Mike White and the Georgia Bulldogs take on Dennis Gates’ Missouri Tigers in this SEC tournament matchup. Below we will continue our college basketball odds series with a Missouri-Georgia prediction and pick. 

Mike White and his Bulldogs were in a great position after starting 14-5 overall and 4-2 in SEC play. Unfortunately, Georgia has fallen off of a cliff going 2-10 over the past eight weeks falling to the No. 11 seed. A left ankle to Georgia’s best shooter, senior Jabri Abdur-Rahim, makes things that much tougher. However, the Bulldogs still have plenty of guard talent. Freshman Silas Demary Jr was just named to the SEC All-Freshman team on Monday.

Speaking of rough conference seasons, Dennis Gates and his crew still have an opportunity to pick up a win. Missouri ranks dead last in the country (362nd) in KenPom’s luck rating. Seven of the Tigers' eighteen SEC losses came by two possessions or less. Season-ending injuries for both wings brought in this offseason (Caleb Grill, Iowa State, and John Tonje, Colorado State) completely derailed this season. At Iowa State, Grill was a 9.5 points per game guy who shot it just under 40% from outside. At Colorado State, Tonje averaged 14.6 points per game and also shot just under 40% from three. 

The unlucky, winless Tigers against the reeling, shorthanded Bulldogs. Something has to give.

Here are the college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

College Basketball Odds: Missouri-Georgia Odds

Missouri: +3.5 (-110)

Moneyline: +138

Georgia: -3.5 (-110)

Moneyline: -166

Over: 147.5 (-110)

Under: 147.5 (-110)

How to Watch Missouri vs. Georgia

Time: 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT (Approx. 35 minutes after conclusion of Vanderbilt vs. Arkansas)


Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why Missouri Will Cover The Spread/Win

Initially, the status of senior stretch forward Jabri Abdur-Rahim is massive. Abdur-Rahim shoots the three-ball at 35.6% which is the best on the team. Not only was Abdur-Rahim huge for Georgia’s spacing, but he also has by far the team’s most free throws attempted and the highest free throw percentage. Dylan James has been improving game-to-game but the difference between the two is still significant. Where Abdul-Rahim's fouls drawn per 40 minutes is 5.1, Dylan James’ is 2.2. 

The previous matchup is hard to conclude since it was the SEC opener back in early January. However, Missouri only shot seven free throws to Georgia’s 21. Since then, Dennis Gates has made a consistent effort to get his guys aggressive downhill. Over the past four weeks, Missouri has the 15th-best free throw rate in the nation at 45.2%. Georgia does do a good job at defending without fouling, but I would be shocked if Missouri only shoots seven free throws again. Expect the Tigers to be body-seeking and looking for contact all night. 

Some people may call it bogus, but KenPom’s luck rating has told the story of Missouri’s season. Missouri currently ranks 362nd out of 362 teams in luck. They are the unluckiest team in America. This may be the best winless-in–conference team of all time. For example, despite Vanderbilt having wins over Florida and Arkansas, the Commodores rank 187th over the past four weeks per BartTorvik. Missouri being winless, ranks 132nd. The point is despite not winning, Missouri has not played as badly as it looks.

Why Georgia Will Cover The Spread/Win

First, this is a Georgia team that played better than their record shows. They beat South Carolina in Columbia and lost by single digits to Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Florida twice. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 93rd per KenPom but were as high as 67th after the LSU win on January 24th. Things have gone downhill since, but with the season on the line, it is nice to know this team hung with the best of the best in the SEC this year. 

Second, the Georgia defense plays a style that might take away what Missouri does best. Missouri’s two best offensive categories are their free throw percentage and free throw rate. Sean East II, Nick Honor, Tamar Bates, and Noah Carter all shoot free throws at 79.8% or better. Defensively, Georgia defends without fouling at the fourth-best rate in SEC play (31.1%). 

Also, do not forget what Russel Tchewa did in the first matchup. Tchewa had a season-high 18 points and added 11 rebounds. This is a Missouri defense that has struggled with size down low in a brutal way this season. Tchewa ranks top ten in the SEC in effective field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, free throw rate, and defensive rebound rate.

Final Missouri-Georgia Prediction & Pick

If Jabri Abdur-Rahim was not injured, this may be a different pick. In the SEC, the Georgia offense gets the 5th-most percentage of total points from both threes and free throws but the 13th-most from two. Long story short, the majority of Georgia’s points are coming from threes and free throws, the two categories Abdur-Rahim leads the team. Give me the points with Missouri.

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Final Missouri-Georgia Prediction & Pick: Missouri +3.5 (-110)