College Basketball Predictions: Akron Zips vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Akron Zips at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Wednesday, 11/9/11, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  Mississippi St -7
Current Betting Line:  Mississippi St -7
Opening Total:  140
Current Total:  143.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

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Mississippi State Bulldogs are just 2-8 ATS in November

Akron opens up its 2011-12 campaign and will look to improve upon its 45-29 all-time record in regular season tournaments, including a 10-8 mark under head coach Keith Dambrot.  The program is 66-44 all-time in season openers, including a 11-32 mark when opening on the road.  The team returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s MAC Tournament Championship squad.  Don’t count out this program against a Southeastern Conference, being one of just 20 that has won at least 20 games in each of the past six seasons.  Akron is 2-5 ATS in November the last two seasons.

The Zips enter the season as one of the favorites to win the MAC, lead by Nikola Cvetinovic and Zeke Marshall, who were both named to the league’s preseason second-team all conference team.  Akron is 1-3 all-time against the SEC, with the only victory coming on Dec. 20, 2005, over Mississippi State.  “We probably have more upside than we have ever had, but we also have more uncertainty than we have ever had,” commented Dambrot about the team coming into the season.

Mississippi State has already opened up its campaign with a 76-66 win over Eastern Kentucky as 16.5-point home favorites on Monday night, hitting 28-of-58 shots, while finishing with an edge of 13 rebounds on the boards.  The Bulldogs are led by Dee Bost, who was named a preseason first-team All-SEC player, moving into 26th place in the school record books with 1,143 points.  Surprisingly enough, Mississippi State is just 3-6 all-time against teams comprising of the MAC.  Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 2-8 ATS in November, while the ‘over’ is 4-3 in that span.

The Bulldogs have enjoyed great straight-up success during the season’s opening month, tallying a 50-17 record since Stansbury walked on campus in November contests.  Including last year’s 8-6 mark in non-conference action, Mississippi State is 143-49 in such games during his time in Starksville.  Shooting the three-point shot is a major weapon for this program, averaging 7.9 makes a year ago, which seems to be the course of action this year.  The Bulldogs hit eight threes against Eastern Kentucky.

Bettors will likely back the Zips due to their 13-3 ATS run, while the Bulldogs are 3-13 ATS versus non-conference foes.

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