Target These Palmetto State Programs For Your College Hoops Picks Sunday

Jay Pryce

Sunday, December 31, 2017 12:20 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 12:20 PM UTC

A pair of Palmetto State programs features in our best college basketball bets Sunday. Check out our picks and predictions in the South Carolina-Ole Miss SEC opener and Texas State at Coastal Carolina clash here.

South Carolina at Ole Miss (-2.5)

Ole Miss (7-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) opens SEC play versus South Carolina (9-3 SU, 5-5 ATS) the only program other than Kentucky to post a .500 record or better in the conference in each of the last six season. It is also the first time in five years the Rebels are not paired with the Wildcats to start the SEC campaign. They are confident of a good beginning. Ole Miss has won six of the last seven versus the Gamecocks in Oxford, the lone defeat a nail-biting 77-74 overtime contest in January 2016.

SEC play..... has arrived. #DoNotMiss

— Ole Miss Basketball (@OleMissMBB) December 30, 2017

The Rebels offense is clicking. It ranks 42nd in adjusted efficiency nationally per KenPom, averaging 82.5 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting. It moves the ball well and is unselfish, ranking 26th in assists per game (17.8). Senior point guard Deandre Burnett (14.4 ppg, 4.8 apg) is the primary playmaker and ballhandler. The perimeter shooting enters scorching hot, the team draining 10.8 3-pointers per game over the last four contests.

South Carolina head coach Frank Martin once again has his squad mastering the fine art of ball-denial pressure defense. The squad ranks 14th in the country in adjusted efficiency, surrendering just 92.7 points per 100 possessions. Last time out, the bunch held D-III opponent Limestone College to 25 percent from the floor in a 74-45 victory. In games listed on the college basketball odds board, the Gamecocks keep foes to 65.1 points per game on 40.9 percent shooting, yet to let a team reach 80 points.

The Rebels should be able to withstand the tiring onslaught of Martin’s constant pressure. The team is deep and experienced, cycling through 10 different starters and eight different first-team lineups this year, one of just nine teams in the country to field as many. The backcourt is seasoned and productive, accounting for 71.1 percent of scoring on the season. Spacing and protecting the rock will come easier than most against South Carolina.

Lay the 2.5 points with Ole Miss for your best bet and lean ‘under’ the 146.5 total. It’s 10-3-1 all-time when Martin leads his team on the road against a SEC program putting up 75.5 points or more on the season. The Rebels enter with an 82.5 average.

Free NCAAB Picks: Mississippi -2.5
Best Lines are (-105) at Heritage

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Texas State at Coastal Carolina (-7.5)

This is not a marquee matchup on the board Sunday, but it oozes betting value. Texas State (7-7 SU, 2-4 ATS) has a lot of trouble scoring points and plays at a turtle’s pace. The squad ranks 251st in adjusted efficiency and 343rd out of 351 in tempo. In three of four contests as road underdogs, the Bobcats have scored 62 points or fewer. It is averaging 65.5 per game in this spot on 47.8 percent shooting. This efficiency will be hard to match at HTC Center. Road teams are hitting 39.3 percent from the floor in the building this year. Texas State will be lucky to get out of the 50-point range.

Coastal Carolina (7-7 SU, 5-3 ATS) enters averaging 78.2 points per game with four players posting double-digits: Jaylen Shaw (16.7 ppg), Zac Cuthbertson (16.5 ppg), Demario Beck (10.9 ppg) and Artur Labinowicz (10.2). The team shot 50.0 percent in a 90-65 upset win over Texas-Arlington as 4-point underdogs on Friday. Look for it to grow cold from the floor Sunday. Coastal hasn’t shot 50 percent or better two games in a row since joining the Sun Belt conference.

These two combined for 113 and 102 points in last year’s matchups. There should be more scoring today, but the game does not come close to reaching a 136.5 game total currently offered. Both teams will struggle from the floor and the Chanticleers will be happy to slow it down to the Texas State’s pace. Pick ‘under’ for the best bet.

Free NCAAB Picks: UNDER 136.5
Best Lines are (-105) at Heritage

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