Texas A&M is the NCAA Basketball Pick ATS at Ole Miss

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 3:55 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 Wednesday.

 

There could be some good underdog value Wednesday night inside the SEC when those Texas A&M Aggies (15-5, 3-2 away) pay a visit to the Mississippi Rebels (14-7, 7-4 home) at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS at 7:00 ET in a game televised nationally on SEC Network.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Texas A&M as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +5½ with odds of -106.


Battling for Second Best Behind Kentucky
The winner of this contest will have at least a share of second place in the SEC behind top ranked and undefeated Kentucky. Texas A&M in fact would maintain sole possession of second with a victory, as after going 9-3 in non-conference play losing only to three Pomeroy Top 100 teams in Baylor, Dayton and Kansas State, the Aggies began SEC play 0-2 but had since won six straight games to get to 6-2 in the conference.

Mississippi began conference play 1-2 but has been the winning NCAA Basketball pick in four of its last five games to get to 5-3 in the SEC. A win here would put the Rebels in a three-way tie for second place with the Aggies and also 6-3 Arkansas. Still, even playing at home, Mississippi figures to have its hands full here and may be prone to an outright upset.


Hottest Team in SEC Outside of Kentucky
Texas A&M is the hottest team in the conference outside of the number one Wildcats, as not only have the Aggies won six straight games, but they also took that unblemished Kentucky team to double-overtime the last time they lost a game, and then three of the six wins during the winning streak have come on the road at LSU, Tennessee and Auburn. This is a team that has improved every year since Coach Billy Kennedy took over in 2011.

And this looks like his best team yet, one that is well balanced ranking 79th in the country in offensive efficiency and 50th in defensive efficiency. Offensively the Aggies have a good effective field goal percentage of 50.7 percent, but their offensive efficiency is being held back by being a poor free throw shooting team, ranking 309th at 64.4 percent.

That is certainly a concern vs. the best free throw shooting team in the country in Mississippi, but we feel A&M will make enough field goals to offset that and at the very least take this game down to the wire, especially since they can make three-pointers too (35.4 percent vs. a national average of 34.1 percent) vs. a 188th ranked Mississippi three-point defense.

The Aggies’ defense should also make more stops than Ole Miss as the Aggies allow an effective field goal percentage of just 45.8 percent.


Three-Man Game for Old Miss?
The Rebels are led by the threesome of Stefan Moody (15.4 points per game), Jarvis Summers (14.1) and LaDarius White (11.4), but there is a big drop-off in their scoring after those three scorers and none of the three shoot a high percentage. In fact, Moody is shooting 39.8 percent, Summers is at an even worse 36.5 percent and White shoots only 42.5 percent from the field.

Those low percentages have not prevented the trio from continuously hoisting up shots though, and we are not terribly fond of the fact that Mississippi is 208th in the country in assist-to-made field goal ratio at 51.8 percent. Comparatively, Texas A&M is 51st in that category at 59.6 percent.

That seemingly makes Mississippi a rather easy team to defend for a good defense, and Texas A&M appears to have the unit to slow the Old Miss Big Three down, provided the Aggies do not put the Rebels on the foul line too often. Not only does Mississippi lead the nation with its 80.1 percent free throw percentage, but that percentage would be good enough to lead the NBA right now! Moody in particular is shooting 91.7 percent from the charity stripe.


Texas A&M Won Last Time
Texas A&M just joined the SEC a few years ago, so there teams have only met three times with the Aggies leading the series 2-1. A&M won this matchup by 11 points 71-60 last season, although that was back home in College Station.

Still, we simply feel that Texas A&M is in too good a form right now to be getting this many points, so take these points at Mississippi with an outright upset far from impossible in Oxford Wednesday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas A&M +5½ (-106)