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Mississippi vs. Mississippi State Expert Pick and Prediction – February 21, 2024

Mississippi vs. Mississippi State Expert Pick and Prediction – February 21, 2024

MISSISSIPPI VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – February 21, 2024 — The basketball version of the Egg Bowl held a little more juice before Ole Miss dropped three of its past four games. The Rebels are still holding hope of sneaking into the NCAA tournament, but they’re running out of chances. 

Out of its remaining schedule, this is Mississippi’s last chance for a signature road win. The Rebels’ only wins away from Oxford are Southern Miss on a neutral floor (worthless), at Temple (worthless), at Central Florida (decent) and at Texas A&M (solid). 

Otherwise, everything here has come in Oxford, and that’s just not enough. The Rebels’ remaining road games are land mines at Missouri and Georgia, so failing to win in Starkville likely requires a deep run in the SEC tournament for Ole Miss to have a chance.

Mississippi State’s situation is the opposite. The Bulldogs haven’t done much away from Starkville (1-5 on the road in the SEC and the one was Missouri, which doesn’t count), but their remaining schedule is loaded with opportunity. The Rebels are the only game left on the Bulldogs’ schedule that doesn’t qualify as a Quad 1 opportunity.

The Bulldogs also arrive having won three in a row, which isn’t that impressive considering the three were Georgia, Missouri and Arkansas. What matters more is that Mississippi State has handled both Tennessee and Auburn in Starkville, and the Bulldogs boast a 10-2 record at the Hump. But if they can’t take care of the ball better than they did in Oxford, they’re in trouble.

The Odds







(19-6 SU, 13-12 ATS)





Mississippi State

(17-8 SU, 12-12-1 ATS)






When: Wednesday, February 21 at 9 p.m. EST

Where: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Miss.

TV: SEC Network

Public Bets: 57% on Mississippi State

Public Money: 81% on Mississippi State

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of February 21st, 2024

Related: Nebraska vs. Indiana Expert Pick

Mississippi vs. Mississippi State In-Season Trends

In the Big Ten, Piscataway is where offense goes to die. In the SEC, it’s Starkville. Mississippi State has played to the UNDER in four straight SEC home games, with only Alabama going over in its past five. The Bulldogs defend the 3-pointer better than almost anyone and create a ton of second chances inside, which is why they’ve held four straight opponents to 67 or less in Starkville.

The easiest way to win on Mississippi road games: Play the Rebels’ team total UNDER. Ole Miss has played to the under in four straight road games, and it hasn’t topped 71 points in five of its past six away from Oxford. The Rebels’ game is built around forcing turnovers, which teams are less apt to do in front of their own crowd. 

The Difference-Makers

When the teams met in Oxford, Mississippi State shot well enough to win. Cameron Matthews in particular was a monster inside, grabbing 12 rebounds and scoring 16 points. So why did the Bulldogs fall short? Matthews and Tolu Smith combined for eight turnovers and the Bulldogs ended up with 15. The Rebels cashed in, which more than offset the Bulldogs’ big edge on the offensive glass.

If Ole Miss is going to get a win here, it has to keep up the play inside. The Rebels probably can’t hope to out-rebound the Bulldogs, so Jaemyn Brakefield has to shoot it well and come up with steals inside. Mississippi knows what works against Mississippi State; it’s just a matter of knocking the ball away from the Bulldogs’ forwards. If the steals aren’t there, Ole Miss probably isn’t getting 30 looks from the arc, which it needed to win the first meeting.

The Pick

The way Mississippi won the first meeting likely doesn’t translate to the return game. Mississippi State should take better care of the basketball this time around, and the Bulldogs shouldn’t have a problem with either shooting or rebounding. If the steals are not there, there’s little reason to think that Ole Miss can win.

The other issue is the Rebels’ lack of shooting away from Oxford. Mississippi shot 37% in Lexington and 41% in College Station. With Mississippi State holding all six SEC opponents to visit Starkville under 46% from the floor, a percentage in the low 40s is the likely baseline for the Rebels.

That’s not good enough to keep this close.

Dan’s Picks

Mississippi State -7.5

Ole Miss TTU 67.5

FUN My Pillow

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