SEC foes will battle when the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats (14-5, 4-3 SEC) challenge the Mississippi State Bulldogs (14-5, 2-4 SEC) at Rupp Arena. Kentucky is an 8.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 140 points. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats ATS Preview
In the Bulldogs last game, they fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide, 68-62. Aric Holman had a solid game for Mississippi State, recording 11 points and 10 rebounds. Alabama had a turnover percentage of 13.6 (better than their season average of 17.8). Mississippi State, meanwhile, did a terrific job of converting from the free throw line (13-16; 81.3 percent).
The Wildcats are trying to rebound after their 66-64 loss to the Florida Gators in their last contest. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was Kentucky’s leading scorer with 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Florida had a turnover percentage of 8.3 (better than their season average of 12.2). Kentucky, on the other hand, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 40.0 (above their season average of 34.5).
Kentucky does a solid job at getting to the charity stripe. They rank 27th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.293), but Mississippi State is among the best in the NCAA at keeping opponents off the line (ranking 13th by allowing a FTA rate of 0.171).
Of Mississippi State’s 14 games that accepted bets, 10 have finished under the O/U total, while 9 of Kentucky’s 18 games have finished over the projected point total. Both teams have respectable straight up (SU) records (14-5 for Mississippi State; 14-5 for Kentucky), but the Wildcats have the advantage against the spread (ATS). Kentucky is 7-11-1 ATS, while the Bulldogs are 4-10.
This is the first time these teams will clash this year, after the Wildcats won the sole game last season, 88-81. The Wildcats dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a fantastic offensive rebounding percentage of 36.1 and a turnover percentage of 17.5. For those same stats, the Bulldogs were 26.5 and 21.7, respectively.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kentucky, ATS Winner – Kentucky, O/U – Under
- The Bulldogs rank 18th in blocks per game (5.6) while the Wildcats rank 82nd in blocks allowed per game (3.3).
- Mississippi State ranks 50th in steals allowed per game (5.5) while Kentucky ranks 104th (6.3).
- Mississippi State is 0-5 ATS on the road with 4 unders and 1 over.
- At home, Kentucky is 4-8 ATS with 6 overs and 5 unders.
- Mississippi State ranks 120th in three pointers attempted per game (22.5) while Kentucky ranks 279th (14.3).
- The Bulldogs rank 41st in assists allowed per game (11.5) while the Wildcats rank 137th (13.5).
- Kentucky ranks 48th in rebounds per game (38.7) while Mississippi State ranks 135th in rebounds allowed per game (34.8).
- Kentucky is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Mississippi State is 1-4 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over.
- The Wildcats have been outscored by an average of 2.6 points in their last five games. On the season, Kentucky has defeated opponents by an average of 7.2 points.
- During their last five games, the Bulldogs have scored an average of 64.4 points per game (10.1 below their season average) and allowed an average of 68.2 points per game (3.5 above their season average).