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Kentucky vs. Mississippi State Expert Pick – February 27, 2024

Kentucky vs. Mississippi State Expert Pick and Prediction – February 27, 2024 

KENTUCKY VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – February 27, 2024 — Has John Calipari done it again? After four losses in six games and a 16-7 record, a lot of Wildcat fans were ready to pronounce Calipari deceased (he’s got a lifetime contract).

But for the second year in a row, Calipari appears to be righting the Big Blue Nation ship just as March arrives. The Wildcats still aren’t up to their standards, but at 9-5 in the SEC and seated firmly on the No. 5 line in most brackets, the seas are much calmer in Lexington.

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However, Mississippi State wants to even the score. Actually, evening the score is a major stretch, considering the Bulldogs are 17-92 all-time against Kentucky in SEC play and haven’t won a regular season game against the Wildcats since 2009. To put that in perspective, not only was Mississippi State coach Chris Jans still an assistant coach, but Calipari wasn’t even in the SEC yet, as he was still coaching Memphis while Billy Gillespie was flaming out at Kentucky.

That’s a long-winded way of saying Calipari has treated Mississippi State like Mississippi Valley State, owning an 18-1 record against the Bulldogs and 17-0 outside of the SEC tournament. But even the Delta Devils finally won one, as they broke through on Tuesday to raise their record to 1-27. Could Mississippi State finally end its own run of futility against Kentucky?

Hey, while you’re at it, click here to check out our Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks!


The Odds 







(19-8 SU, 16-11 ATS) 





Mississippi State

(19-8 SU, 14-12-1 ATS) 






When: Tuesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. EST

Where: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Miss.


Public Bets: 59% on Kentucky

Public Money: 81% on Mississippi State 

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of February 26th, 2024 

Kentucky vs. Mississippi State In-Season Trends 

Even though Kentucky has won 17 in a row over Mississippi State outside the SEC tournament, the Bulldogs have been close. The past three in Starkville have been particularly irritating to the fans in maroon, as they lost one by 3, one by 4 and one by 5 in double overtime. The Wildcats’ 13-point win in Lexington was an anomaly for this series as of late; five of the past seven meetings have been decided by four points or less.

In SEC play, Mississippi State has been all about the defense. The Bulldogs have gone 8-1 when they hold the opponent to 72 points or less and 0-5 when the opposition cracks that ceiling. And that’s a real issue against Kentucky; the Wildcats have both cracked that number five times in the past six meetings with Mississippi State and exceeded it in seven of their past eight games.

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Incredibly, four of those eight games were losses. Kentucky hasn’t been doing this with defense; it’s been trying to outscore everyone with the exception of Auburn. It worked against Alabama when the Wildcats gave up 95 points and won; it didn’t work against Tennessee or Florida, as Kentucky cracked 90 points and lost.

The Difference-Makers 

In the first meeting, Antonio Reeves never stopped scoring. The Wildcats won because they jumped on the Bulldogs early and led by 18 at halftime, and Reeves’ 27 points were a big part of that. More worrisome for Mississippi State was that Kentucky won easily without even bothering to shoot the 3-pointer.

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The Wildcats normally rely on their deep shooting, but Kentucky knew Mississippi State’s defensive strength there and opted to score from closer in getting to 90 points. Reeves did part of that, and the Bulldogs need to find an answer.

They also need some help for Tolu Smith. Mississippi State shot 20-for-54 outside of Smith in the first game, with Trey Fort the only other Bulldog to make more than three shots. Someone else has to find their touch against the Kentucky defense.

The Pick 

Kentucky is on right now and seems a bad matchup for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs don’t have the shooters to find weak spots in the Kentucky defense. Mississippi State doesn’t make free throws and doesn’t make 3-pointers, a recipe for disaster against the Wildcats.

Kentucky’s history of scoring on Mississippi State leads me to believe that happens again. And if it does, the Wildcats will win again. I wouldn’t be opposed to taking Kentucky on the moneyline, but I’m not passing up a free four points.

Dan’s Picks 

 Kentucky +4

 Over 156.5 


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