SEC Football Pick
This is one of the more interesting games to look at this weekend betting wise. LSU opened up as 14-point favorites at 5 dimes sportsbook and the number is still floating around there. The Tigers are coming off a tough loss against Alabama in which they gave everything they had. Things are looking a little different for Mississippi State as they have been unable to put up a fight in their last two games losing by a combined 20-76. In SEC play this season, LSU has really had trouble separating themselves against any opponent, most notably in a 12-10 win at 2-7 Auburn. Still, the Bulldogs best win of the season so far came against Tennessee who is only 4-5.
It's also worth noting that this game opened up LSU -17 at Betonline. Betonline is the very first sportsbook to post lines anywhere, each week. Their openers often move several points. So if you want a crack at the very first lines on the planet, betonline is a must. An extra 3 points to the best of it here and their over the course of a football season can be the difference between winning and losing.
In the last two meetings between these schools, Mississippi State has had big problems putting points on the board as they only managed 13 points total in those games. LSU covered in each game as well as the under. Each team's offense is a lot different than what we saw in 2011, though. The main difference for Mississippi State is at quarterback.
Tyler Russell has been safe with the football for most of the year throwing 16 touchdowns compared to only three interceptions. You can also point to their schedule for those numbers. When facing tougher defenses like Alabama and Texas A&M, he has one TD and two INTs. LSU has a very good pass defense and it will be difficult for Russell to get anything going. His main target, Chad Bumphis, will have to do better than one catch for seven yards, which is what he had in the Bama game. Because of this, the Bulldogs will need some kind of run game to move the ball. LaDarius Perkins has nice numbers on the year with 804 yards and eight TDs, but those don't matter if he can't step up in the big games. In his last two contests he has 28 carries for 80 yards with zero touchdowns. That doesn't help Russell at all.
Everyone knows LSU has a great defense, but their offense is what's been lacking for most of the year. Zach Mettenberger only has eight touchdowns through nine games. A positive to that is that he had his best game of the season against Alabama last weekend, throwing for 298 yards and one TD. Maybe it's a sign for things to come. His top WRs, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, were big for him combining for 149 yards. Also surprisingly against the Crimson Tide, they were able to run the ball. Jeremy Hill finished with 107 yards and a TD on 29 carries. Those are great numbers against the Alabama defensive line. The Bulldogs gave up 361 yards on the ground last week.
Over the last 20 years this series has been all LSU. They are 19-1 in that time span, against Miss State, with most of those games blowouts. However, 3 of the last 4 in this series have been decided by 13 points or less, so perhaps the gap has closed just enough for Miss State to deserve a look here. What adds to that possibility is the very real possibility of an LSU letdown here. Let's face it, they should have beaten Alabama last week. That was their season. This is a classic letdown set up. Our model has this one right around the number.
Miss State is a decent football team. They simply aren't on the same level as the elite teams. Their wins, and the stats that go along with those wins, were against a considerably weaker schedule. So, nothing strong here. But the fact that we have this one right around the number combined with the letdown potential make Miss State worth a look. Miss State +14.5