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NCAAB Handicapping: Ole Miss vs. Kentucky (Feb. 3)

Taking Points – Mississippi State at Kentucky

BetUS NCAA Basketball Betting Odds: KENTUCKY -10.5, Total 139.5

Here are some of the NCAA basketball online betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* MSU has won and covered six of its last eight games
* MSU has covered two of its last six road games * KY has covered nine of its last 13 games
* KY has won 16 of its last 20 games SU
* KY has played six of its last nine games UNDER the total
* KY has won eight of its last nine home games SU

Also…

* KY has won 11 of the last 14 meetings SU
* KY has won the last seven meetings SU as the home team
* MSU has had the shooting edge in five of the last six meetings
* MSU has had the rebounding edge in four of the last six meetings

Kentucky suffered a couple of very tough losses last week. In one of those games they shot 38.5% and simply underachieved while most likely looking past an undermanned Ole Miss team. 

On Saturday they shot 52%, which is more than commendable, but they gave up 18 offensive rebounds to South Carolina and turned the ball over 21 times in a 78-77 loss.

Meeks has had at least 20 points in each of his last nine games, including 20 against the Gamecocks on the weekend, but he was just 4-for-15 from the field against Ole Miss. He’s averaging 25.5 ppg, a huge improvement over 8.8 last year. Patrick Patterson has not gotten lost in the offense, though. He’s scored 52 points over his last two games, and has blocked 12 shots in his last five games. That balances the effect of Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado, the nation’s leading shot-blocker.

Only somewhat, however. We like the strides Varnado has made in his offensive game, and on defense he will keep Patterson in much better check than either of Kentucky’s two previous opponents did. There is simply no way Kentucky will own the lane here. The Wildcats’ handicaps came through against the Gamecocks – turnovers and a propensity to get beaten on the boards. Let’s not forget that the Bulldogs allow just 38% shooting, and that even though they hit less than 32% against Ole Miss on Saturday, MSU lost by only four points.

We’re not as convinced about Kentucky’s ability to rebound from consecutive defeats and rout an opponent as some people are. We will take the points with Mississippi State, the 10.5-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA basketball betting odds.

Our PLAY: MISSISSIPPI STATE +10.5 **

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