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Betting Line Favors LSU Over Miss State
LSU travels to take on Mississippi State this week. The Betting Line at Bet Jamaica on this game opened with LSU favored by 14 but the early money has come in on the home underdog Bulldogs forcing the line down to -12. Bettors are likely keying in on the fact that LSU has struggled a bit offensively and that Miss State closed the gap last year only losing by 10 after having been blown out by LSU every other time they played this decade and beyond.
Many people thought coming into the season that LSU was the team to beat in
the SEC WEST. If they are going to win the SEC WEST they have got to get things
going on the offensive side of the ball. They come into this game 3-0, but this
offense has been less then impressive so far. They are currently LAST in the SEC
in total offense putting up just 325 yards per game, and find themselves in the
bottom half in the SEC in every offensive statistic. That is not going to get
the job done in the SEC.
The problems donít just end there though. LSU finds themselves 9th in the SEC in total defense giving up 320 yards per game. What makes that stat so surprising is they have faced Washington, Vanderbilt, and Louisiana-Lafayette. Washington and Vanderbilt are solid teams, but letís face it they arenít exactly offensive juggernauts. If they have dreams of playing in Atlanta in the SEC Championship this year they need to figure things out on both sides of the ball and fast.
Luckily Mississippi State gives them a good chance to get things straight. Mississippi State comes into the LSU game 2-1 with wins over Jackson State and Vanderbilt and their loss came at the hands of Auburn. Much like LSU Mississippi State has had problems with their passing game. They are last in the SEC for pass offense averaging just 128 yards per game. One bright spot for this Mississippi State football team is their running game. They are 4th in the SEC in rush offense averaging 222 yards per game. With first year coach Dan Mullen putting in a new spread offense it is going to take him a few years to bring in the players he needs to run his system, so Mississippi State finds themselves in a rebuilding stage for the 2009 season.
LSUíS KEY TO VICTORY
LSU has been known for always having a big strong defense. With new defensive coordinator John Chavis I donít expect that to change. This Tiger defense is going to get better as the season goes on which is exactly what LSU needs, because their defense will be asked to come through with some big stops in games since their offense is having trouble. Every LSU fan came into the season expecting QB Jordan Jefferson to pick up where he left off last year, but he has had problems getting things going this year. LSUís offense is only putting up 174 yards a game through the air and Jefferson has yet to go over 200 yards passing in a single game. That is not going to get the job done in the SEC. You need to have balance in your offense to succeed. Not only does LSU need to get their passing game going to win this ball game, but they need to get in a rhythm for the rest of the season.
MISSISSIPPI STATEíS KEY TO VICTORY
With this being a rebuilding year for Coach Dan Mullen not a whole lot is expected of this Mississippi State team. Mullen needs a few years to get his players for his system. You can tell just by the lack of a passing game that he is struggling to find the right players to run his offense. They have proven that they can run the ball, but youíre not going to be able to win against LSU without a passing game. LSUís defensive coordinator John Chavis is one of the best defensive minds in college football and you better believe he is going to be committed to stopping the run and making QB Tyson Lee beat them with his arm. Tyson Lee has yet to even go over 100 yards passing in a single game this year and he is going to face the best defense he has gone up against all year. If he is able to use the play action pass to make some plays in the passing game they can stay in the game.
THE FINAL VERDICT
LSU has had problems on both sides of the ball, but luckily for them so has Mississippi State. LSU is always going to have a solid defense, and I believe that defense is starting to put things together which is bad news for this Mississippi State team. DC John Chavis is going to stack the box to stop the run, and put QB Tyson Lee in bad situations. I expect this LSU defense to come up with a few turnovers and make up for LSUís lack off production on the offensive side of the ball and get the victory. You really don't want to get involved with laying too many points with a team that has yet to gel offensively, and Miss State did close the gap last year, losing by just 10 to LSU, but we're going to lay the number here with LSU in hopes that they won't need to score much more than 17 to cover this -12. We also have some added value going against the line move here as the game opened up -14. LSU -12
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