Mississippi State vs. Virginia Prediction and Odds for NIT Opening Round (Cavaliers To Roll)

Kihei Clark leads Virginia against Mississippi State in the NIT Opening Round today
Kihei Clark leads Virginia against Mississippi State in the NIT Opening Round today / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The NIT Opening Round continues today as the 19-13 No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers host the 18-15 No. 3 Mississippi State Bulldogs at 7:00 PM EST.

Virginia beat Louisville in back-to-back games before getting blown out by North Carolina in the ACC Tournament to end their March Madness dreams while the Bulldogs fell to eventual SEC Tournament Conference Champion Tennessee.

Mississippi State has covered the spread just once in their last seven contests - can they keep this one close or will the Cavaliers earn a convincing home victory?

Here are the odds via WynnBET to help us find some value in this NIT Opening Round matchup:

Mississippi State vs Virginia Odds, Spread and Total


  • Mississippi State +1.5 (-110)
  • Virginia -1.5 (-110)


  • Mississippi State: +125
  • Virginia: -150


  • 123 (Over -110/Under -110)

Mississippi State vs Virginia Prediction and Pick

This one is pretty straightforward. Just ask yourself the following question, "Is Mississippi State playing on the road?" If the answer is yes, then bet on the other team. The Bulldogs are 3-6 against the spread (ATS) on the road and have but one win all year. They are indeed on the road today, so we'll be betting on the other team.

Luckily, Virginia is a quality bet at home. The Cavaliers have covered the spread in five of their last six at the John Paul Jones Arena behind a strong defense. Stylistically, they match up well with the Bulldogs too.

Mississippi State's offense is built around getting to the free throw line. They're not good at scoring inside and are one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the country, so they need those trips to the charity stripe to score. But Virginia is one of the best teams at preventing free throw attempts, ranking in the 99th percentile in fouls per game and 28th nationally in defensive free throw rate.

If the Bulldogs can't draw fouls, they won't score. Turnovers are a problem for them as well. Mississippi State ranks in the 8th percentile in turnover rate over their last five games while the Cavaliers are in the 90th.

Virginia has a stylistic advantage, is playing better and has been stronger in this situation. They're 6-2 ATS in their last eight as a favorite while the Bulldogs haven't won outright as an underdog a single time this year. With a small spread, I expect the Cavaliers to pull away and advance over a sputtering Mississippi State squad.

Pick: Virginia -1.5 (-110)

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.

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