NCAA Basketball Pick on Missouri in Possible Upset

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, January 31, 2015 4:06 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Saturday.

 

Despite the home team being on a six-game losing streak, the visitors may but be trustworthy enough to be road chalk on Saturday when the Mississippi Rebels (13-7, 3-3 away) pay a visit to those Missouri Tigers (7-13, 6-5 home) at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO at 4:00 ET in a game available on FSN and ESPN3.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Missouri as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +3½ with odds of -102.


Inverted Records
Mississippi is 13-7 overall this season and 5-3 inside the SEC, but the Rebels have come very close to being much better than that. You see, six of their seven losses have been by seven points or less with a double-digit non-conference home loss to the TCU Horned Frogs being the only exception, and all three of their conference losses have been by five points or less including an overtime loss to top-ranked Kentucky on the road in Lexington!

Meanwhile Missouri has been the losing NCAA Basketball pick in the last six games after winning its SEC opener, leaving the Tigers with a 7-13 record that is the exact inverse of the Mississippi mark. The Tigers are playing good enough defensively, allowing less than 70 points in each of their last four games, but unfortunately the offense has not topped 60 points since an 85-79 loss at Auburn to begin the losing skid.


Selfish Signs for Mississippi?
With all of that being said, we do not expect this game to be cakewalk for Mississippi, even of the Rebels’ players expect one. You see, the Rebels have made a habit of playing close games even in their victories, and we simply do not trust a team that shows several selfish signs in its stats as a road favorite. And remember that Old Miss is a nondescript 3-3 straight up on the road.

As for those selfish signs, for starters consider the shooting percentages of the team’s only three double-digit scorers. Stefan Moody leads the club with his 15.0 points per game, but he is doing so on a poor 39.1 percent shooting. Next comes Jarvis Summers at 14.6 points per game, but he has an even worse shooting percentage of 36.9 percent. Third is LaDarius White with 11.6 points, and while he actually has the best percentage of the three, it is still a weak 42.5 percent.

If you want some more evidence of ball-hogging, keep in mind also that Mississippi is 204th in the country in assist-to-made field goal percentage at 51.9 percent. The talent is there for the Rebels to be a very good basketball team, but the team cohesion looks like a major issue.


Tigers Did Beat LSU
As mentioned, the Missouri defense has been fine and that unit can keep the Tigers in this game by practically playing a 5-on-3 defense against the Mississippi top scoring trio as it does not look like those players like passing the ball much to get better shots. And it is not as if the Tigers have not demonstrated that they at least have some ability, making them capable of taking this game down to the wire or pulling an upset.

After all, Missouri did beat a good LSU team that we feel would be in the NCAA Tournament right now if the season ended today 74-67 in overtime to kick off its SEC season for its last win before the six-game losing streak. Also the Tigers were actually in the game vs. Kentucky for a little more than a half Thursday before the top team in the land pulled away late for a 69-53 triumph.


Not Trustworthy vs. Lesser Teams?
Finally, another disturbing sign regarding Mississippi is that it often times does not play at its best vs. teams that it is supposed to beat, as the Rebels are 0-7 ATS in their last seven road games vs. teams with losing records!

Look for that ugly pattern to continue for at least one more game and do not be totally shocked if home standing Missouri pulls an upset when it hosts Mississippi, although we recommend taking the points on Saturday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Missouri +3½ (-102)