goal percentage (38.5%). This is not a great team offensively, averaging 65.5 points per game, 327th overall, but are still averaging nearly 7 points more per game than opponents. They are ranked No. 45 in the KenPom ranking.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
With no line available at the time this analysis was written, it makes it a little more difficult to determine if Mississippi State will cover the spread. They will clearly win this game, but no one should expect it to be by more than eight points. The Bulldogs scored 81 against TCU, but that took an extra session to be able to do so. They had scored 69 or fewer points in the 12 previous contests, including being held under 60 in four of their last eight games. This is not an offensive power, so they will not be blowing out LSU in this game.
The Tigers are a credible offense, scoring at least 68 in three of their last four games. However, that came after a horrific stretch where they were held to 56 points or fewer in six of the previous seven contests. The Tigers can be shut down, and Mississippi State is the type of team to hold the Tigers to 52 points or fewer. The likelihood is that they will not score much more than 60 themselves meaning you should take the Bulldogs only if they are favored by fewer than 10 points.
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Full-Game Total Pick
The total was not available at the time this preview was written, but look for a contest where the total is around 130. These teams combine for 134 points last season and this is a battle of two of the worst offensive teams in college basketball, averaging a combined total of 132.6 points per game.
Defensively this game looks like a low-scoring affair as well, as the two are combining to allow 127.7 points per contest. That puts the number right down the middle at about 130, which is likely what is going to be seen here. If the total is set at more than 131, go under.