LSU – Ole Miss College Football ATS Pick

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LSU

vs.

Ole Miss

SEC

College Football

Pick – Analysis

11/21/15

It didn’t take much, but LSU is no longer relevant on a national level. The Tigers came in at No. 2 in the first College Football Rankings of the season and have lost two straight since. They’ll look to get back on track against an Ole Miss team that has problems of its own. The Rebels are a -4 point home favorite.

Things were going so well for LSU and then a meeting with Alabama derailed that. And then things got even worse against Arkansas in a poor 31-14 loss this past weekend. The Tigers won Games through Leonard Fournette for most of the season, but he only has 122 yards in the last two Games. So as expected, stop the running Game and you stop LSU.

As for the Rebels, they have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the country. One week they’re winning at Alabama, and the next they’re getting destroyed by Florida or run over by Memphis. The advantage for them is that they’ll have a full week of extra rest getting last week off. That should help a little after losing 53-52 in their previous outing.

LSU will likely go back to the ground-heavy approach instead of letting Brandon Harris pass it 35 times again. Harris hasn’t been terrible this year, but he’s not a guy that you can depend on. Even if Fournette struggles to find holes, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hit 30 carries or so. Either that, or backups Derrius Guice or Darrel Williams get more touches. If the Tigers can get back to their ground-and-pound ways, they’ll have a better shot at upsetting Ole Miss on the road.

The problem for LSU is that their defense hasn’t been good enough to win Games by itself if the offense isn’t doing anything. Ole Miss is kind of built the same way, but does not have close to the same level of rushing attack.

The Rebels have had to lean on first-year starting quarterback Chad Kelly more often than not this year and that has led to three losses. There’s no question he’s been good with 30 total touchdowns and completing 65.7% of his passes, but he’s also been turnover-prone. Kelly has tossed 13 picks on the year and before the last loss against Arkansas, had thrown an INT in six straight Games. Keeping the ball safe will be key for Ole Miss if they want to win — and cover.

Neither team has the ability to run away with this Game. If LSU gets a lead, its defense isn’t good enough to hold Kelly and Ole Miss down. And the same could be said on the other end, but the Rebels don’t have a good enough running Game to keep the ball away from LSU’s offense. Jaylen Walton is averaging 5.2 yards per carry for Mississippi, but this just isn’t a power-rushing offense as he has 582 yards on the year.

The last three meetings between these teams have been decided by six points or less with last year’s Game going to LSU 10-7. This Game could easily reach those same numbers if LSU takes that expected run-heavy approach again.

The road team is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings, while the underdog is an astounding 13-2 ATS in those same 15 Games between these teams.

Our Pick – Both teams have had their ups and downs. For LSU, those “downs” came the past two weeks. For Ole Miss, it was losses to Florida and Memphis. This simply shows us that both teams can be vulnerable.

The last 3 in this series have been close Games and we see no reason for that trend not to continue here. All of Our numbers give the slightest of edges to the home team here. Slight to the point that taking +4.5 looks to be the right play. LSU +4.5

 

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