Josh Glaser-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Fitzgerald
Mississippi State 2018 Betting Odds
- To win the National Title: +12500
- To make Playoff: +1200
- To win the SEC: +1550
- To win the SEC West: +775
- Win Total: 8.5 (over +110, under -130)
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Mississippi State 2018 Schedule, Betting Odds
The Action Network Projected Wins: 9.0
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Mississippi State Over 8.5 Wins (+110)
Starkville certainly isn’t the most glamorous town in the United States, but the Bulldogs have managed to lose a head coach known for overachieving in Dan Mullen and replace him with the most respected offensive coordinator in the nation.
Joe Moorhead takes over as coach in StarkVegas, bringing Bob Shoop along as defensive coordinator. These coaches come into a great situation as Mississippi State ranks eighth overall in returning production. That includes a healthy Nick Fitzgerald, who was one of the leaders in passing and rushing yards in the SEC in 2017 before injuring his ankle in the regular-season finale.
With the exception of a blind-side tackle, the Cowbell offense returns everyone. The defense returns just as much, including Montez Sweat, who had 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. Along with nine run stuffs, Sweat led the Bulldogs to a ranking of sixth in adjusted sack rate and 13th in efficiency. Don’t expect a defensive drop off in the post-Dan Mullen era.
The schedule is tough, per usual with the SEC West, while drawing Florida out of the SEC East. Road trips to LSU and Alabama will be the toughest tests of the season.
This win total will be dictated by the LSU and Florida games, because I’m penciling in Auburn and Alabama as losses. Mississippi State comes off a bye week against an LSU team that might struggle to find points, leading us to taking a win total Over 8.5 (+110).
What else you need to know about Mississippi State
The Bulldogs visit the Little Apple on Sept. 8. Take Mississippi State -5 against Kansas State. My projections make Cowbell a double-digit favorite on the road, while S&P+ predicts Mississippi State -11.5. Out-of-conference play for the SEC comes down to the trenches, and the Wildcats will not be able to hang in this contest.