A defensive struggle should be expected when the South Carolina Gamecocks (8-4, 0-1 SEC) and the Missouri Tigers (10-3) square off at Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina is a 2-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 138.5 points. Action gets underway at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN2.
Missouri Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks ATS Preview
The Tigers lost to the Illinois Fighting Illini in their last game, 70-64. Missouri’s Jordan Barnett finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the contest. Illinois had a turnover percentage of 12.4 (better than their season average of 16.6). Missouri, on the other hand, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 44.4 (above their season average of 37.4).
In the Gamecocks last matchup, they were topped by the Ole Miss Rebels, 74-69. Chris Silva was the games leading scorer with 21 points on 5-for-11 shooting. Ole Miss did an excellent job of getting and making free throws (26-33; 78.8 percent). South Carolina, on the other hand, held the Rebels to an offensive rebounding percentage of 12.1 (below their season average of 30.1).
South Carolina might struggle to put up points as they square off against one of the NCAA’s best defenses. Missouri currently ranks 68th in defensive efficiency while the Gamecocks rank 258th in offensive efficiency. Ball security could be troublesome for the Tigers. They rank 326th at avoiding errors (turnover percentage of 22.6 percent), while the Gamecocks force the 54th-most turnovers in the NCAA (opponents turnover percentage of 22.4 percent).
Of Missouri’s 11 games that accepted bets, six have finished under the O/U total, while 6 of South Carolina’s 12 games have finished under the projected point total. The Tigers hold a sizable advantage in terms of straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 10-3 SU and 6-6 ATS, while the Gamecocks are 8-4 SU and 5-6-1 ATS.
Barnett has really been playing well over the last five games for Missouri, averaging 18.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after the Gamecocks won the only game last season, 63-53. The Gamecocks dominated every facet of the game. They had a superb offensive rebounding percentage of 27.5 and an effective field goal percentage of 0.430. For those same stats, the Tigers were 22.0 and 0.366, respectively.
Missouri Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – South Carolina, ATS Winner – South Carolina, O/U – Under
- The Tigers are 14th in the NCAA with 10.2 assists allowed per game while the Gamecocks are 37th with 11.3 assists allowed per game.
- Missouri ranks 64th in three pointers attempted per game (24.9) while South Carolina ranks 66th in three pointers allowed per game (20.3).
- South Carolina is 2-2 ATS at home, while Missouri is 3-3 ATS on the road.
- The total has gone over in 3 of the Tigers’ 6 road games, while 2 of the Gamecocks 4 home games have gone over.
- Missouri averages 5.1 blocks per game, which ranks 33rd in the nation. South Carolina ranks 138th in blocks allowed per game (4.4).
- The Tigers rank 123rd in steals per game (6.1) while the Gamecocks rank 173rd in steals allowed per game (8.3).
- Missouri ranks 16th in rebounds allowed per game (30.5) while South Carolina ranks 52nd (32.3).
- South Carolina is 1-3 ATS with 3 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Missouri is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Gamecocks average margin of victory in their last five games has been 5.2, down from 7.0 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Tigers have scored an average of 80.2 points per game (1.3 above their season average) and allowed an average of 66.0 points per game (0.5 below their season average).