Mississippi State vs. Kentucky Prediction, Odds, Key Players for Wednesday, Jan. 17

Jan 9, 2024; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Antonio Reeves (12) gets set on
Jan 9, 2024; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Antonio Reeves (12) gets set on / Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

SEC action continues on Wednesday with Kentucky playing host to Mississippi State.

The Wildcats came up short in overtime against Texas A&M, a notoriously tough place to play, but return home to face Mississippi State, who will try to bring its elite defense on the road against one of the best offenses in college basketball.

Who are you siding with, offense or defense on Wednesday? Here's my best bet for this one:

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Mississippi State vs. Kentucky Odds, Spread and Total

Kentucky vs. Mississippi State Betting Trends

  • Kentucky has covered eight of the last 10 games
  • Mississippi State has been an underdog once this season and covered
  • Kentucky has gone OVER in nine of its last 10 games
  • Kentucky has gone OVER in 12 of 15 games this season

Mississippi State vs. Kentucky How to Watch

  • Date: Wednesday, January 17th
  • Game Time: 7:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Rupp Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN2
  • Mississippi State Record: 12-4
  • Kentucky Record: 12-3

Mississippi State vs. Kentucky Key Players to Watch

Mississippi State

Tolu Smith: The senior big man is enjoying a monster season, averaging nearly 17 points per game while grabbing nearly seven rebounds and shooting 58% from the field. Smith is one of the best big men in the conference and will face a raw Kentucky frontcourt.


Antonio Reeves: The 6'6" senior is enjoying a career year, posting 50/42/84 shooting splits en route to nearly 19 points per game. The sharp-shooting wing can push the game into a situation where Mississippi State isn't comfortable, a high-scoring offensive-minded affair.

Mississippi State vs. Kentucky Prediction and Pick

In a battle of Kentucky's top 10 offense against Mississippi State's top 10 defense, give me the offense to prevail at home.

The Bulldogs have faced two elite conference offenses already in league play, outlasting Tennessee at home before failing to slow down the top offense in the nation in Alabama in Starkville over the weekend. It won't be easier now on the road against the Wildcats, who are trotting out likely the most efficient backcourt in the country right now.

UK is third in the country in turnover percentage while checking in 11th in effective field goal percentage. The team has some frontcourt questions, but the guard play amongst Will Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, flanked by the likes of Antonio Reeves is as dangerous as the Bulldogs will see.

Mississippi State is built on its elite defense and dominant big man Tolu Smith, who has a favorable matchup against a raw UK frontcourt, but I'm not sure the Bulldogs offense can generate enough offense to keep up in a likely track meet.

Kentucky's defense has flaws, but the unit is compact and does a great job of shutting off driving lanes for opponents, which is an issue for Mississippi State, who is shooting 32% from beyond the arc this season and is 255th in turnover rate on the year.

Off a loss on the road, I'll side with Kentucky dictating the pace and running the visitors off the floor en route to a cover.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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