Odds Board Suggests Tight Games for Nebraska, Ole Miss

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:49 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 1:49 PM UTC

Nebraska and Ole Miss are small home favorites Tuesday night, suggesting competitive contests in the making. The Cornhuskers are 3-point chalk hosting Maryland, while the Rebels are laying a point to Arkansas. Will they play out as advertised? 

Maryland at Nebraska (-3)

Maryland (17-10 SU, 14-8 ATS) heads to Lincoln on fire offensively, outshooting each of its last five opponents. The team is 123 of 253 (48.6 percent) from the floor in this stretch, which includes dates against ranked opponents Michigan State (No. 2) and Purdue (No. 6).

The Terps rank 30th in KenPom’s offensive efficiency ratings. Their ability to maximize output on the scoring end is elite. The team drains 39.1 percent from behind the arc and owns a 66.3 percent success rate on shots near the rim. The go-to scorer is guard Anthony Cowan Jr. The sophomore, posting 16.2 points per outing, has led Maryland in points in 20 games, including eight of 14 conference clashes. Cowan is adept at driving to the basket and getting to the free-throw line. His 169 charity-stripe visits rank near the top among Big Ten peers.

Nebraska (19-8 SU, 19-6 ATS) is one of the major surprises in the Big Ten, currently sitting fourth in the standings with a 10-4 SU record. Its betting results tell the tale. The Cornhuskers are 12-2 ATS in conference games, besting a 5.0 average line by 8.7 points per game. They currently own an RPI of 53, which makes them a NCAA Tournament bubble team. Victories over Minnesota (91-85) and Michigan (72-52) top their quality wins, but Nebraska needs more. Expect a competitive game Tuesday night, as it pushes for its first 20-win campaign since the 1992-93 season.

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Five in a row.

☠️✊ #Nebrasketball pic.twitter.com/w6NsRGQMxq

— Nebraska Basketball (@HuskerHoops) February 11, 2018

Shot-stopping is the Huskers' strength, holding conference foes to 67.0 points per game on 40.3 percent shooting. The 3-point defense is suffocating. It yields 31.6 percent from the area, the lowest mark among Big Ten programs. They have struggled against good 3-point shooting teams, however. Six of Nebraska’s eight losses have occurred in 13 games against opponents sinking 7.5 treys or more per contest. Maryland enters hitting 7.6 per tilt.

The Terps are winless in nine games as underdogs this season, yielding 77.3 points per game on 48.2 percent shooting. Their offense is feeling it, though, and should be good for 70-plus points in this one. Win or lose, the Huskers will be right there. Pick ‘over’ 143.5 as the two duel to the buzzer.

Free NCAAB Pick: Over 143.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Arkansas at Ole Miss (-1)

Arkansas (17-8 SU, 102-13 ATS) is the only Power 5 team in the nation to field its conference’s two top scorers in league play. Backcourt duo Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon put up 19.9 and 19.2 points per game against SEC opponents. Macon, in fact, has posted 20-plus in seven straight, tying a team record if he bests the mark tonight. The 6-foot-3 senior is the man you want controlling play late. Macon is 26-for-26 from the free-throw line in the final minutes and extra time in games this year. That’s clutch.

Overall, the Razorbacks roll out the 29th-most efficient offense in the country per KenPom. It posts 76.8 points per game on 47.5 percent shooting against SEC competition, hitting 86 of 218 (39.4 percent) from deep.

Ole Miss (11-14 SU, 9-15 ATS) received bad news on Monday when longtime head coach Andy Kennedy announced his resignation at season’s end. The writing was on the wall, however, after the university failed to extend his contract last year. Long regarded as one of the better coaches in the conference, Kennedy made the most of scant resources with eight winning seasons out of 11, two trips to the Big Dance, six NIT appearances, and one SEC tournament title. How the Rebel players respond is anyone’s guess, but recent performances indicate it might be ugly.

Ole Miss has dropped five straight, including three by double digits to Tennessee, LSU and Texas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Play is poor on both ends of the court. The Rebels are posting just 67.6 points per game on 38.5 percent shooting, while surrendering 83.0 on 46.2 from the floor defensively. They have failed to cover a 5.1 average line by 10.3 points per game in this span.

Arkansas is 17-5 SU in head coach Mike Anderson’s tenure squaring off against a conference foe with a points differential under zero. The Rebels enter with a -0.4 average scoring margin. Ole Miss is deflated with little to play for. Pick the Hogs straight up.

Free NCAAB Pick: ArkansasBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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