(9) Oklahoma vs. (8) Ole Miss
Time: FRI, 11:40 AM CT (Tru TV)
Spread: MIS -1.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Ole Miss Rebels finished with a 20-12 record and 10-8 mark in SEC play. It concluded its season by losing four of its final five games, including a 57-62 loss to Alabama in the SEC 2nd round to end its regular season. It will face #9 seeded Oklahoma as 1.5-point favorites in opening round action. Alabama fared 18-14 this season and had a losing 8-10 record in conference play. The over/under is set at 142.5 points according to NCAA basketball oddsmakers at 5dimes, and the game will tip off at 11:40 AM (CT) Friday on Tru TV.
Ole Miss is led by Breein Tyree and Terence Davis. Tyree averaged 18.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 38.5 percent from three, and Davis started alongside him in the backcourt averaging 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and a team-best 3.4 assists per game. The Rebels averaged 75.4 points per game as a team while shooting 35.8 percent from three and a stellar 78.3 percent from the line as a team. Tyree is a 6’2” junior guard who sat out last season after averaging 7.3 points per game as a freshman in 2016-17.
This year, he has seen nearly 34 minutes per game as the Rebels’ best talent. He struggled in the loss to Alabama, finishing with just seven points and four rebounds, but in the three games prior he had averaged 20.3 points and 3.6 assists per game, though the Rebels lost two of those games to Kentucky and Arkansas.
Ole Miss allows 70.4 points per game (No. 155) while scoring 75.4 itself. Over its last four games, it has given up 62, 68, 80 and 74 points, with only the Mizzou game ending up as a Rebel victory. The defense will need to tighten up a lot in this tournament to avoid an early exit. Ole Miss fared 2-4 this season against AP-Ranked opponents, and it dropped its final four games to ranked opponents after early wins over an 11th ranked Auburn team and a No. 14 Mississippi State team.
Oklahoma finished its season 19-13 with a 7-11 record in Big Ten Play. The Sooners had a tough second-half to it season and it concluded it by losing eight of its final 12 games. The Sooners lost by one-point to West Virginia in the first round of the Big 12 championship, despite getting 22 points from Brady Manek. Oklahoma also had just eight turnovers while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. Manek finished the season as the No. 2 scorer with 12 points and six rebounds per game, and he shot 35.4 percent from three on his 147 attempts.
Christian James leads OU in scoring at 14.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, and he attempted the most threes (184) while shooting at a 33.7 percent clip. The Sooners did not take a ton of threes outside of the pair, finishing with 619 attempts at a 34.2 team percentage. Oklahoma surrendered 68.2 points per game this season while scoring just 71.2 itself, good for a positive-3.0 point differential.
The Sooners started the season 11-1 but encountered a lot of trouble in Big 12 play, which hardly bodes well. Its final record against ranked opponents was just 2-6, though it did defeat a then-No. 13 Kansas team 81-68. 63 percent of bettors at Covers are expecting Ole Miss to cover the 1.5-point spread.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):