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NCAA Tournament: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Betting Preview

Tuesday night features a battle of ACC versus SEC as the Pittsburgh Panthers (22-11) take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs (21-12) in a play-in game of No. 11 seeds. This game will be played at the University of Dayton Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 9:10 pm ET.

Mississippi State comes in as the favorite in this one. They are -132 to win, while the Panthers’ moneyline sits at +110. The spread features Pittsburgh as 2.5-point underdogs (-115), and the over/under for total points is 133.5 (-110).

Pitt Trying To Bounce Back From Ugly Loss

At 22-11, it has been a solid season for the Pittsburgh Panthers, finishing fifth in the ACC and beating some notable teams like No. 16 Miami and No. 14 Virginia. Still, they are trying to bounce back from an ugly loss in this one as they were dismantled 96-69 by Duke in the ACC Tournament.

Pittsburgh comes into this matchup ranked 52nd in the nation in scoring, averaging 76.1 points per game.

The team is led by the duo of guard Jamarius Burton and forward Blake Hinson. Both of them are averaging 15.6 points per game, with Burton adding 4.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists, while Hinson is averaging 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Nelly Cummings (11 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists) and Greg Elliott (10.4 points, 3.8 rebounds) have also had strong seasons.

Defensively, the Panthers rank 171st in the nation, allowing an average of 70.5 points per game to opponents. In their last three games, though, they have allowed an average of 85 per game.

Mississippi State Looks To Get To Round Of 64

Head coach Chris Jans is looking to get the Bulldogs to the NCAA round of 64 in his first year as head coach. Having lost four of their last eight games, including a 72-49 loss to Alabama in the SEC Tournament, Mississippi State will have its work cut out for them as they go against Pitt.

While Pittsburgh has a solid offense, Mississippi boasts one of the best defenses in the nation. Entering play, they rank eighth in scoring defense, allowing just 61 points per game to opponents.

Offensively, the Bulldogs fall to just 306th in the country, averaging 65.9 points per game (62 away from home). The team has only one player averaging double digits in senior forward Tolu Smith, who is averaging 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Other contributors include Shakeel Moore (9.6 points, 3 rebounds), D.J. Jeffries (8.8 points, 6.2 rebounds), and Dashawn Davis (8.5 points, 3.5 assists).

Take Pittsburgh And The Points

This one is a tough one to call as you have conflicting style of play in this one. For the Panthers, they have been solid on offense, but are just average defensively. For the Bulldogs, they struggle offensively, but they are one of the best in the country on defense.

Looking at the trends, Pitt is 8-4 against the spread in their last 12 and 9-4 overall in their last 13. For Mississippi State, they are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five, while also sporting a 9-4 record in their last 13 contests.

Defense travels well, but if Pitt can put some pressure on Mississippi State offensively, the Bulldogs may not have enough firepower to keep up. Regardless, this might stay a relatively close game for the most part, and for that reason, take Pittsburgh and the 2.5 points (-115).

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