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Best NCAAB Bets: Kentucky-Mississippi State Picks, Wake Forest-Notre Dame Predictions

Featuring our Kentucky-Mississippi State picks and Wake Forest-Notre Dame Predictions, it’s time to continue our best NCAAB bets today series by looking at several games on Tuesday.

For more college basketball picks and predictions, make sure to check out our other college basketball articles and our college basketball betting tools!

Best NCAAB Bets Today

Kentucky-Mississippi State Picks

On Saturday, Kentucky went scorched earth on Alabama in a home revenge spot, finishing with 117 points. Their offensive performance was otherworldly as they finished with 1.35 points per possession (PPP). For context, Indiana State leads the country right now with 1.08 PPP, so that type of game is unsustainable, to say the least. Still, give the Wildcats credit for five different players finishing in double figures, including freshmen Justin Edwards and Zvonimir Ivisic who enjoyed breakout games.

The Wildcats have a quick turnaround to a Tuesday road game against Mississippi State, who will be playing in front of a sellout crowd. Expect the Bulldogs to give the Wildcats a far greater test defensively, as they rank 11th in adjusted efficiency on that end compared to Alabama who ranks 97th. The Bulldogs are holding their opponents to just a 28.3% shooting clip from three-point range, and while there’s surely some looming regression there, they do an excellent job of running opponents off the three-point line.

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Mississippi State’s offense lags behind its elite defense, but the Bulldogs should find success in the half-court against a Kentucky defense allowing 0.896 PPP, which places them outside the top 200 in the country. The Wildcats have made some recent tweaks to their defense and are trending up, but the larger sample suggests they’re a bad defensive team.

One player who could find success in this game is freshman Josh Hubbard, who is coming off a season-high 32 points in his team’s win over LSU on Saturday. Hubbard finished with just three points on 1-11 shooting in the first game against Kentucky, but the 35% three-point shooter is gaining confidence by the day and could be a significant difference-maker here.

Of course, senior forward Tolu Smith is the straw that stirs the drink for the Bulldogs, and he dominated in that matchup against Kentucky earlier this year, finishing with 26 points on 11-15 shooting along with eight rebounds and three assists. His ability to draw defensive attention to the interior helps the Bulldogs generate more open jump shots on the perimeter.

Mississippi State can gain ground in this game by generating second chances on offense – the Bulldogs rank 23rd in offensive rebounding while the Wildcats are 244th in defensive rebounding. Mississippi State should also see a flip in the frequency of free throw attempts in this game after Kentucky had 17 more in the first matchup. The Bulldogs are 47th in free throw rate while the Wildcats are outside the top 200 on defense.

Kentucky has yo-yoed up and down all season, and while their recent win over Alabama may have been their best showing to date, it will be tough to avoid a letdown in front of a sellout, raucous crowd in Starkville. I love the Bulldogs to exact revenge in this spot and pick up a crucial Quad 1 win as they vie for positioning in the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky-Mississippi State Picks: Mississippi State -2.5 (play to -3.5)

Wake Forest-Notre Dame Predictions

It went unnoticed on a day with so many huge college basketball games, but I was impressed by Notre Dame’s fight against Syracuse. After trailing by as many as 29 points in the first half, the Irish only lost by three on the heels of a furious second-half comeback. Notre Dame has had a tough season in its first year under Micah Shrewsberry, but this young Irish team seems to be trending up as of late with wins in three of its last four games.

Meanwhile, Wake Forest is coming off a storm-the-court home win over Duke that certainly received plenty of national attention. The Demon Deacons extended their home record to 15-0 straight up and 11-3-1 ATS, but they haven’t been the same team away from the Joel. The Deacons are just 2-7 straight up and 3-6 ATS on the road and rank 333rd in Haslametrics’ away-from-home metric.

Notre Dame’s defense has been steady all season, ranking 33rd in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom. 64.9% of opposing jump shots have been “guarded” per Synergy, which ranks 15th in the country. The Irish are well-equipped to slow down a team in Wake Forest that relies on jump shooting rather than consistently attacking the rim.

The bigger issue for Notre Dame has been on offense, where they rank just 267th. However, the Irish do seem to be finding more consistency on that end of the floor as of late, particularly thanks to breakout performances from freshmen guards Markus Burton and Braeden Shrewsberry.

Burton just won his third ACC Rookie of the Week honors after a 28-point, 8-assist outing against Syracuse. Shrewsberry, meanwhile, has averaged 20.5 points on 64% shooting over the last two games, and he’s gaining confidence after a slow start to his debut season under his father’s tutelage.

Ultimately, this is a horrendous spot for Wake Forest on the road against a 10-17 Notre Dame team. We saw Washington State (vs. Arizona State) and Creighton (vs. St. John’s) drop road games over the weekend immediately following massive wins, and a similar letdown should be in store for the Deacons. Meanwhile, I expect the Irish to keep fighting to end their season on a strong note in their first year under Shrewsberry.

Wake Forest-Notre Dame Predictions: Notre Dame +6.5 (play to +5.5)

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