Mississippi (13-9) at Vanderbilt (14-8)
The Line: Vanderbilt -6
Saturday February 7, 2009 1 PM EST
I was more than a little surprised when I saw this line open at five and a half and even more surprised when it moved to six. I thought this game would be pick-em at best.
While Vandy has the better overall record, Ole Miss has been playing some really good basketball of late and come in winners of their last three in a row. The Rebels were underdogs in each of those contests, probably stemming from the three game losing streak that preceded the recent run.
The Commodores don't seem like much of a value play in this one because while they have won two in a row, they had lost four in a row prior. Vandy is just 3-5 overall in SEC play while Ole Miss is 4-4 in the conference.
Of the two, Mississippi is definitely the more battle-tested of the two as they have played the 16th toughest schedule in the country while Vandy has played the 108th ranked schedule.
Mississippi is 12-6 against the spread, so far this season, while Vanderbilt is 7-11-1 against the number. Ole Miss has been red hot against the spread of late covering in all of their last five road games, their last five games overall, their last five against the SEC, and their last four as a road underdog.
Vanderbilt is 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five home games, 1-7-1 against the spread in their last nine SEC games, and 1-6-1 against the spread in their last eight overall.
Working in Vandy's favor is the fact that the favorite has covered in seven of the last eight meetings between these two. I think we have a line that is not only too big, but it may be the wrong team favored.
I think a money line play wouldn't be out of line with Mississippi here, but I definitely like them getting points as well.
Mitch's Pick: Mississippi +6
See all of Mitch's College Basketball picks against the spread