Florida Gators (9-6) vs Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-3)Date : 01/15/2019
Time : 7:00 PM
Location : Humphrey Coliseum
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Florida Gators vs Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are set to return home to Humphrey Coliseum for their 2nd consecutive home game and they will take on the Florida Gators in an SEC clash, the opening tipoff is slated for 7:00 PM. Mississippi State had a rough week as they lost two straight games in SEC play which has dropped them in the AP Poll while Florida is trying to find some consistency as they have been up and down all season.
Florida Gators's Latest Performance :
The Florida Gators have been one of the top programs in college basketball over the last few years and coach Mike White has only made them better as they will be seeking their 3rd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, but the one area they have struggled with this season is consistency. Florida lost their recent home game against the 3rd ranked Tennessee Volunteers 78-67 but the score may be misleading as the Gators were actually up at halftime. One area that Mike White wants to see improved is the fact that they only have two guys who average 10+ PPG and no one who averages more than 12+ PPG. Florida is led by senior guard KeVaughn Allen as he averages 11.3 PPG and he was once again able to deliver with an 18-point performance against the Volunteers. Freshmen guard Noah Locke has developed well during his 1st season in Gainsville as he is the 2nd leading scorer with 10.4 PPG and he was able to hit that mark and some more against Tennessee with 16 points. Senior center Kevarrius Hayes has been the top rebounder for the Gators as he averages 6 RPG while also contributing 6.8 PPG, and he was able to topple that mark in their latest outing with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Part of the inconsistency was within the starting lineup as guard Jalen Hudson and Andrew Nembhard only combined for 4 points in over 54 minutes of playing time between the two.
Mississippi State Bulldogs's Latest Performance :
Mississippi State entered last week as the 14th ranked team in the country but two bad losses to unranked teams has the identity of this team questioned as they went from an SEC contender to potentially a bubble team. In the Bulldogs latest outing, they welcomed in the Ole Miss Rebels but they were unable to secure a win at home against their in-state rivals as they lost 81-77. Senior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon was able to once again lead the team in scoring as he recorded 18 points while also pitching in 8 rebounds. Weatherspoon looks like an NBA prospect as he has had a stellar season for Ben Howland and company with 17.1 PPG and 5.7 RPG. Lamar Peters has been that second scorer for Weatherspoon all season long and he was able to deliver 16 points and 4 assists against the Ole Miss Rebels, Peters averages 13.5 PPG but his playmaking abilities have been a difference maker this season as the junior averages 6.1 APG. A reason that the Bulldogs lost can be attributed to the minimum production out of senior forward Aric Holman as he was only able to contribute 8 points and 4 rebounds, Holman averages just shy of a double-double on the season with 12.7 PPG and 8.4 RPG. Mississippi State likes to play a fast game as they rank inside the top 50 in team scoring but their defense needs to be better down the stretch if they want to compete with teams like Kentucky and Tennessee.
How Florida Gators & Mississippi State Bulldogs Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Florida is 7-8 ATS, 1-1 ATS on the road.
Mississippi State is 7-8 ATS, 5-4 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Mississippi State ranks 49th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 80.1 PPG while Florida ranks 279th as they score an average of 69.7 PPG.
Florida ranks 11th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 61.2 PPG while Mississippi State ranks 120th as they hold opponents to an average of 69 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Mississippi State Bulldogs
My reason for the pick :
One of these teams needs to respond with a win after starting conference play 1-2 but Mississippi State should have the advantage as they are playing at home and have better scoring depth than the Gators. Weatherspoon and Allen could possibly offset each other as they are two seniors have been around long enough to know how to step up in big games but the difference is with the other guys. Lamar Peters is as electric as Weatherspoon is as we have seen him have some big games in both the scoring department as well as dishing out the ball to teammates, but I think the Bulldogs go a different route in this game as they use their big man in Aric Holman to expose a thin frontcourt. Mississippi State should find success on the Gators as they will want to run in transition and not allow Florida to set up their zone defense which is one of the top in the nation.
Betting trends for Florida Gators:
- Florida is 0-3 ATS as an underdog.
Betting trends for Mississippi State Bulldogs:
- Mississippi State is 5-4 ATS as a home favorite this season.