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College sports betting: South Carolina at Mississippi State

The South Carolina Gamecocks (14-4, 5-10 SEC) travel to Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Mississippi to play the Mississippi State Bulldogs (16-13, 8-7 SEC) in Saturday’s college sports betting. The Bulldogs are ranked second in the SEC West, three games behind the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Mississippi State has the edge in their home game as the Bulldogs try to qualify for the NCAA tournament. South Carolina reside at the bottom of the SEC East with a 5-10 conference record, which is seven games behind No. 14 Florida and hopelessly out of the tournament picture. The Gamecocks are on a two-game losing streak, losing to Georgia 64-48 on February 26 and losing to Tennessee 73-69 on March 3.

The Bulldogs on the other hand have won two straight in their final push for an at-large berth in this month’s NCAA tournament. They defeated a tough Tennessee team 70-69 on February 26 and won a shootout against Arkansas 88-78 on March 2.

Neither team distinguishes itself on offense nor defense. Mississippi State averages 69.8 on offense and allows 70.1 on defense. Almost identically, South Carolina scores 68.4 points on offense and 69.4 points on defense per contest.

However, the Bulldogs are clearly a more well-rounded team than the Gamecocks with four starters averaging more than double figures per contest. Guard Ravern Johnson leads the pack with 17.4 points and 3.5 rebounds, while fellow guard Dee Bost rounds up the Bulldogs’ backcourt with 15.7 points and 5.8 assists per game.

In the frontcourt, forward Renardo Sidney adds 13.8 points and grabs 7.4 rebounds. Forward Kodi Augustus scores 12.1 points and grabs 7.3 rebounds. South Carolina will need to prevent the Bulldogs from grabbing offensive boards and attempting second-chance field goals to win on the road. They will also need to rotate quickly on defense in order to contain the Bulldogs’ high-scoring backcourt duo of Johnson and Bost.

The Gamecocks are led by guard Bruce Ellington who averages 12.9 points and 3.3 assists per game. Forward Sam Muldrow contributes 11.4 points and 7.2 rebounds, while forward Malik Cooke adds 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest. The Bulldogs, playing at home and fighting for a tournament spot, should possess favorable odds in Saturday’s college sports betting.