Ole Miss and Georgia both sit near the bottom of the SEC standings, and they’ll meet up tonight with both sides looking to get back in the win column. We’ll preview the game before going over my best bet for the action.
The Ole Miss Rebels last won a game on January 17th, and their overall conference record is now 1-9. On Saturday night, the Rebels played Vanderbilt to the wire but could not finish the job, as they ended up losing 74-71. The positive from that game is scoring 71 points does give them something to build off since scoring has not come easy to them, especially since conference play began.
Entering tonight, the Rebels rank 144th in the country in offensive efficiency rating and 298th in effective field goal percentage. Admittedly, Ole Miss has shown flashes of potential on the defensive end, but none of that matters much due to the current Rebels shooting numbers. Their 30.3% three-point percentage is ranked 332nd in the country, and leading scorer Matthew Murrell has only managed a combined 13 points over the last two games while going 5 for 20 from the field.
Murrell will need to get going tonight, as the Rebels 95th ranked defensive efficiency rating can only get the team so far. They’ll be taking on a Georgia team that has proven to have one of the most inconsistent offenses in the country, so predicting how they will be tonight is a difficult task.
The Bulldogs are ranked 132nd in offensive efficiency rating, according to KenPom, and over the last five games, they scored 73 or more in three of them and under 57 in the other two. Recently, either they come out strong on the offensive end, or they barely show up at all.
Georgia struggled mightily in their last game against Auburn, mainly because leading scorer Terry Roberts was out with an injury. His status for tonight is still unclear, so they will need transfer point guard Justin Hill to step up again and build off his 20-point performance against the Tigers.
The Georgia Bulldogs are currently listed as -1.5 point favorites, and I’ll be backing them for my play in this one. The possibility of not having Roberts is not ideal, but this Bulldogs team loves to play at home, while Ole Miss is just 1-6 on the road this season. In 12 home games for Georgia, they have gone 11-1, and in their past two home games, they’ve scored 81 or more points.
If Roberts can’t play, I think the Bulldogs will focus heavily on their defensive effort, which could cause a lot of problems for an already struggling Ole Miss team. In three of the Rebels' last five road games, they’ve scored below 60 points, and with Georgia holding opponents to a 42.5% shooting percentage this season, offense may be hard to come by for the Rebels.
Neither team has played well recently, and both sides have struggled to cover the spread, so in a case like this, I think leaning on the home team is the way to go. Ole Miss has gone 0-6 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a .600 win percentage or better, and I don’t think their offense can do enough to break this trend.
Georgia Bulldogs (-1.5)