The Mississippi Rebels (14-8) and Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-5) will meet up Thursday night in a Southeastern Conference affair inside the Humphrey Coliseum.

Mississippi Rebels at Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Mississippi State Bulldogs haven't been swept by the Mississippi Rebels since 1998

Mississippi has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, coming in off a disappointing 69-67 overtime loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide as 10.5-point road underdogs.  “We’re a handful of possessions away from sitting here at 7-1 in conference play,” commented Rebels head coach Andy Kennedy.  The program is tied for fifth place in the SEC standings with a 4-4 record.  During conference action, the Rebels lead all teams in rebounding and rebounding margin (+8.4).  Mississippi is 7-3 ATS as an underdog this year.

The Rebels are led offensively by senior Terrance Henry, who is scoring 12.2 points per game and is 13th in scoring during SEC action in averaging 13.3 points a contest.  Mississippi is 24-90 when playing this series in Starksville, with Kennedy tallying a 4-7 overall mark in the rivalry.  Thursday night will be the program’s fourth game against a ranked opponent, with the team posting a 1-2 record in the earlier contests.

Mississippi State is looking to avoid being swept by Mississippi for the first time since 1998, which happens to be the first year of the Rick Stansbury era.  The Bulldogs have won three of their last four games, but have managed to cover just one of those contests.  Total bettors will find that the team has gone “over” the total in four of five games.  Stansbury has led the program to great success in this rivalry when playing inside tonight’s venue, posting a 12-1 mark inside Humphrey Coliseum.  Mississippi State is 1-7 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons.

The Bulldogs have compiled a mediocre 91-86 record in February games since the start of the 1987-88 season.  Mississippi State has four players that averaging in double figures, with junior forward Arnett Moultrie leading the way in scoring 17.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.  He leads the SEC in rebounding and double-doubles (13), while joining two other starters that average more than 34 minutes of playing time per game.

Bettors will likely back the Bulldogs due to the home team being 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings, while the Rebels are 1-5 ATS when playing in Starksville.

Recommendation: Mississippi State Rebels -7.5

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