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The 2021 National Invitation Tournament continues on Saturday afternoon with a pair of intriguing semifinal matchups. The second game of the doubleheader pits the Mississippi State Bulldogs against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Mississippi State is 17-14 on the season, reaching this point after wins over Saint Louis and Richmond. Louisiana Tech is 23-7 on the year, toppling Ole Miss and Western Kentucky so far in the NIT 2021.

Tip-off is at 3 p.m. ET in Frisco, Texas. William Hill Sportsbook lists MSU as a one-point favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 136.5 in the latest Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech odds. Before making any Louisiana Tech vs. Mississippi State picks, check out the 2021 NIT predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Louisiana Tech vs. Mississippi State. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech:

  • Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech spread: MSU -1
  • Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech over-under: 136.5 points
  • Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech money line: MSU -115, LT -105
  • MSU: The Bulldogs are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • LT: The Bulldogs are 8-2 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why Mississippi State can cover 

Ben Howland is a proven tournament coach, and he has Mississippi State playing at a high level at a good time. Mississippi State is an elite offensive rebounding team, grabbing more than 36 percent of its own missed shots. Elsewhere, Mississippi State is above-average in generating free throws, and Louisiana Tech struggles in rim protection, blocking only 7.6 percent of shots by its opponents. 

Defensively, Mississippi State is excellent in preventing shooting efficiency for its opponents, including a 32.4 percent mark on 3-pointers and a 46.0 percent mark on 2-pointers. Mississippi State is also a top-30 team in the country in block rate (12.8 percent) and Louisiana Tech is below-average in both 2-point shooting (49.3 percent) and free throw shooting (69.6 percent). Mississippi State led the SEC in free throw prevention defensively, which should help in boosting overall defensive efficiency.

Why Louisiana Tech can cover

Eric Konkol's team is very strong on the defensive end. Louisiana Tech is a top-30 team in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency this season, leading Conference USA. Louisiana Tech also led the conference in effective field goal percentage allowed (45.2 percent), 3-point shooting allowed (28.2 percent) and defensive rebound rate (77.4 percent). The Bulldogs are above-average at generating steals and preventing free throws, with Mississippi State landing near the bottom of the SEC in myriad offensive categories. 

On the other end, Mississippi State struggles to create turnovers, and Louisiana Tech is above-average in ball security, committing a turnover on only 18.2 percent of possessions. Louisiana Tech is also a strong team in creating free throws and knocking down perimeter shots, converting 35.1 percent of its 3-point attempts over the course of the 2020-21 season.

How to make Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech picks

The model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 135 points. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Louisiana Tech vs. Mississippi State? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.