The first game of the SEC tournament on Wednesday will be Georgia and Ole Miss. While this game may feature two of the lower-seeded teams in the field, it also features a couple of the best individual talents in the entire conference.
Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards is a high scoring wing who was second in the conference in points per game at 19.5 and is widely thought the be this year’s number one selection in the NBA draft. A 6-5, 225-pound scoring machine,
Edwards logged over 600 points in his freshman campaign and, despite not being surrounded by a lot of talent, was still able to fill the stat sheet with 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game.
As you can imagine, he was not overly efficient at just 41% from the field, but he has the ability to get scorching hot and carry this team to victory.
Edwards logged three games this season of at least 32 points and seven games of 25 or more points. In one of the more impressive performances of any player this season anywhere, he recorded a stat line of 37 points, six rebounds, two assists, four steals, and three blocks against the Michigan State Spartans.
The Bulldogs found themselves down by 21 at the half and 28 with roughly 16 minutes to go, and Edwards brought them back to only lose by eight almost single-handedly.
On the other side, Ole Miss and Kermit Davis boast the No. 3 scorer in the SEC in Breein Tyree, a senior wing from New Jersey. Tyree logged just eight fewer points than Edwards on the season while playing one fewer game on the season.
The 6-2 guard is a 1,700-plus-point scorer for his career and shoots nearly 36% from behind the arc during his time in Oxford.
While Edwards is sometimes alone on an island, Tyree has some backup in Devontae Shuler, KJ Buffen, and Blake Hinson, all of whom average double-digit points per game. Rayshaun Hammonds does average roughly 13 and 8 for the Bulldogs, but he also has nine games with 8 points or fewer and twelve games with five rebounds or fewer.
Ole Miss is a 2.5-point favorite in this contest, with the over/under set at 145.5.
Georgia has the talent; now what?
As you may expect, the trends aren’t great for the Dogs. Georgia is 3-11 straight up away from home this season, but are 6-8 ATS in those games.
However, they are just 3-6 ATS in their last nine games. The total has gone over in 19 of their 31 games this season.
The Rebels are also bad on the road
It has been a tough year for the Rebels, and most of their struggles have come away from home. Ole Miss is 1-10 in true road games this season and also 3-11 overall away from home and 5-9 ATS.
The good news is that the Rebs are 11-4 straight up this season as the favorite. On the season, Ole Miss is 16-15 over/under but has gone under in 10 of 14 games away from home.
These teams are so similar both stylistically and metrically that it’s pretty uncanny. What sticks out to me is Georgia having a turnover rate of 20.2 and an effective field goal percentage against of over 50%. Both of those numbers are concerning.
Now, Ole Miss may not be good enough to take advantage, but I like its supporting cast by a wide margin, and I like its coaching a lot more.
These two teams met once this season, and Ole Miss won by double digits in Athens. I like the Rebels to cover, and I would go with the over.