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Pick on the Total for Tennessee-Mississippi State on January 10

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Wednesday’s college basketball matchup between the Tennessee Volunteers and Mississippi State Bulldogs

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NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Mississippi State Bulldogs finally have their full lineup on the floor after last season’s top scorer Tolu Smith missed the first 12 games of the season and will look to propel themselves to a victory at home against the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday.

Tennessee Volunteers (-2, 139.5) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Smith last season averaged 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game and through two games this season, is putting up similar numbers with 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, though this team’s identity should remain the same.

The Bulldogs have actually been more effective on offense this season than a season ago, ranking 94th in the country in points scored on a per possession basis entering Tuesday this season after ranking 255th in this category a season ago.

Smith’s return should help the Bulldogs further fortifies a defense that has only two of their 14 opponents this season to exceed 68 points and entered Tuesday eighth in the nation in points allowed on a per possession basis and ranks 23rd in overall rebound rate.

The revamped offense of Mississippi State will be put to the test again a Tennessee squad that a season ago led the country in points allowed per possession and entered Tuesday 10th in the department, but enters having elevated their own offensive production.

Tennessee has scored at least 74 points in seven of their past eight games, but has done so against defenses that are not comparable to Mississippi State with just one of these defenses entering Tuesday higher than 82nd in the country in points allowed on a per possession basis.

The Volunteers have improved from being 94th in the country in points scored per possession last season to 62nd entering Tuesday this season, but have still had issues scoring the road, averaging 14.5 points fewer per 100 possessions at home than in a road or neutral court setting.

Both teams also enter Wednesday playing at a moderate tempo with Tennessee 158th out of the 362 Division I teams in possessions per game and Mississippi State 204th in this department.

With both teams defending the 3-point arc well with Mississippi State eighth in opponent 3-point shooting percentage and Tennessee 29th, it will lead to a defense struggle in Starkville on Wednesday.

The Play: Tennessee vs. Mississippi State Under 139.5