The top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats are 18.5-point favorites when they travel to Starkville to face the turn-over prone Mississippi State Bulldogs today. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network and streamed live on WatchESPN. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET.
The Bulldogs are averaging a stunning league-high 15.1 turnovers and committed a whopping 23 against the the 18th-ranked Hogs in Saturday’s 65-61 loss.
“Kentucky is obviously a daunting task,” coach Rick Ray said. “I look at some of their defensive statistics and they are really elite in that regard. In order for us to have any kind of success against a team like Kentucky or anybody in the SEC, we’ve got to secure the basketball.”
Analyzing The Kentucky at Mississippi St Odds, My Final Score Prediction & TV Info
Matchup: (1) Kentucky Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Date: Feb. 25, 2015
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Starkville, Mississippi
Stadium: Humphrey Coliseum
TV Info: SEC Network
Radio: Kentucky Vs Mississippi State
Point Spread: Kentucky Wildcats -18.5
Kentucky Will Cover the 18.5-point Spread If
The Wildcats’ can shoot better from three-point land.
Kentucky’s D is maintaining its spot atop college basketball. The Wildcats are allowing 52.6 points off of 34.2% shooting from the field. Opponents average less than 28%, 27.5%, from behind the three-point line against Kentucky.
The defense was in full force in the first game against Mississippi State, the Wildcats allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 38.3% from the field and 12.5% from the three-point line, but Kentucky was dreadful from behind the arc themselves. While Kentucky shot 45% from the field when making 27 out of 60 shots, they only made 3 out of 18 three-pointers for 16.7%. The Wildcats failed to cover the spread as a -12.5 point road favorite in a 69 to 59 win. They could be close to a 20 point favorite in this matchup, meaning that that they had better hit their three-pointers if they wish to have any chance of covering.
— Shot Analytics (@ShotAnalytics) February 23, 2015
Devin Booker and Aaron Harrison lead the Wildcats averaging 11 points per game each. Willie Cauley-Stein is averaging 9.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds, and Andrew Harrison is averaging 8.5 points.
UK is 8-0 o the road and 14-0 in the SEC.
Mississippi St. Will Cover the 18.5-point Spread If
They can keep it close by taking better shots this time than last time.
It’s too difficult to ask the Bulldogs to hold Kentucky to less than 20% from behind the arc again. Also, Kentucky is likely to take as many shots, 60, and make more than what they made in the last game.
— MSU Men's Basketball (@HailStateMBK) February 23, 2015
In order for Mississippi State to have any shot of holding this game within the number, they’re going to have to be much better at making shots than they did versus Kentucky in the last game. They only hit 18 out of 47 shots. The percentage just isn’t good enough versus the Wildcats.
What Mississippi State might want to do is allow Craig Sword to create. He only played 27 minutes in the last game, yet he hit 6 out of 12 for 50%. Sword can also dish the ball. If Mississippi State is to cover the spread in this matchup, the Bulldogs should consider running the offense through Sword.
MSU is 8-7 at home and 5-9 in the SEC.