Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Richmond Spiders Betting Predictions, Picks & Lines
Mississippi State and Richmond will open The NIT quarterfinals when they meet at UNT Coliseum on Thursday afternoon. Both teams got through the opening round as +4.5 underdogs. The Bulldogs knocked out Saint Louis beating them 75-68. The Spiders were a part of another upset last weekend, as they defeated Toledo 76-66. No. 4 seed Mississippi State has a 16-14 record this season and went 8-10 in SEC Conference. Richmond, the No. 2 seed, is 14-8 for the season and has ended up a game above .500 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bulldogs already had some success in the “Little Dance” reaching the semifinals in 2018 and 2007. Their Thursday’s opponent never went further than the quarterfinals.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Richmond Spiders Betting Line Movement
The injuries of some of the key Richmond players caused the odds for this game to come about a bit later than usual. The Bulldogs opened as -2 favorites. Some early action on Mississippi State moved the line slightly to -2.5. The total opened at 140 but has dropped since. A lot of money backing the UNDER has caused the line to move to 137 at most sportsbooks.
Notes On The Mississippi State Bulldogs
Although they were barely above .500 for the season, the Bulldogs had a strong finish going 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games. They carried their good form to the tournament surprising No. 1 seed Saint Louis. They managed to drop 74 points on the Billikens in an unusually strong offensive performance. Throughout the season, the Bulldogs were known for the slow-paced offense and often struggled to score. They’re averaging only 69.8 offensive possessions per game, scoring 69 ppg. In their SEC Tournament loss to Alabama, they scored only 48 points. However, they are very aggressive on defense, forcing a lot of turnovers and keeping their opponents to only 66.7 points per game.
The Mississippi State offense mainly revolves around the guard duo of DJ Stewart Jr. and Iverson Molinar. Molinar is the most dangerous shooter on the team, shooting 45% from deep. The two combined for 39 points in the first round.
Notes On The Richmond Spiders
The Spiders came to the tournament after a 3-game losing streak. Still, they surprise Toledo last weekend even though they were without the top two scorers. Unlike the Bulldogs, Richmond owes most of its success this season to its offense. Their scoring offense (75.0 ppg) ranks among the top 100 in the nation. In addition, they post a healthy 47.5% field goal percentage. The defense also stepped up in the first round keeping Toledo to just 66 points. They will need more of the same to stand a chance of going through to the semifinals. The points are likely going to be hard to come by against the stingy Mississippi State defense.
Against Toledo, Richmond was without best scorer Blake Francis (16 ppg) and starting center Grant Golden (13 ppg, 6 rebs). Golden remains out, while Francis is listed as questionable. Having Francis available will certainly be a big boost for coach Mooney. If not, Jacob Gilyard and Tyler Burton will have to step up again. The duo scored 18 points each in the opening round.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Richmond Spiders Betting Pick: UNDER 137
The Bulldogs’ last game was probably an outlier, as they scored the most points in their last 9 games. In addition 8 of their last games went UNDER. The last five games involving the Spiders also stayed under the total line. Even if Francis plays, his production will probably be limited.