Mississippi State Bulldogs (20-8), +3.5, o/u 144 @ Vanderbilt Commodores (24-5), -3.5, o/u 144, Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, TN, 8 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday
by Oracle at Predictem.com
Vanderbilt returns to its comfort zone that is Memorial Gymnasium when they play host to the 25th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs on Wednesday in Nashville.
After beating the then No.1 ranked Tennessee Volunteers at home last week, they went on the road only to lose to an unranked Arkansas team. The 16th ranked Commodores love playing at Memorial Gymnasium where they stayed undefeated at 18-0 after beating Tennessee, 72-69.
With that win, it marked a single season record for victories at Memorial Gymnasium. In addition, Vandy has a shot to tie the school record for most wins in the regular season if they can top the Bulldogs on Wednesday.
Before losing to the Razorbacks on Saturday, Vandy won seven straight games and found themselves ranked as high as 14th.
The loss to the Razorbacks was a tough one to swallow, as senior forward Ross Neltner called a timeout that the Commodores didn’t have with 7.3 seconds left, leading to the 78-73 loss.
The defeat overshadowed senior forward Shon Foster’s milestone of becoming Vanderbilt’s all-time leading scorer (1,895 points) with a 22-point effort. Foster hasn’t had much success against Mississippi State in his collegiate career, though, as the Bulldogs have held him to 12.7 points in three games.
Vandy is more of a complete team compared to Foster’s games against the Bulldogs in years past. For example, freshman A.J. Ogilvey is averaging 16.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this year to go along with 1.5 blocks.
The Bulldogs have been on a roll lately, capturing their fourth SEC West title in six years. They’ve won six of their last seven games including a big win in Florida on Saturday to clinch their SEC West crown.
Jarvis Vernardo is one of the more interesting players in the country. The 6-foot 9-inch forward has an astounding 128 blocks on the year (4.9 per game), which is more than the totals for nine teams in the SEC. He also shoots 64% from the floor and grabs 8.1 rebounds to go along with 7.5 points.
The Bulldogs rely heavily on their starting five. Jamont Gordon leads the way with 17.1 points per game, followed by Charles Rhodes (16.2), Barry Stewart (12.0), and Ben Hansborough (10.5) young brother of Tyler Hansborough.
Hansborough came up big against Florida, hitting four three-pointers and tying a season-high 20 points.
Mississippi State is 13-12 ATS this year and is an impressive 6-3 on the road. Although Vandy is undefeated at home, they’re just 8-9 ATS at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Commodores don’t mind being favorites, either, with a 6-1 record as favorites of .5 points to 6.5 points. They’re also 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
The Bulldogs don’t mind playing on the road where they are 6-2 ATS in their last eight overall. They haven’t been very friendly to bettors on Wednesday’s lately with a 1-4 mark ATS.
Although both teams have potentially dangerous offenses, the under is 9-2-1 in the last 12 road games for MSU and 4-1 after a straight up loss for Vandy.
Online Bookmakers may know something that bettors don’t because with Vandy being so dangerous at home, the spread seems a little small. But Mississippi State is the type of team that doesn’t get blown out and is pesky. If this game was on the road, the MSU pick would be a good one, but it’s at one of the toughest places to play in the country Memorial Gymnasium.
Oracle’s Pick: Take Mississippi St. here as a live dog. They have a legit chance to win straight up tonight. Sharps are hammering them as well as evidenced by the public one siding Vandy and the line moving the other direction!