Free College Basketball Picks: Florida Atlantic Owls at Mississippi St Bulldogs

Florida Atlantic Owls at #16 Mississippi St Bulldogs
Humphrey Coliseum – Starkville, Mississippi
Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: Comcast South, ESPN Full Court
Opening Line: Mississippi St -13 1/2
Current Line: Mississippi St -13 1/2
Opening Total: 138 1/2
Current Total: 138 1/2
Opening Money Line: Mississippi St -1500 / FAU +950
Current Money Line: Mississippi St -1300 / FAU +850

Mississippi St hosts Florida Atlantic Tuesday night. The Bulldogs have won 8 games in a row and are 13 1/2 point favorites at home.

The 4-5 Florida Atlantic Owls take on the #16 Mississippi St Bulldogs who are 9-1 Tuesday night in Starkville. Florida Atlantic is coached by Mike Jarvis and has losses at Washington, South Florida, and Kansas. The Owls have wins over Georgia St, George Mason, and Hofstra. Mississippi St is coached by Rick Stansbury and has won 8 straight games since a 68-58 loss at home to Akron. The Bulldogs have wins over Texas A&M, Arizona, North Texas, and West Virginia during the winning streak. Florida Atlantic beat Mississippi St 61-59 in Boca Raton last season in the only previous meeting between the schools.

Last Saturday, Florida Atlantic hosted NAIA school Warner South. There was no line on the game. Warner actually was up 10-9 before the Owls went on a 23-6 run and never looked back. FAU was up 58-32 at halftime. The Owls called off the dogs in the second half  and won 98-70. Both schools shot over 50% from the field. FAU made 12/25 three pointers, including 10/15 in the first half. The Owls were 14/19 from the free throw line. FAU had 41 rebounds, 23 assists, and 11 turnovers. Guard Greg Gantt had 21 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Guard Omari Grier added 18 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. Dennis Mavin had 13 points. Pablo Bertone had 9 points and 11 rebounds. Raymond Taylor had 8 points and 10 assists off the bench.

Florida Atlantic is being outscored by opponents 71-69 this season. The Owls are shooting 42% from the field, including 36.8% from 3 point range. FAU makes 61.4% of their free throws. The Owls average 36.1 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of -1.4. FAU averages 15.4 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 6 steals, and 5.1 blocks a game. The Owls do not have a player on the roster over 6’8″ and run a 4 guard set. FAU opponents average 41.9% from the field, including 37.2% from 3 point range.

Gantt averages  13.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1 assist a game. Bertone averages 10.7 points, 5.9 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.4 assists a game. Grier averages 10.1 points, and 2.3 rebounds a game. The top three scorers all shoot at least 38.5% from 3 point range. Kore White averages 9.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and leads the team in blocks with 1.7 a game. Taylor leads the team in assists with 5.2 a game and steals with 1.1 a game.

Mississippi St was a 16.5 point favorite on the college basketball betting line last Saturday at home against Troy. Mississippi St opened up a 54-26 lead at halftime. It wasn’t much better for the Trojans in the second half and the Bulldogs scored 52 points after halftime. Mississippi St crushed Troy 106-68. The Bulldogs reached the 100 point mark with just over 4 minutes to to go at which point MSU coach Rick Stansbury emptied his bench. The Bulldogs shot 56.3% from the field including, 16/31 on 3 pointers. MSU outscored Troy 42-26 in the paint. Like Florida Atlantic, Troy doesn’t have a player over 6’9″.

Mississippi St is outscoring opponents 77-62 this season. The Bulldogs are shooting 47.8% from the field including 35.8% from 3 point range. MSU makes 68.8% of their free throws. The Bulldogs average 38.8 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +5. MSU averages 13.9 assists, 12.6 turnovers, 7.8 steals, and 4 blocks a game. MSU opponents shoot 40.2% from the field including 28% from 3 point range.

Guard Dee Bost averages 18.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 2.6 steals a game. He leads the Bulldogs in scoring, assists, and steals. Forward Arnett Moultrie averages 17.1 points, 11.3 rebounds to lead the team, 1.4 assists, and 1.3 steals a game. Rodney Hood averages 12.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists a game. Brian Bryant and Wendell Lewis are tied for the team lead in blocks with 0.9 a game. Bryant returns  from a 2 game suspension for this game. Forward Shawn Long, guard Shaun Smith, and forward Kristers Zeidaks are all out indefinitely or for the season.

Mississippi St is 6-4 against the spread this season and the total is 5-5 in those games. Florida Atlantic is 4-3 ATS and the total is 2-5 this season. The Owls are 4-1 ATS against SEC teams, 7-3 as a road underdog of 13 points or more, 2-5 after scoring 90 points, as an underdog and as a road underdog. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS as a favorite, at home, after a straight up win, in non-conference games, overall, and as a home favorite, 4-1 after a cover, 7-2 after scoring 90 points, 16-5-1 after a win by 20 points or more, 3-1-1 at home against teams with losing road records, 2-5 against Sun Belt teams, 3-9-1 in Tuesday games, and 3-9 as a home favorite of 13 points or more.

Mississippi St just destroyed a small Sun Belt team on Saturday, and now they take on another. I don’t see Troy making this a game, and 13.5 points seems like a bargain for MSU. Lay the wood with the Bulldogs.

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