Louisville vs. Mississippi State Odds, Betting Pick: Spread, Prediction for 2019 Music City Bowl

Louisville vs. Mississippi State Odds, Betting Pick: Spread, Prediction for 2019 Music City Bowl article feature image

Michael Chang, Getty Images. Pictured: Kylin Hill

  • Mississippi State is a 4.5-point favorite over Louisville in the 2019 Music City Bowl, with the total rising to 64.5.
  • The Cardinals had a resurgent season under first-year coach Scott Satterfield. They boast a dynamic rushing offense and have played well under quarterback Micale Cunningham.
  • See our experts' picks for Louisville vs. Mississippi State in the 2019 Music City Bowl below.

Louisville vs. Mississippi State Odds, Pick

  • Odds: Mississippi State -4.5
  • Over/Under: 63.5
  • Time: Monday, 4 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN
  • Location: Nashville

Louisville vs. Mississippi State odds via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Collin Wilson: Mississippi State Will Own the Trenches

The Music City Bowl has an abundance of moving parts, which is a perfect metaphor for Louisville and Mississippi State over the past two seasons. Scott Satterfield and Joe Moorhead are both in the midst of trying to rebuild programs that have seen a lot of turnover these past two seasons.

Mississippi State will have close to a full roster, which is a rarity for the Bulldogs in 2019. Cornerback Cameron Dantzler will sit out ahead of the NFL Draft, but a handful of players are returning from suspension. Most importantly, the Bulldogs will have soon-to-be-drafted running back Kylin Hill, who has a chance to set the single-season rushing record at Mississippi State.

Hill’s decision to play gives the Bulldogs a big boost against a Louisville defense that just surrendered over 500 yards against Kentucky.

Louisville will also be without a key cog, as left tackle Mekhi Becton will sit out in preparation for the NFL Draft. Becton’s absence looms large as the Cardinals rank 11th in run rate and seventh in rushing explosiveness.

Becton’s absence should deflate Louisville’s biggest weapon and give Mississippi State the advantage in the trenches. Look for Hill to have success behind an offensive line that ranks sixth in line yards and 10th in stuff rate.

Pick: Mississippi State -3.5

Stuckey : Will Mississippi State Be Motivated?

There are a few games each bowl season where motivation either puts me over the edge or keeps me off a game entirely.

This looks like one of those instances.

On the surface, Hill and a very efficient and explosive Mississippi State ground attack should be able to run it right down the throats of a Louisville defense that allows 5.5 yards per carry, which ranks 123rd in the country.

And yes, some of the troubling Mississippi State defensive underlying metrics are probably not as ugly as they appear considering they dealt with the repercussions of a plethora of suspensions early on in the year.

But it’s still not an elite defense and it’s a unit that has struggled to contain explosiveness all season, which isn’t ideal against a Louisville offense that ranks in the top 10 in both passing and rush explosiveness. And now, the Bulldogs won’t have their top corner for this one.

Those are some of the X’s and O’s but this one could come down to motivation. How much will Mississippi State care about playing Louisville on a Dec. 30 Monday bowl? It’s hard to know for sure, but hearing about fights in practice that caused a quarterback switch could hint at signs of trouble for a team that has looked lifeless for long stretches this season.

Also, while I don’t think the difference between Garrett Shrader and Tommy Stevens is anything significant, Shrader has more ability with his legs, which could have given Louisville more issues on defense.

Meanwhile, I feel much more confident that Louisville will care about this game. This is a team that won just two games last year, so beating an SEC opponent in a bowl would be a meaningful step in the right direction for this program. I’m also a huge fan of head coach Scott Satterfield, who usually has his teams well prepared after extended time off.

Some of my motivation concerns will keep me off Mississippi State for sure and I may even hop in on Louisville pregame or live, especially if this line steams to 6 or higher.

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