Featured Video from Scott Steehn
Georgia vs. Missouri
When and Where: Wednesday, March 13, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn., 7 p.m. EST.
A pair of teams looking to extend their season one game at a time collide in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament Wednesday night when Georgia faces Missouri in Nashville.
Rebuild in full swing as Crean’s full season comes near end
Georgia (11-20) finished ahead of only Vanderbilt in the SEC in Tom Crean’s first year in Athens. If things remain status quo in the offseason, the Bulldogs — seeded 13th for this tournament — will return their top two scorers in Nicolas Claxton (13.0 ppg) and Rayshaun Hammonds (12.1) and boast one of the nation’s top freshmen in Anthony Edwards.
It's bigger than 🏀
In recognition of Turtle Jackson's generous spirit and contributions to the Athens community, the @SEC has named our favorite #0 to the 2019 Community Service Team 🐶
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) March 11, 2019
Georgia enters the SEC tournament on the heels of back-to-back losses in which its offense dried up. The Bulldogs scored 85 points on 25.8 percent shooting in those defeats, the most recent one a 66-46 setback at South Carolina on Saturday.
Claxton had 13 points and 10 rebounds, but Georgia had nearly double the turnovers (20) as field goals (11), offsetting a solid defensive performance in which it held the Gamecocks to 33.9 percent shooting.
Facing Missouri for the second time in a week will not do much to help Georgia’s psyche. The Tigers manhandled them in Athens 64-39 last Wednesday, limiting the Bulldogs to 25.5 percent shooting and pummeling them on the glass by a 50-28 count.
“Missouri did a number on us when we went up against them last week,” Crean told the Athens Banner-Herald on Tuesday. “They were more physical than us, they were more aggressive and it hurt us.”
Each of the last two losses are also among the worst 10 shooting performances in school history, with the loss to Missouri eighth and the defeat to South Carolina ninth. What made the performances all the more surprising was Georgia looked to have turned a corner in the previous five games. Despite winning one of them, the Bulldogs lost the other four by four or fewer points.
As a No. 12 seed last season, Georgia won two games — upending Missouri in the second round — before bowing out against Kentucky.
Mizzou needs three wins to avoid losing season
Missouri (14-16) is seeded 12th in the SEC tournament after going 5-13 in conference play. The Tigers have taken a step back in Cuonzo Martin’s second season after going to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and tried to rebuild around senior guard Jordan Geist.
NEWS 👉 #Mizzou will compete in the 2019 Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo., next season!
— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouHoops) March 12, 2019
Missouri was thwarted in its bid for a third straight victory last weekend, losing 73-68 at home to Ole Miss. Freshman Xavier Pinson scored a season-high 20 points and six added assists while Geist chipped in 12 points, but the Tigers allowed the Rebels to close the game on a 10-2 tear over the final 2:35.
“We really wanted to get them a win,” fellow freshman Torrence Watson told the Columbia Missourian, the school’s newspaper, after scoring 14 points. “It’s just a really tough loss. Especially when you know these guys won’t play on this floor again.”
Geist and Watson nearly outscored the Bulldogs by themselves last week, combining for 35 points as Geist was 8 of 12 from the field and Watston hit a season-high five 3-pointers. Watson, who is averaging 6.7 points on the season, has more than doubled that to 15.8 per contest in the last four games while shooting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc.
- 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 9-2-2 ATS in its last 13 games vs. sub-.400 teams.
- 16-7-1 ATS in its last 24 neutral site games as a favorite.
- The under is 5-1 in its last six neutral site games as a favorite.
- The under is 7-2 in its last nine games vs. sub-.400 teams.
- The under is 5-0 in its last five games vs. Georgia.
- 2-5 ATS in its last seven games after scoring 50 or less in its previous game.
- 1-5 ATS in its last six games following an ATS loss.
- The under is 5-1 in its last six games vs. SEC opponents.
- The under is 5-2 in its last seven neutral site games as an underdog.
- The under is 4-0 in its last four games vs. sub-.500 records.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There have been times this season when the Tigers have put together 40 minutes of solid basketball at a level above its peers at the bottom of the SEC and punching up. Given the way Missouri flattened Georgia on the road last week and how the Bulldogs’ offense has severely struggled of late, there is every reason to believe the Tigers can do so again.
Prediction: Pick: Missouri -3
Full-Game Total Pick
This pick is as much about Missouri’s defense flexing its strength and Indiana’s offense struggling to find any rhythm. The teams have also combined for 127 and under in six of their last eight matchups. This line has dipped 3.5 points to 129.5 since opening, so hopefully you jumped on board early. The feeling is the under should still hit at 129.5, but you may have to sweat it out.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 133 points
Full-Game Prop Bet
Given the Bulldogs have failed to score more than 61 in their last three games and have failed to shoot above 27 percent in the last two games, the under is the play. Missouri has the ability to take teams out of their offensive sets for sustained stretches and should do so again versus Georgia.
Prediction: Pick: Georgia UNDER 63 points
Half-Time Side Pick
Some quick facts: Missouri led by 11 points at halftime in last week’s game. Missouri has led by four or more points in four of its last five games. Georgia has led at halftime exactly once in conference play, and that was by all of one point. The Bulldogs trailed after 20 minutes in their final SIXTEEN SEC games and trailed by double figures on 10 occasions.
Prediction: Pick: Missouri -2
Half-Time Total Bet
This is a confidence pick in Mizzou’s defense given the first meeting in which it held Georgia to 14 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Tigers have also held four of their last opponents to 25 or fewer first-half points, and the Bulldogs have scored 27 or less in five of their last six contests.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 60 points
Half-Time Prop Prediction
Again, there is little to dissuade the belief Missouri will stifle Georgia’s offense between the first meeting between the teams and the Bulldogs’ recent form on offense. Georgia has also scored 29 or fewer points in six of its nine SEC road games.
Prediction: Pick: Georgia UNDER 29 points