Mississippi State at No. 18 Tennessee
Mississippi State and No. 18 Tennessee are both looking to snap a two-game losing streak when they meet in SEC action on Tuesday night. This is the lone meeting this season and tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. These teams met once last season and the Bulldogs posted an 86–73 victory at home. Prior to that, the Volunteers won four straight games in this long-running SEC rivalry series that dates back to 1924.
Tennessee (10–3, 4–3 SEC) opened their season with a 10-1 record but have struggled during two straight losses. The Volunteers were destroyed 75–49 on the road by the unranked Florida Gators on Jan. 19 and lost 73–64 at home to No. 19 Missouri Tigers on Jan. 23. Prior to those two losses, Tennessee allowed 66 or fewer points during nine of their previous 11 games. The Volunteers are 8–2 at home and outscored opponents by a 645–451 margin during the eight wins.
Mississippi State (9–7, 4–4 SEC) is playing a second straight road game following an 81–73 loss to No. 18 Alabama Crimson Tide on Jan. 23. The Bulldogs covered the spread as an 11-point underdog. Prior to that, Mississippi State lost 64–46 to the Ole Miss Rebels, defeated Florida 72–69 and lost 56–55 to the Texas A&M Aggies during three home games. Including an 84–81 win against Vanderbilt, who Tennessee defeated 81–61, the Bulldogs are 2–1 on the road this season.
These teams are fairly close on offense as Tennessee is averaging 74.0 points per game (ppg) and Mississippi State is scoring 71.8 ppg. The Volunteers have an edge on defense as they have allowed just 59.8 ppg while the Bulldogs are giving up 67.1 ppg. Originally leaning towards laying the point spread, and backing Tennessee, it’s difficult the trust the Vols’ with this big number. Instead, since both teams are motivated to rebound, my play is OVER on the game total.
Pick: Game Total OVER 126.5 (-113) at DraftKings
No. 24 Oklahoma at No. 5 Texas
Big 12 Conference rivals clash when No. 24 Oklahoma visits No. 5 Texas tonight. This is the first of two meetings this season and game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Splitting the season series last year, the Sooners won 72–62 in Texas and the Longhorns won 52-51 in Oklahoma. These teams also split the season series two years ago as both sides won at home. Three of the previous four meetings were decided by three points or less.
Texas (11–2, 5–1 Big Ten) returns to action after their last two games were cancelled due to COVID–19 issues. Following a 79–77 loss to Texas Tech, and a 82–67 rebound win over Kansas State, the Longhorns are playing a third straight home game. Texas let one get away against the Red Raiders as they were leading 48–38 at halftime. Prior to that, Andrew Jones drained a 3-point shot, with 1.8 seconds left on the clock, during a 72-70 win over No. 11 West Virginia.
Oklahoma (9–4, 5–3 Big 12) heads to Texas following three straight wins at home. The Sooners went 3–0 against the spread in those contests as they crushed TCU 82–46, defeated Kansas State 76–50 and upset No. 9 Kansas 75–68 in their last game on Jan. 23. Facing a tough schedule, Oklahoma is playing an AP Top 15 ranked team for the sixth time over their last eight games. The Sooners went 2-3 straight up, and 4–1 against the spread, during the first five contests.
There isn’t much separating these teams at either end of the court. Oklahoma is averaging 77.5 points per game while Texas is scoring 76.2 ppg on offense. The Longhorns are just a shade better on defense as they are allowing 65.2 ppg while the Sooners are given up 66.9 ppg. Texas is without head coach Shaka Smart as he has tested positive COVID-19. Oklahoma is brimming with confidence and I expect this rivalry game to be close. Take the points and bet on the Sooners.
Pick: Oklahoma Sooners +5 (-109) ATS at DraftKings
2020–21 NCAA Basketball Betting Record: 15–5 ATS
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