USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Deshaun Davis and Nick Fitzgerald.
Auburn-Mississippi State Betting Odds, Pick
- Line: Auburn -3.5
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN2
>> All odds as of 9 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
From SEC West contenders to just trying to stay afloat. That’s what both Mississippi State and Auburn are going through right now.
The Bulldogs have dropped two straight games, both SEC losses, and scored a combined 13 points.
Auburn lost to LSU as a 10-point favorite, and has barely treaded water as huge chalk against Arkansas and Southern Miss (those box scores are a lot closer than the final scores).
But someone’s gotta win this game. Let’s get to it.
Market Moves for Mississippi State-Auburn
Two-thirds of bettors are behind Auburn, but sportsbooks have come back to the same number at which this game opened, since dollars are about split.
While the point spread is sticking to its opener, the total has fallen two points from 45.5 to 41.5 then back up to 43.5, as 74% of bettors are taking this under. That heavy majority has this game on pace to have the second-most popular under of the weekend.
Trends to Know
By Evan Abrams
No. 8 Auburn plays on the road against an unranked Mississippi State team in Week 6 after the Tigers started the season playing at home in five consecutive games (if you count Atlanta in the opener as a home game).
— Only one top-10 team has played on the road against an unranked opponent after playing at least five consecutive games at home: 2016 Michigan Wolverines when they played Rutgers in Piscataway and won 78-0.
Six ranked teams have faced an unranked team on the road after playing at least five consecutive games at home. Those six teams are 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS, beating their opponents by 27.3 points per game.
By John Ewing
In SEC games, top-10 teams are 72-89-2 (45%) ATS when playing an unranked opponent since 2005.
Key Metrics for Auburn-Mississippi State
Auburn ranks first in defensive success rate, meaning it keeps teams off schedule to pick up a first down better than anyone. Despite the last two games, Mississippi State’s offense ranks in the top 25 in success rate, and did so last season as well.
So much of those solid numbers for MSU come from rushing, though. They’re top 5 in rushing efficiency and No. 1 in opportunity rate (how often carries go for five yards) and stuff rate (how often they go for no yards).
Auburn has been excellent against the run (2.75 yards per carry, eighth nationally), so expect defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to make the Bulldogs beat Auburn through the air. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald hasn’t proven he can do that.
Does Moorhead Just Need More Time?
Joe Moorhead inherited an ideal situation in Starkville. He had a veteran quarterback, more returning production on both sides of the ball than just about anyone and an uber-talented team in general. Things have unraveled quickly since.
With Moorhead widely known as an offensive innovator, his Penn State offense got going around this point in his first season in 2016. It excelled against strong competition later in the season, too.
Maybe Moorhead needs a little more time. Maybe he’ll figure things out this week. But he’d better do it quickly, because he’s wasting a veteran team with more talent than it’s ever had in Starkville.
Bet to Watch for Auburn-Mississippi State
By Ken Barkley