The No. 22 Arkansas Razorbacks (11-2, 1-0 SEC) and the Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-1) battle at Humphrey Coliseum. The Razorbacks will try to prolong their six-game winning streak. Arkansas is a 4-point favorite on the opening line, while the Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 154 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, and it can be seen on SEC Network.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Betting Preview
In the Razorbacks last outing, they barely escaped the No. 19 Tennessee Volunteers, 95-93. With 28 points and five rebounds, Arkansas Jaylen Barford had a solid performance. Arkansas dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a phenomenal free throw rate of 0.344 (above their season average of 0.255) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.607 (above their season average of 0.571). Tennessee was 0.254 and 0.528, respectively, for those same stats.
The Bulldogs come in on a high note after blowing out the North Florida Ospreys in their last game, 109-81. Quinndary Weatherspoon fueled Mississippi State with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists. Mississippi State dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a phenomenal offensive rebounding percentage of 55.2 (above their season average of 32.8) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.669 (above their season average of 0.536). For those same stats, North Florida put up marks of 21.1 and 0.524, respectively.
It could be a sloppy game for the Mississippi State offense. Mississippi State ranks 275th in the NCAA in ball protection (turnover percentage of 20.8 percent), while the pesky defense of Arkansas forces the 85th-most turnovers in the NCAA (21.3 percent). Additionally, the Razorbacks 20th-ranked offense (offensive efficiency of 118.8) will square off against the Bulldogs ninth-ranked defense (defensive efficiency of 88.6).
In terms of the O/U total, these teams are complete opposites. Arkansas games have gone over 69.2 percent of the time, while 62.5 percent of games featuring Mississippi State have gone under. Both teams have superb straight up (SU) records (11-2 for Arkansas; 12-1 for Mississippi State), but the Razorbacks have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Arkansas is 9-4 ATS, while the Bulldogs are 2-6.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Razorbacks, it’s been Daryl Macon, who has averaged 15.2 points, 6.2 assists and 2.0 steals, while the Bulldogs have gotten great contributions from Aric Holman (14.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks).
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Bulldogs won the sole contest last season, 84-78. The Bulldogs played a nearly perfect game. They had a ridiculous offensive rebounding percentage of 44.1 and a fantastic free throw rate of 0.400. For those same stats, the Razorbacks were 27.8 and 0.254, respectively.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Arkansas, ATS Winner – Arkansas, O/U – Over
- The Bulldogs rank 11th in blocks allowed per game (2.1) while the Razorbacks rank 63rd (2.9).
- Arkansas allows the 26th-fewest steals per game (5.0) while Mississippi State ranks 51st (5.5).
- Arkansas is 3-2 ATS on the road, while Mississippi State is 2-4 ATS at home.
- The total has gone under in 4 of the Bulldogs 6 home games, while 3 of the Razorbacks 5 road games have gone under.
- Mississippi State ranks 38th in rebounds per game (39.9) while Arkansas ranks 159th (35.6).
- The Bulldogs average 23.2 three pointers per game, which ranks 110th in the NCAA. The Razorbacks rank 206th in three pointers allowed per game (24.2).
- Mississippi State ranks 29th in assists allowed per game (10.8) while Arkansas ranks 115th (13.2).
- Mississippi State is 1-3 ATS with 2 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Arkansas is 4-1 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Bulldogs average margin of victory in their last five games has been 13.2, down from 15.5 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Razorbacks have scored an average of 95.4 points per game (5.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 74.4 points per game (0.2 below their season average).