Mississippi State-Kentucky: Mitch Picks College Basketball 2/3/09

Mitch WilsonSenior Writer IFebruary 3, 2009

Mississippi State (14-7) at Kentucky (16-6)

The Line: Kentucky -10

Time: 7 PM EST

A little more than a week ago I was talking about how Kentucky was the best unranked team in the country, as luck would have it, the Wildcats haven't won since.

Mississippi State appeared to be in cruise control and a sure bet to make the field of 65 in this year's NCAA tournament, that is until they lost two of their last three games.

Both of these teams look to get their footing as while they still seem to have a cushion to work with to stay within those participating in postseason play, the comfort zone is quickly evaporating as conference play hits full speed and everyone is vying for postseason play.

MSU tends to lean on 6'7" guard Ravern Johnson who seemingly scores 20 on a routine basis as of late. Johnson doesn't have to do it alone though as the Bulldogs have solid participation up and down the bench.

For UK, it's Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson who lead the way. While Meeks has been considered the main shooting threat, Patterson has been scoring near 20 points per game as well and pounding the boards in the meantime. While this isn't a must win game in the grand scheme of things for wither team, it could go a long way towards cementing a tourney bid.

Mississippi State is 8-6-1 against the spread so far this season and Kentucky is 10-6-1 against the number. Mississippi State is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight overall and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven when playing against teams with a winning record.

Kentucky is 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games overall and 7-3 against the spread when playing team with a winning record. The underdog has the edge in this series going 5-2-2 against the spread in the last nine meetings. I think the Wildcats in Rupp Arena are a tough task for anyone, but I'm not convinced they are better than the Bulldogs by double-digits.

Mitch's Pick: Mississippi State +10


See all Of Mitch's free picks against the spread