Ole Miss Has Ingredients To Be A Live Dog Tonight

Ole Miss Rebels player in action

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, December 29, 2016 2:13 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 2:13 PM UTC

Our college basketball handicapper, Mark Lathrop, continued his winning ways with a double-digit cover backing LMU on Monday. He looks to start a new streak with a live dog in Ole Miss on Thursday night.

Glad to be back handicapping college basketball again after the bizarro world that has been the college bowl season lately. Basically, the random number generator is getting a workout in that arena. But I digress.


Kentucky Wildcats vs Ole Miss Rebels

The SEC conference season starts on Thursday night with the 8th ranked 10-2 Kentucky Wildcats traveling to face the unranked 9-3 Ole Miss Rebels. The hype train is intact for Kentucky at the books, as they have placed the Wildcats as 11-point favorites on the road. The O/U total has been set at a high 166.5, not surprising given that Kentucky averages 93.1 points per game this year.

Kentucky comes into this game after losing to cross-rival Louisville, 73-30, over a week ago. It was their first road test of the season, and they failed to cover a slight 1-point spread in their favor. The Wildcats shot very poorly from 3-point range in that game, going 5-22 (22.7%), and also shot only 19-29 from the charity stripe. Leading scorer Malik Monk has defended well all game and shot cold, having a very inefficient game. He shot 6-17 from the field and a very subpar 1-9 from beyond the arc.

Ole Miss comes into conference play after a 92-58 warm up win against Sun Belt foe South Alabama as a 13-point favorite. 6’ 9” senior forward, Sebastian Saiz, compiled his 3rd double-double in a row in just 26 minutes of play. In the game, he went 8-14 from the floor in picking up 23 points and 16 rebounds. Siaz averages 15.2 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.

Rebounding has been a strong suit for Ole Miss this year, and they hold the advantage over Kentucky with a +6.6 rebounding margin over their opponents. In their last 5 games, Ole Miss has averaged 43.4 rebounds per game against Kentucky’s 40.4. Kentucky doesn’t have a size advantage on Ole Miss, so I don’t see a huge chance for this trend to reverse itself in this game. In fact, Ole Miss has been very tough at home defensively in giving up only a 37.8% field goal percentage on the year.

With so many underclassmen playing for Kentucky, it is a fool’s errand trying to pick up on betting trends of past seasons. The Kentucky team that beat Ole Miss last January, 83-61, is not the same team playing on Thursday night.

I’m sticking with my methods here, and since I don’t see a size advantage for Kentucky I like Ole Miss’s chances of sticking around in this game. Their keeping opponents below 40% shooting at home is just a confirming factor. I’m backing the double-digit home dog here and taking Ole Miss +11 points at 5Dimes as my Thursday college basketball pick.


Free NCAAB Picks: Ole Miss +11Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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2015-16 NCAAB Record: 14-7, +6.30 Units 

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