A 1-0 day on Monday that saw FSU cover basically wire to wire. That’s a game they were in the entire way and despite horrible and uncharacteristic shooting still nearly won. Makes me feel even better about my numbers between Duke and FSU being thinner than the market seems to have. That winner brings me to 20-8 in my last 28 plays and for the first time in far too long I’ve got a bit of a heater going. Moving along here’s what I’m going with for Tuesday…
Michigan State (-1.5): Narratives are a hell of a thing and if you listen to the mainstream media you might be starting to think Michigan State isn’t any good. They’ve lost 3 straight, they are no longer ranked, THE SKY IS FALLING! Well if this line is any indication oddsmakers aren’t buying it and neither is the market. This line opened at -1 and has already shot to either -1.5 or -2 depending on your book. Despite what the media and the rankings try to tell you I make Michigan State a 6.5 point favorite on a neutral court and a 3.5 point favorite even in Illinois. This is a Spartans team that is still ranked 10th by Ken Pom and I’m even higher then that having them 9th in my power numbers. On the other side we have an Illinois team that has seen their offense start to abandon them a bit. In their last 4 games they have PPP’s of 1.02, 0.87, 1.03 and 0.96. As a team their PPP ranks 10th in conference play and to be frank about their defense has covered up what’s become a bit of a sputtering offense. Dosunmu is a great player but in my opinion too many of their possessions are now dominated by him dancing around for 10-15 seconds at a time before anything really happens. On the other side again the narrative right now is negative as hell but Sparty is 3rd in the BIG 10 in adjusted offensive efficiency and 1st in defensive. A few rough losses seem big right now but the truth is in the grand scheme of things are pretty inconsequential. At the end of the day I have to trust my read and my numbers and both point to Michigan State. If Illinois pulls it off, so be it.
Mississippi State/Mississippi Un 138: Rivalry game here and I can see it turning into a bit of a rock fight. We’ll start with the tempo where there’s really no reason to believe this game goes over 63-65 ish possessions. On the season Ole Miss is 210th in average offensive possession length at 17.7 seconds. In conference play they are even slower than that at 18.4 seconds. On the other side we have Mississippi State who is even slower. The Bulldogs are 288th in the nation with an average offensive possession of 18.4 seconds. Pace wise these are 2 of the slowest 4 teams in the conference. As far as Ole Miss specifically their defense has been pretty damn good while their offense has been horrid. The Rebels are 12th in the conference in adjusted offensive efficiency but actually 4th in defensive efficiency. Another problem I see for the Ole Miss offense is turnovers. For Mississippi State they are excellent offensively however have one major problem…. they turn the ball over a lot. The Bulldogs are 271st in offensive turnover rate and that figures to be a problem against a Rebels defense that’s top 100 in forcing turnovers. On top of all that neither team really has much interest in doing anything from 3. All of which leaves me wondering how this one goes over 138. I’ll concede there’s a shot this one could become a FT shooting contest and if that happens I’ll take my loss, but any kind of “regular game” and this thing really should stay under.
Michigan State (-1.5)
Mississippi State/Mississippi Un 138