Mississippi State at LSU Betting Odds & Pick: A New Era Begins in Baton Rouge (Saturday, Sept. 26)
Marianna Massey/Getty Images. Pictured: LSU’s Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- LSU and Mississippi State kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET in a conference season-opening SEC West showdown.
- Both teams have undergone major personnel and staff transitions this offseason, so they're opening matchup should be revealing for casual fans and bettors alike.
- Collin Wilson breaks down the matchup in his full betting guide below, including odds, analysis and his pick for Tigers vs. Bulldogs.
Mississippi State at LSU Odds
|Mississippi State Odds||+14.5 [BET NOW]|
|LSU Odds||-14.5 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||57.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
There may not be a game on the slate with more unknowns than Mississippi State at LSU. Fresh off a national championship, the Tigers lose a plethora of players and a handful of coaches. Dave Aranda departs for Baylor with his shoes being filled by former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.
There may not be much of a schematic change on defense, but new passing game coordinator Scott Linehan takes over for Joe Brady. On top of that, quarterback Myles Brennan leads a cast of faces looking to replace the national championship two-deep.
The changes do not stop just with the Tigers. The Mississippi State Bulldogs will switch from a 52% rush-dominant offense in 11 personnel to a Washington State model that rushed 18% of the time in 10 personnel.
There could not be a bigger contrast in what the returning Mississippi State offensive players had schematically in 2019 compared to what the game plan will be under Mike Leach on Saturday. On top of those changes, KJ Costello transfers from Stanford and an offense that ran only two plays in 10 personnel the entire season.
— 🏴☠️Barstool Mississippi State🏴☠️ (@HailStateStool) March 21, 2020
From a defensive standpoint, Zach Arnett joins Mississippi State as the defensive coordinator after serving in the same role at San Diego State. Arnett has been with the Aztecs since 2011, so it’s safe to assume that the Bulldogs will be running the 3-3-5 in the vision of Rocky Long. Arnett acknowledges this is a change for a defense that ran exclusively in the 4-2-5 last season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
When you mix all of these ingredients in place, there may be a betting angle on both the side and the total. Myles Brennan is known to have an arm that can get it down the field in a spread attack. But one element the new quarterback may lack is Joe Burrow’s ability to take off and avoid pressure.
Without Burrow and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, expect LSU to leave the run-dominant 21 personnel in favor of more 11 personnel — from which the Tigers threw the ball at a 62% clip last season.
In combination with a Mike Leach offense, the clock may stop multiple times for incompletions or moving the chains. A higher number of plays per game would get over the number with a bit of success in opponent territory.
Betting on a team with new schemes and coaches on both sides of the ball is generally not a profitable bet. Nevertheless, this matchup features a sufficient number of substantive changes to both teams’ schematic game plans that it justifies the action. So, we’ll back LSU and the over in this contest.
The Bet: Over 57; LSU -16.5 or better