LSU-Mississippi State Betting Guide: Time to Fade the Tigers?
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ed Orgeron, Joe Burrow and Nick Fitzgerald
LSU-Mississippi State Betting Odds, Picks
- Odds: LSU -6
- Over/Under: 45
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets
Is there any better feeling than backing a team one week then fading it the next, and hitting both? That’s where we’ve been with LSU all season.
The Tigers have pulled off three outright upsets (Miami, Auburn, Georgia) as underdogs of more than a field goal — twice as a touchdown dog or more.
LSU has a week off after this before hosting Alabama on Nov. 3. Mississippi State’s offense has really struggled against SEC competition this year, but the Bulldogs are coming off a bye.
Market Moves for LSU-Mississippi State
After opening this game at LSU -6.5, oddsmakers moved to -7 briefly, but it’s now down to -6. The Tigers have landed a majority of bets (56%), but Mississippi State is actually drawing more dollars (60%).
And while the under has been the more popular bet, attracting 60% of tickets, 61% of money wagered is coming on the over, moving this total up from 44.5 to 45.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
LSU embarrassed No. 2 Georgia, winning 36-16 as a 7-point underdog at home last Saturday. But be careful chasing that win and cover by LSU.
Since 2005, ranked teams coming off a win against a top-10 opponent have gone 101-132-2 (43.3%) ATS in their next game.
By Evan Abrams
Is this a letdown spot for Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers after their big upset of No. 2 Georgia last week? As head coach of both LSU and USC, Orgeron has defeated a top-10 opponent and then subsequently faced a conference opponent twice in his career:
- 2017 at Mississippi — Orgeron and LSU won 40-24
- 2013 at Colorado — Orgeron and USC won 47-29
Special Teams Mismatch
Coaches disregard special teams all the time. Whether they just don’t care or can’t coach it, I’m not sure.
But in my eyes, field position due to poor punting and returning has been one of Mississippi State’s biggest problems. The Bulldogs rank bottom 20 in starting field position on both offense and defense. They rank 104th overall in special teams S&P+. When they need to make comebacks (like they had to against Florida and Kentucky), they haven’t been able to throw the ball with enough consistency to make up for that poor field position.
LSU ranks third overall in special teams S&P+, and that’s been a sneaky reason the Tigers have exceeded expectations. Kicker Cole Tracy is 17 for 19 on field goals, and despite being inefficient as a whole on offense, LSU has scored a solid 4.76 points per possession inside the 40-yard line because Tracy pretty much guarantees it. He hit a game-winner against Auburn and went 4-for-4 against Miami.
Betting Pick for LSU-Mississippi State
To the surprise of absolutely no one, I am taking Mississippi State in this game. I played at right where it opened on Sunday. I have this number at LSU -6, while S&P+ has this at LSU -2.5.
My opening play was based on two factors. First, LSU will be playing in its third physical game in a row after a loss at Florida and a 20-point upset of defending SEC champion Georgia. At some point, there will be a letdown spot for LSU. This is the last game for LSU before it enters a bye week and begins prepping for Alabama.
Secondly, the key to defeating Mississippi State is stopping its rushing attack led by quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Kentucky did this flawlessly, forcing Fitzgerald to pass and exposing his issues with accuracy and completion percentage.
On defense, LSU ranks 52nd in opportunity rate and 58th in stuff rate. Both of these metrics look at getting into the opponent’s backfield and stopping short-yardage attempts.
Mississippi State’s rush attack ranks first in opportunity rate and fourth in stuff rate. Consequentially, the Mississippi State rushing attack should be in full force, giving it a great chance to cover this contest.
This Number Is an Overreaction
By Ken Barkley
This number struck me immediately as an overreaction to what we all watched last Saturday afternoon. LSU’s margin of victory against Georgia was frankly stunning, and even though it was possibly helped by some poor Georgia decision-making and ball control, it stands as one of the big victories of the season by any team.
The thing is, none of that is really that predictive of what we’re going to see in this game.
Mississippi State comes in after a week off, and after a win over Auburn that looked better on the scoreboard than it really was. That was probably closer to a coin-flip game, and the Bulldogs got the benefit of the calls.
Despite that, what is really the gap between these teams? They actually have very similar profiles. They are great defensive teams with limitations at quarterback. Both lost to Florida and beat Auburn. Even their S&P+ unit rankings are just inverses of each other (Miss State 47th in offense vs. LSU 13th in defense, then 10th vs 43rd on the other side).
I think Mississippi State is more prone to making a mistake in a big spot, be it a penalty or turnover. If you want to call that “coaching,” I’d give LSU the edge there.
Still, it’s a very interesting setup for MSU coach Joe Moorhead. He has had time off to figure out how best to game plan for LSU, and some of what Florida did can be used as a guide. I think we learn a lot about his coaching prowess in this game.
But really, I just don’t see much between these teams, and if you’re telling me Death Valley at night is somehow worth 7 points, so be it. I think at best it’s worth 3.5 to 4, and that means there’s some value on the Bulldogs in what may end up being yet another slugfest involving LSU.