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Pittsburgh and Mississippi State meet tonight in the late game of the NCAA Tournament first four slate. How will this game play out? College basketball betting expert Krabs breaks it down.

Mississippi State vs. Pittsburgh Prediction: How Will This First Four Game Play Out?

What an up-and-down season it’s been for both Pittsburgh and Mississippi State. Pitt was first in the ACC for weeks, but finished the year in a downward spiral, barely making the tournament. Mississippi State was ranked early in the year but struggled to find any consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Will Pittsburgh come out of their slump and show some heart tonight, or will Mississippi State’s elite defense prove to be too much to handle for the Panthers?

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Mississippi State vs. Pittsburgh Start Time and Where to Watch

  • Date: March 14, 2023
  • Start Time: 9:10 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: truTV

Click here for Mississippi State vs. Pittsburgh odds

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Mississippi State vs. Pittsburgh Prediction

It was only a matter of time before the regression monster caught up to Pitt. They were playing out of their mind for the first half of the season, and the ball seemed to be bouncing their way in many games. The last two weeks of conference play were tough for the Panthers; Pitt dropped from first place to fifth in such a short time frame.

Jamarius Burton and Blake Hinson are two studs who have carried Pitt all year, but it seems like Nelly Cummings, and the rest of this squad have come back down to Earth and cooled off of late. Will the dynamic duo of Burton and Hinson be enough to defeat the 13th-rated defense in the country?

Expectations couldn’t have been higher for MSST entering this season, with star Tolu Smith returning for his senior year. Chris Jans has earned mixed reviews in his first two seasons after coming to coach from New Mexico State. He’s built an elite defensive system that’s given some of the best teams in the country a ton of trouble at times this season. MSST has beaten Marquette, TCU, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas A&M this season.

MSST’s problems lie on the offensive side of the ball. The Bulldogs don’t score much and will pretty much lose any game when their opponent puts up more than 70 points. With the way Pitt has been playing, I don’t see how they put up more than 60 tonight against this elite defense. I want my money on the team who isn’t entering the tournament in the midst of their worst stretch of the season. I’m not saying Mississippi State has been great, but they are for sure the more confident team entering the play-in game tonight.

The betting line in this game opened up at a Pick ‘Em, but Mississippi State has since been steamed up to -2.5 in most places. It’s definitely interesting to see the line move this way with around 60% of bets and handle on Pitt (on DraftKings). What this reverse line movement entails is that MSST is sharp; there must be respected bettors backing the Bulldogs, hence why the line is moving even without the majority of the bets. Back Tolu Smith and Coach Jans’ Bulldogs to survive the play-in game and advance to take on Iowa State.

Mississippi State vs. Pittsburgh Prediction

Mississippi State ML (-140) Bet $100 to collect $171 FanDuel has the best odds; click here to bet

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Article Author


Krabs is a contrarian bettor who isn’t afraid to fade the public or go against the grain. His betting style not only produces winners but has changed the way many think about the sports betting process. You’ll find Krabs betting on anything from the NFL (at a 60% clip in 2022) to the KBO (8-1-1 in 2022). You won’t find many handicappers with more college basketball knowledge or insight than Krabs. A native of the “DMV,” you can find his work @Krabs_Bets on Twitter, or on Behind the Lines, his daily sports betting show on twitch.

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