Tennessee had a deflating loss at home on Saturday to a floundering Kentucky team as a double-digit favorite and now hits the road to face a defensive-minded Mississippi State team.
The Bulldogs, like the Vols Saturday opponent, are struggling mightily in SEC play, 1-4 so far this season and struggling to generate any sort of offense. They now face the best defense in the country in Tennessee, is there any cause for optimism?
Let’s check out the odds:
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State odds, spread and total
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State prediction and pick
For the issues that Mississippi State have on offense, and there are plenty of them, Tennessee has plenty of warts as well, which was evident on Saturday afternoon at home. The team is 262nd in turnover rate this season and doesn’t generate a ton of clean looks or free throws.
While they move the ball well, the Volunteers are going to face a compact Miss. State defense that shuts down the interior and is top 25 in two-point percentage allowed.
Most of Tennessee’s offense is generated off of second chances (they are top five in the country in OREB%), but Mississippi State is strong on the glass and are very disciplined on defense with their ball pressure defense.
However, the offense is an eye sore. The the team is 328th in effective field goal percentage and shoots 61% from the free throw line. While I think that Tennessee’s defense can be ripe for a step back due to some good shot variance, this Bulldogs offense won’t make them pay.
Both teams play slow and I don’t trust either offense to get the best against elite defenses. I’m inclined to take the home underdog at over a few buckets, but instead I’ll grab the under in a game that may be a race to 60 points.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.