It’s the Bulldogs vs. the Bulldogs tonight as Drake takes on No. 15 Mississippi State at the first inaugural Battle in the Vault in Lincoln Nebraska. Mississippi State is coming into this neutral site matchup after a two-point win over Nicholls State on Saturday. They’ve had a couple of close calls and a schedule of mostly lesser opponents, but a 12-0 record is impressive nonetheless.
Drake is 8-3, but coming off back-to-back losses to A10 opponents, 82-52 to Richmond and 83-75 to Saint Louis. They’re underdogs in this one, but Vegas thinks they have a chance to get a win over a top 25 team in the country. Here are the odds for the first game of the Battle in the Vault.
Drake vs. Mississippi State Odds, Spread and Total
Drake vs. Mississippi State Prediction and Pick
Mississippi State is built on their defense and their play at that end of the court has carried them to an undefeated record. They’re allowing only 52.1 points per game, No. 3 in the country, and 35.8% shooting from the field, sixth best. They play their games at a very slow pace, 337th in KenPom’s Adjusted Tempo and have had one of the easiest schedules in the country. Their offense mostly comes out of the frontcourt with Tolu Smith averaging a team high 16.2 points and 8.9 rebounds.
I don’t see Drake as a team that’s going to be able to speed Mississippi State up in this game. They don’t play at a particularly fast pace and aren’t a very good shooting team in their own right. They’re more guard heavy and 6-foot-7 guard/forward, Tucker DeVries could get hot and carry their offense, but I think it’ll be tough sledding at that end of the floor.
These are two teams that don’t play fast and don’t shoot the ball well, that’s the perfect recipe for an under even with a low total of 130.5.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change