Louisville vs. Mississippi State Bahamas Championship Odds, Preview and Prediction

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Josh Nickelberry #20 of the Louisville Cardinals. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

Assuming the tryptophan doesn’t knock you out by then, there’s an intriguing matchup on Thursday’s late-night sports betting lineup that pits the Louisville Cardinals against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Let’s take a look at the NCAAB odds for this one!

Louisville Cardinals vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Thursday, November 27, 2021 – 09:30 PM EST at Baha Mar Convention Center

Several sidebar stories accompany this ACC-SEC clash, beginning with the coaches. Chris Mack remains in timeout following a suspension that carries through Louisville’s two games in this tournament in the Bahamas. Meanwhile, Ben Howland may not be on the hot seat at Mississippi State, but another campaign on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble certainly could put him there.

Both teams are essentially starting this season on the proverbial bubble as middling teams in deep conferences. Mississippi State came into the season as a +2000 pick in what should be one of the deepest SEC groups in quite some time. Louisville carried a little more chalk on the NCAA basketball futures as a +1000 choice in the ACC, putting the Cardinals squarely in the second tier of the standings.

Unsung Frontcourt Quartet Doing Little Things for Bulldogs

A closely-fought battle is what the best online betting sites are expecting as Mississippi State is drawing a very thin favorite’s tag on a 1-1.5 point spread. Most shops are carrying 132.5 for the scoreboard mark.

Howland and the Bulldogs are making their first trip away from home after hosting their first four games. The schedule maker gifted Mississippi State with a generous helping of home games to begin the 2021-22 campaign, and it has paid off so far. The Bulldogs won’t get a taste of a hostile gym until they travel to Missouri for their second SEC contest on January 5th.

Their 4-0 start also comes with a 3-1 record against the spread, and the Bulldogs earned the dubya in both columns on Sunday with a 66-46 win over Morehead State. Favored by 14, Mississippi State were tested by the Eagles during the first half before coming out of the locker room and taking control with an immediate 8-0 spurt. The Bulldogs then kept Morehead State off the scoreboard for the final 4:48 of the contest.

Mississippi State dominated the glass with a 44-21 rebounding advantage, and one of the most amazing stats had to be the Bulldogs only going to the foul line once, and making that lone charity toss. Iverson Molinar and Shakeel Moore, the team’s two top scorers, combined for 28 points to lead the Bulldogs.

The Ville Struggling to Cover Early Matchups

Interim coach Mike Pegues and the Cardinals have also spent the first couple of weeks at home, winning three of their four games while only covering one of them. An overtime loss to Furman continues to haunt Louisville, the defeat snapping a stretch of 59-straight November wins at home that dated back 29 years, according to CBS Sports. The Cardinals were favored by nine, shot under 25% from 3-point range and were outrebounded by the Paladins.

Louisville was then pushed to the limit last Saturday at home by Detroit Mercy, eventually coming away with a 73-67 triumph. BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) carried the Cardinals as 16.5-point favorites, and the scoreboard was knotted with just over a minute-&-a-half to go. Dre Davis broke out of his early-season scoring slump with a team-high 18.

Considering all of the under-the-table stuff in college sports in general, and college hoops specifically, Mack’s 6-game suspension was a bit ridiculous and a case of the university trying to make up for its lax attitude while Rick Petino lost control of the program. Mack will be back after this tournament, and it’s a good thing since the Cardinals have road games at Michigan State and NC State coming up.

Cards Have 3-2 Edge in All-Time Series

The Bulldogs and Cardinals last met in the quarterfinals of the 2018 NIT, Mississippi State storming to a 79-56 win in an upset as 6-point underdogs on the college basketball odds. It was a close game for about the first eight minutes of the first quarter before the Bulldogs took charge, then ran roughshod over Louisville in the second half at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville.

That was the first meeting between the two programs in more than 30 years, going back to the 1987 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. Louisville was still in the old Metro Conference then and coached by Denny Crum, and the Cardinals won that matchup in easy 86-62 fashion.

My free college basketball pick really comes down to just not liking the aura surrounding Louisville right now. The cowbells will be ringing tonight.

NCAAB Pick: Mississippi State -1 (-109) at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review)

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