The final week of the regular season continues with a Southeastern Conference matchup featuring the #5 Auburn Tigers (25-4, 13-3 SEC) and the Mississippi State Bulldogs (17-12, 8-8 SEC). A victory for the Tigers locks up at least a share of the regular-season conference title, the fifth in school history.
Wednesday’s tipoff is at 9 p.m. EST inside Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, MS. Auburn is a 3.5-point road favorite, and the over-under total is at 140.5 points.
What to Know – Auburn Tigers
Auburn could have had the regular-season title locked up heading into the final week of the play, but the Tigers have stumbled in two of its last three SEC contests. The Tigers have dropped their last three games on the road, including losses to Tennessee and Florida recently.
The Tigers are third in the SEC, scoring 79.1 points per game, thanks to 44.5% shooting from the field and 31.8% shooting from beyond the arc. Auburn’s defense limits opponents to 66.9 points per game, 38.2% shooting from the floor, and 31.4% shooting from the 3-point line.
Auburn went into halftime with a six-point lead over the Volunteers, but the first-half effort wasn’t enough to hold on a Tennessee squad that rallied back for a 67-62 conference victory. The Tigers were led in scoring by Jabari Smith with 27 points and K.D. Johnson with 18.
Auburn is 18-10-1 against the spread and 3-7 ATS on the road. The Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS over their previous seven games and 0-5 ATS in road contests during that time.
What to Know – Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs enter the final week of play on the outside, looking in the NCAA Tournament picture. Mississippi State could make some noise with victories over Auburn and Texas A&M heading into the conference tournament.
Mississippi State averages 71.6 points per game, hitting 45.9% of its shots from the floor and 30.2% from deep. The Bulldogs’ defense surrenders 66.2 points per game to opponents, holding teams to 43% shooting from the field and 31.8% from three.
Tolu Smith poured in 22 points, and Iverson Molinar added 20, leading the Bulldogs past the Vanderbilt Commodores over the weekend. MSU forced 18 turnovers and shot 50% from the field, hitting just one 3-point field goal.
The Bulldogs are 15-14 ATS with a 10-6 mark ATS in Starkville. Mississippi State owns a 4-2 record ATS in their last six contests played on Wednesdays.
The Pick is In
Auburn can add a quality road win to their resume as they try and fight for a top-seed heading into the postseason. The Bulldogs could win out and might not make the tournament, but the chance is still there for Mississippi to close strong. The Tigers’ play on the road in recent weeks is concerning, and Starkville has notoriously been a tough place to play for visitors.
Betting Pick: Mississippi State +3.5