The No. 10 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs face off against the No. 7 seed South Carolina Gamecocks in the second round of the SEC Tournament on Thursday night.
College basketball betting lines opened with the Bulldogs as 4-point favorites for this clash which takes place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Here are our free college basketball picks and predictions for Mississippi State vs. South Carolina on Thursday, February 9.
South Carolina vs Mississippi State odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The line for this clash opened with Mississippi State installed as 4-point favorites with the Over/Under at 136. Early money has come in on the Over, shifting the total to 138 by 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.
South Carolina vs Mississippi State predictions
- Prediction: South Carolina +4 (-110)
- Prediction: Under 138 (-110)
- Best bet: Mississippi State TT Under 71.5 (-115)
Predictions made on 3/9/2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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South Carolina vs Mississippi State game info
• Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
• Date: Thursday, March 10, 2022
• Tip-off: 6:00 p.m. ET
• TV: SEC Network
South Carolina at Mississippi State betting preview
South Carolina: No injuries to report.
Mississippi State: Rocket Watts G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for South Carolina vs. Mississippi State.
South Carolina vs Mississippi State picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
These teams split the regular-season series last month with the home side winning comfortably on each occasion.
The Bulldogs were looking like a good bet to get into the NCAA Tournament in mid-January, when they were 12-4 straight up (9-7 ATS) and boasted wins against Alabama and Arkansas. However, they have stumbled down the stretch going 3-7 SU and against the spread in their final 10 games.
Mississippi State has terrific size down low, with Garrison Brooks and Tolu Smith helping it rank 23rd in the country in rebounding rate. Unfortunately, it is among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation and has struggled to execute on offense lately, showing a tendency to go ice-cold for stretches.
The Gamecocks enter the tournament with more momentum, winning five of their last seven and going 6-2 ATS in their previous eight contests.
South Carolina plays hard on the defensive end of the floor where it ranks 30th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom. But it's brutal on offense, where it shoots just 42.8 percent from the floor and ranks near the bottom of the country with a hideous 15.4 turnovers per game.
When SC can force its opponents into making contested shots, it tends to play well. The problem is that when it faces teams that can put up points, it falls behind in a hurry thanks to its quick tempo. On the flip side, even though the Gamecocks have a tendency to get blown out by the better teams in the conference they compete much better against other middling squads.
That could be the deciding factor in this one, as the Bulldogs have gone just 1-9-1 ATS on spreads shorter than five points in either direction while South Carolina has gone 8-1 ATS in the same situation.
Against teams that are comparable to them in terms of overall talent and ability, the Gamecocks tend to exceed expectations which has us taking them with the points on Thursday.
Prediction: South Carolina +4 (-110)
Handicapping the total is especially tough in this contest. These teams combined for 142 points in Starkville on February 1 but totaled just 122 points three weeks later in Columbia.
While SC plays at a very fast tempo, that will be offset by the slower pace the Bulldogs prefer. Ultimately, the fact that neither team shoots well from the perimeter and both sides turn the ball over at horrendous rates has us leaning towards the Under in this contest.
With the Gamecocks ranking just 293rd in the nation in true shooting percentage and Mississippi State averaging a meager 64.6 ppg in its last 10 games, we're going against the line movement and taking the Under.
Prediction: Under 138 (-110)
The Bulldogs have had some of the worst home/away splits in the country and while this game will take place at a neutral site, the fact they couldn't score away from Humphrey Coliseum must be a bit worrying.
Mississippi State averaged 75.2 points per game at home, including 78 points versus the Gamecocks on Feb.1. But that number plummeted to 66.3 ppg in away contests, mustering just 55 points when these teams previously clashed.
The Bulldogs have now been held to 68 points or fewer in eight of their previous 10 contests, which has us taking the Under 71.5 on their team total on Thursday.
Pick: Mississippi State Team Total Under 71.5 (-120)
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