The Mississippi State Bulldogs take on the Auburn Tigers. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Mississippi State Auburn prediction and pick. Find how to watch Mississippi State Auburn.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs should be in the NCAA Tournament. A number of bracket projections have them in the area of a No. 8 or No. 9 seed, which should offer a measure of safety this close to Selection Sunday. However, a win over Auburn would make MSU a lock, whereas a loss could create some lingering uncertainty heading into the SEC Tournament. When we talk about locks this time of year, people often throw around that term loosely. To some people, a lock means “there's no way they're going to miss the NCAA Tournament,” but that's really not what a lock is. The actual definition of a lock is this: A team can lose all of its remaining games and still be comfortably in the NCAA Tournament. The reason why more teams become locks as March arrives is that there are fewer games remaining before Selection Sunday. Power Five conference teams, coming into Saturday, have at least four games before Selection Sunday. Three regular-season conference games are followed by at least one conference tournament game. If a team can lose all four of those games and still be comfortably in the NCAA Tournament, it is a lock. Mississippi State is therefore not a lock by that standard. MSU probably needs one or two more wins — not a lot, but some — to feel safe. A win here against Auburn would make the Bulldogs a lock or something very close to it. A win would enable MSU to become a lock with just one more additional win. That would relieve a lot of pressure heading to the SEC Tournament.

Here are the Mississippi State-Auburn College Basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.

College Basketball Odds: Mississippi State-Auburn Odds

Mississippi State Bulldogs: +8.5 (-102)

Auburn Tigers: -8.5 (-120)

Over: 145.5 (-110)

Under: 145.5 (-110)

How To Watch Mississippi State vs Auburn

Time: 4:00 pm ET / 1:00 pm PT


Stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

Why Mississippi State Could Cover the Spread

Mississippi State is playing like an NCAA Tournament team. The Bulldogs have largely taken care of business, and although they didn't beat Kentucky earlier this week, they came very close and played the very talented Wildcats on even terms. As we noted above, Mississippi State is not a lock for the NCAA Tournament and still has work to do. The urgency of the moment — needing to do a little more to be secure for an NCAA Tournament bid — is a powerful motivator for the Bulldogs. They don't even have to win to cover the spread, either. They can lose by eight and still cover against an Auburn team which might be a little drained after its very emotional loss to Tennessee earlier this week.

Why Auburn Could Cover the Spread

The Mississippi State Bulldogs just emptied the fuel tank against Kentucky and came up short. The effort they put into that game might actually leave them more spent than Auburn for this game. Auburn did have a tough go of it against Tennessee, but Auburn is playing at home in this game and wants to get as high an NCAA Tournament seed as possible. The game sets up better for Auburn than MSU.

Final Mississippi State-Auburn Prediction & Pick

Mississippi State, not Auburn, will be more physically and mentally drained for this game. Take Auburn.

Final Mississippi State-Auburn Prediction & Pick: Auburn -8.5