SE Louisiana vs Mississippi State Odds, Predictions: Target This FCS/FBS Total

SE Louisiana vs Mississippi State Odds, Predictions: Target This FCS/FBS Total article feature image

Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images. Pictured: Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers.

Southeastern Louisiana vs Mississippi State Odds

Saturday, Sep. 2
4 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Southeastern Louisiana Odds
-113o / -108u
Mississippi State Odds
-113o / -108u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs start the 2023 season at home against the Southeastern Louisiana Lions.

New head coach Zach Arnett will be making his debut at Davis Wade Stadium after leading the team to a ReliaQuest Bowl win at the end of the 2022 campaign.

Meanwhile, the visitors are fresh off a trip to the 2022 NCAA FCS Playoffs but have new pieces to integrate into the offense.

There's certainly a talent mismatch in this one, but I still see great betting value in what could be a low-scoring affair. Without further ado, let's dive into the odds and make a pick in the Southeastern Louisiana vs. Mississippi State betting preview for Saturday, Sept. 2.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Southeastern Louisiana Lions

Frank Scelfo enters his sixth year as the SELA head coach and he has guided them to the FCS playoffs in three of the past four seasons.

However, he'll have to replace some key players from last year’s roster, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Scelfo typically likes to employ a two-quarterback system and newcomer Zachary Clement, who was a 2022 all-conference selection at Northwestern State, will likely split time with Eli Sawyer, who played in 10 games and was the Lions' leading passer last season.

They'll play behind a veteran offensive line that returns four of five starters. However, they will have new players at both running back and wide receiver.

On defense, SELA returns five along the defensive line and all three starting linebackers. There's a lack of experience in the secondary, so it helps that MSU is moving away from the Air Raid.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Coaching legend Mike Leach led the Bulldogs to his best season in Starkville before he died at the end of the 2022 regular season. The university decided to hire from within and promoted Arnett from defensive coordinator to head coach.

Most were curious if he would stick with Leach’s offense, but Arnett chose to go in a different direction and hired Kevin Barbay as offensive coordinator from Appalachian State.

In his previous stops, Barbay’s offenses averaged a 56% run rate, which is a massive jump from the 32% average under Leach.

Barbay will have two veteran quarterbacks in Will Rogers and Vanderbilt transfer Mike Wright, as well as an offensive line that boasts 113 career starts.

With a veteran defense returning, this season will likely come down to how well the Bulldogs can pick up the new offense.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for college football bettors
The best NCAAF betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Southeastern Louisiana vs. Mississippi State

Betting Pick & Prediction

I'll be eying the total as my favorite bet. If we get anything above the key number of 55, I'll be playing the under as my best bet.

MSU has a veteran offense, but the Bulldogs are going to lack explosive plays after losing three of their top four receivers.

Also, I expect Barbay to really try and showcase his brand of football, a dominant running attack that can chew up the clock. If we add in the new clock rules, all signs point toward Mississippi State helping our cause.

I'm also not expecting SELA to have much success against a Bulldog’s defense that returns two All-SEC linebackers who each had over 100 tackles last season.

With a defensive-minded head coach and a run-first offensive coordinator, I like the idea of targeting some early-season unders for MSU.

Pick: Under 60 (Play to 55)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.