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Miss State vs. LSU

Current Odds: LSU -7.5

9/18/10

The Louisiana State University Tigers were far from impressive against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first week of college football play. They scored 30 points against a depleted defense, but allowed TJ Yates to burn them for over 400 yards in the air. That kind of poor secondary play won't win a lot of games. The Tigers beat Vanderbilt on the road to open SEC play and will now host Mississippi State. The Bulldogs shut down Auburn in the second half last week, but still lost 17-14. Wins in SEC play are at a premium and these teams both know that. Look for a hard fought battle on the field!

The LSU Tigers are an impressive 14-1 in home openers. Coach Les Miles has a record of 33-4 against unranked foes. The Tigers have won 10 straight against Mississippi State. They were 6-1 at home in 2009 and 3-2-1 ATS as a home favorite. They were 3-4-1 ATS against SEC opponents last year. The Bulldogs were 0-6 on the road last year and winless ATS. In recent history the Bulldogs have fared better despite failing to win against LSU.

The LSU offense is led by junior QB Jordan Jefferson. The 6-5 224 lbs Santa Rosa, LA native has passed for 247 yards and 2 TDs so far in 2010. The best weapon this offense possesses is junior RB Stevan Ridley. He had a huge game against Vanderbilt, rushing for 159 yards and a TD. He broke loose on a 65 yard run. The offensive line is strong, but the skill players aren't top notch. The Tigers will have to rely on the running game to score points as Jefferson is primarily a "caretaker" QB.

LSU's defense is anchored by DT's Lazarius Levingston and Drake Nevis. The latter had 4 sacks last year. The Tigers gave up 133 yards per game on the ground last year and with just 1 starter back on the line it's tough to tell if they will improve or continue to slide. The secondary features 2nd Team All SEC selection CB Patrick Peterson. The junior had 52 tackles and 2 INTs and broke up 13 passes last year. MLB Kelvin Sheppard led the team in tackles with 110 last year. The defense is a bit of an unknown, but if history is an indication they will be more than solid.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs have a nice running game in Vick Ballard. The junior has picked up 73 yards and 3 TDs this year. Junior QB Chris Relf has to step his game up. He hasn't been horrible, but he isn't throwing TD passes left and right either. An explosive offense is important for this team to be successful. The offensive line is as good as it's been in years thanks to 2nd Team All SEC selection LT Derek Sherrod. It's up to Ballard and Relf to guide the Bulldogs to the end zone. 

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DE Purnell McPhee was a 2nd Team All SEC selections after breaking up 4 passes, recording 7 tackles for a loss, and sacking the QB 5 times last year. The secondary is very stellar. SS Charles Mitchell, FS Johnthan Banks, and CB Corey Broomfield combined for 14 INTs in 2009. They are a young group and will only get better with time. Keeping the pressure on LSU's QB and preventing them from running the ball is pivotal towards a Bulldogs win.

Check this out. 42-0, 31-13, 41-6, 51-0, 37-7, 48-17, 45-0, 34-24, 30-26. Those are the scores of LSU vs. Miss State games the last 9 times they played. Talk about domination. Of course, Miss State closed the gap the last two years, and with all signs pointing towards Miss State being up a notch and LSU being down a notch you can understand how the line on this game opened at LSU -9.5 and has been bet down to -7.5 in some spots.

Beating sports long term requires the bettor to obtain value in his wagers. If you make a habit of betting on games that already moved 2 points against you, you'll generally lose long term. What will happen is, the sharp bettors who grabbed +9.5 will win their bets, and the squares who followed at +7.5 will lose their wager, as LSU walks away with an 8 point win. No, it won't happen every time, but it will happen enough to be the difference between a winning bettor and a losing one.

With that in mind, we'll look for some value here. If this line drops a tad more and we can get LSU -7, we'll bite and lay the points. LSU -7 or better


 

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