No. 5 Tennessee has won seven consecutive games and is coming off a dominant showing to open SEC play, defeating No. 22 Ole miss at home, 90-64. It was Tennessee’s largest win against a top 25 team since 2013. Tennessee now heads to Mississippi State, hoping to keep the rivalry with the Bulldogs one-sided having won five straight and nine of 10.
Mississippi State opened SEC play with a hard-fought 68-62 loss at South Carolina, which snapped a five-game winning streak. Can the Bulldogs bounce back and get a resume-building victory over the Volunteers?
Here is the breakdown of Wednesday’s conference clash in Starkville.
If you’re looking to bet on any NCAA game tonight, FanDuel Sportsbook has an amazing promotional offer. New users who sign up with the link below and wager $5 will receive $150 in bonus bets.
Sign up for FanDuel now!
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State odds, spread and total
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State betting trends
- Tennessee is 6-7-1 ATS this season and 6-5 as a favorite
- Mississippi State is 8-6 ATS this season
- The OVER is 8-6 in Tennessee games this season
- The OVER is 6-8 in Mississippi State games this season
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State how to watch
- Date: Wednesday, Jan. 10
- Game time: 8 p.m. EST
- Venue: Humphrey Coliseum
- How to watch (TV): SEC Network
- Tennessee record: 11-3 (1-0 SEC)
- Mississippi State record: 11-3 (0-1 SEC)
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State key players to watch
Jahmai Mashack: The junior guard has come off the bench for the majority of the season and is mostly known for his passing and defense, but has recently provided a spark on the offensive end. Mashack has eight-plus points in four of the last six games and has hit four 3-pointers over the last two contests. Mashack tallied a season-high 11 points and 5 rebounds in a 79-70 win over NC State Dec. 16 and had 10 points in Saturday’s 90-64 win over No. 22 Ole Miss.
Jonas Aidoo: The 6-foot-11 forward is averaging 11.4 points per game, but scored just 15 combined points over a three-game stretch before exploding for a 24-point, 10-rebound double-double in Tennessee’s SEC opener. Aido is a force inside and a big reason the Volunteers’ defense is able to set the tone against so many opponents.
Tolu Smith: The senior forward missed the first 12 games of the season due to injury but has quickly become a force in the Bulldogs’ lineup in just two contests. Smith was the leading scorer in Mississippi State’s win over Bethune-Cookman (16 points) and its loss to South Carolina (13 points) on the road. He adds another physical dynamic to the Mississippi State lineup on top of his scoring prowess.
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State prediction and pick
Fans should expect one of the more physical matchups in the SEC on Wednesday night. This matchup is dominated by defense and the outcome will likely come down to which team is able to win the battle of the boards.
According to KenPom, Tennessee’s defense ranks No. 2 in the nation in efficiency, despite a schedule full of formidable opponents. Tennessee has faced the 14th-hardest schedule of opposing offenses in the country, per KenPom.
Mississippi State’s defense is No. 10 in efficiency and both teams rebound the wall. The Bulldogs have four players (Smith, Cameron Matthews, Jimmy Bell Jr. and D.J. Jeffries) averaging at least six rebounds per game.
Tennessee boasts a similar rebounding acumen with Aidoo (7.0 per game) and Josiah-Jordan James (7.1). In two meetings last year, Tennessee was able to limit Smith, a double-digit scorer for the last three seasons, to just 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Tennessee is No. 28 in the country in defending the perimeter and Mississippi State has struggled from beyond the arc this season, shooting just 31.5% as a team.
In a physical battle between two defensive-minded rivals, the under is the best bet on the board.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change