Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Arkansas Razorbacks – College Basketball, February 2, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| February 2, 2021 6:48 am PDT

The Razorbacks will be hoping that they are sharp enough to deal with the pursuing Bulldogs who have them in their sights in the Southeastern Conference. But perhaps they will be more interested in those teams above them than the ones below them as they know they’re a couple of wins off of potentially taking the top spot.

However, they have a miserable record against the Bulldogs to overcome, having lost the previous six matches against them. This also includes losing the last three played in Arkansas. They got closer than ever to breaking the streak last time out as they narrowly lost 77-78, and they will be hoping to go one better here.

Let’s check out the game odds, and then I will conclude with my Bulldogs vs. Razorbacks betting pick.

Bulldogs vs. Razorbacks Odds

Bulldogs (+7) -110
Razorbacks (-7) -110
Bulldogs To Win +260
Razorbacks To Win -315
Over 144.5 Points -110
Under 144.5 Points -110

The spread is looking a couple of points bigger than I anticipated here. The points total seems about right and offers little value either way.

The Razorbacks have only lost on one of the 13 occasions they have found themselves as the game favorites.

Bulldogs Analysis

The Bulldogs ended a run of three straight defeats devastatingly by beating Iowa State 95-56. The signs that the winless streak was about to end was clear for all to see in their narrow three-point loss against Conference leaders Tennessee the game before.

They haven’t spent much time on the road this season and have only played five games. Of those five games, they have lost three and won two. Two of their three defeats came in their last two road trips, but they were against Alabama and Tennessee, both good teams.

Here are the latest betting trends for Mississippi State:

  • They have won four of their previous five games against the spread.
  • Seven of their last ten games have gone over the betting total.
  • The Bulldogs have won their last six games in a row against the Razorbacks when betting against the spread.
  • Only two of their previous 11 games on the road have gone under the points total.
  • They have lost four of their last five games against teams based in the Southeastern Conference.
  • Mississippi State is 4-2 against the spread in their last six games played on a Tuesday.

On paper, the Bulldogs have an average offense, but I think it’s better than that. They have come up against some very tough defenses recently, which is why their figures are relatively low. But they showed just what they could do against Iowa State last time out.

At times they appear to lack confidence. A prime example of this is they are averaging just five three-pointers per game, but they have the second-highest scoring percentage from distance in the Conference, so they need to back themselves more. They also know that they are excellent rebounders, especially offensively, so again they shouldn’t lack confidence.

Although however good they are from distance they could undoubtedly improve their shooting from the free-throw line as they are only making 64% of their shots from there.

They have also been a lot more well-rounded on the road, which helps them adapt to different types of defenses.

Speaking of defenses, they have a pretty hot defense right now that concedes, on average, 65 points per game. Given the teams they have played against recently, this is impressive. However, they haven’t performed as well on the road, conceding on average seven points more per game.

Despite not doing so well recently, they have remained disciplined and have stuck to the game plan, which is something I like.

They have an extremely well-rounded team and don’t rely on any one player. They have talent throughout their squad, and they aren’t afraid to rely on their bench to help them out just as they are here.

The Bulldogs have a clean bill of health heading into this game.

Razorbacks Analysis

The Razorbacks had their three-game win streak cut short by Oklahoma State last time. It was an incredibly close game as the teams were level at the halfway mark, but The Razorbacks ran out of steam, losing 81-77.

Arkansas have been near perfect at home this season and take an 11-1 record into this game, which is the best in the Conference.

Here are the latest betting trends for Arkansas:

  • Despite their decent form recently, the bookmakers have made life difficult for them as they have only won two of their last six against the spread.
  • Nine of their previous 13 games have gone over the betting total.
  • The total has gone under in seven of their last ten games against the Bulldogs.
  • They have won 14 of their previous 15 games at home.
  • Their games against Southeastern Conference rivals have been entertaining, with 15 of the last 20 going over the points total.
  • Eight of their last nine games played in February have gone over the betting total.
  • Arkansas is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games played on a Tuesday.
  • The Razorbacks have won ten of their previous 14 previous games against the spread when entering the match as the favorite.

The Razorbacks have one of the country’s leading offenses, averaging a massive 83 points per game. There isn’t much that they don’t do well going forward. This has led them to have a point per game difference of 13.2, which is marginally lower than the Conference leaders Tennessee.

They rebound impeccably at both ends of the court, which means they often spend a lot of time in possession. They are very careful with that possession, and they use the ball well and don’t make many turnovers. They have averaged 75% possession per game this season, which is the 15th highest in the country.

While their defense certainly doesn’t lack ability, it does lack focus at times. With so much going on in attack, they sometimes forget their defensive duties.

The Razorbacks have some incredible talent to call upon, and perhaps the most exciting of those is Mosses Moody, who has exploded onto the scene. Although the downside is, he is only expected to play one year with the Razorbacks as it’s like the NBA will come knocking very soon.

Another player who deserves a special mention is Jalen Tate, who links many moves and gets the Razorbacks playing.

Arkansas will miss Iyiola and Robinson, who are long-term absentees, while Williams got injured in their last game, and it remains to be seen if he will recover in time for tonight.

Bulldogs vs. Razorbacks Betting Pick

This is a clash between two very talented basketball teams and will be a spectacle for the neutrals. I think this game could be tighter than the spread suggests, but I am struggling to take the Bulldogs with the handicap as when the Razorbacks get going, there is no stopping them.

Similarly, I can’t take the Razorbacks against the spread as it just looks too high as the bookmakers appear to have set them another difficult task. I will therefore take the Razorbacks to win straight up.

Pick
  • Razorbacks To Win
    -315

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