This meeting has little meaning at this point in the season, but that’s not to say these teams won’t be amped to face each other. LSU has somehow remained relevant after losing to Troy, while Ole Miss is coming off a huge performance of its own. The Tigers, on the road, were decent-sized -7 point favorites as of Tuesday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This spread is questionable for a number of reasons, mainly because taking LSU at seven points or more seems like a mistake. Their offense is still mediocre at best and their last two wins have been nowhere close to pretty. The Tigers dominated this Game last year, but that was with Leonard Fournette rolling for 284 yards and three touchdowns. With him gone, these teams are much closer to the same level and that should give Ole Miss a leg up, at least for the cover. As of note, it’s not like Ole Miss has a bad loss this season with all three of its losses coming in three-straight road Games against viable competition. Back at home last week, the Rebs dropped 57 points against Vandy and that can’t be taken lightly.
Starting with that offense, it’s the main reason anyone will back the Rebels this season. Shea Patterson has looked solid against everyone but Alabama, throwing for at least 340 yards in every Game but that one. With a trio of stud wide outs in A.J. Brown, DaMarkus Lodge and D.K. Metcalf, not many teams in the country can match the receiving threats for Ole Miss. The running Game is a little more questionable, but Jordan Wilkins is still averaging more than five yards per carry and has looked better in recent outings.
Helping even more is that LSU’s defense isn’t playing at its normal elite level. The Tigers are good, but they’ll still give up points meaning Patterson should lead his team to a couple touchdowns. But getting the ground Game going could be more important as LSU’s rush defense is the weak spot.
The other side of the football may be the bigger unknown as it’s still unclear how good (or bad) the Ole Miss defense is. The Rebs have given up points in all of their wins, but that could be due to leading by 20-plus points. As for their losses, you can’t fault them for getting run over by Alabama.
Still, it’s hard to find positives in the 240 rushing yards allowed per Game for Ole Miss. That’s exactly where LSU will attack with Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams, similar to last year. Yet, it’s not like these guys are finding holes like Fournette was a season ago. And Danny Etling (59.2% completion) remains a toss-up at quarterback even though the Tigers have found ways to win the last couple weeks. If LSU can establish the run and churn out some yards on the ground, that’ll put them in a good position to win.
But even then, banking on an inconsistent offense and mediocre defense on the road against a solid passing attack doesn’t feel like a good idea, especially with the spread up to a touchdown. The Tigers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six overall, while the Rebels are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight overall.
Our Pick – Ole Miss +7