LSU vs. Mississippi State Pick 10/19/19
No. 2 LSU Tigers (6-0 SU, 4-1-1 ATS) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday October 19th, 2019. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Davis Wade Stadium Starkville, M.S.
Point Spread:LSU -19.5/MSST +19.5 (Get the best line)
Over/Under Total: TBA
After one of the most anticipated buildups to a game this season, the LSU Tigers delivered with a 42-28 victory over no. 7 Florida in Baton Rouge with College GameDay on hand. The win was not just a statement victory in terms of the SEC, but it sent a clear message that the Bayou Bengals are a true College Football Playoff contender. After vaulting to the number 2 spot in the polls, the Tigers look to avoid a situational letdown this week when they go into Starkville for a battle with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs dropped their 2nd straight road loss last week against an awful Tennessee team to move to 3-3 SU on the season. While this may be another perceived situational bounce-back spot for Mississippi State, I believe LSU will continue to impose their will and expose the Bulldogs’ weaknesses for a 3rd straight week.
LSU betting trends remain positive under Ed Orgeron
I have said for years that LSU is a sleeping giant. They have typically acquired the same type of talent as Alabama on the recruiting trail but continuously produced floundering offenses mainly due to horrendous quarterback situations under former coach Les Miles. I always stated that if LSU could find a quarterback, they would be a problem, and that is precisely what has happened with current starter Joe Burrow. The Tigers offense has been downright impressive and moved the football with ease last week against one of the better defensive groups in the country. Burrow has posted incredible numbers completing 79% passing for 2,157 yards with 25 touchdowns and just three picks. With so much talent on both sides of the ball, we are finally starting to see the emergence of the sleeping giant.
With LSU’s offensive emergence, they have been able to impose their will. The running game is solid with Clyde Edwards-Helaire averaging more than 6 yards per touch. Not to mention, Burrow has the tremendous talent to target in the passing game with guys like Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. On top of the offense’s success, the defense has remained as talented as ever. As a result, the Tigers continue to impress on both sides of the ball, which are creating wide margins against the competition. LSU is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games against SEC opponents and currently 6-1 ATS in the previous seven games. Under Orgeron, LSU is also 11-2-1 ATS in the past 14 games in October, and those trends are likely to continue if LSU continues to progress.
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Match-ups and situations favor LSUFrom a match-up standpoint, LSU has the advantage everywhere. The Tigers stacked secondary will have opportunistic match-ups against a subpar passing threat in Garrett Schrader. The Bulldogs’ main success comes from the ground threat. Schrader and running back Kylin Hill have combined for nearly 1,000 yards through six games with seven touchdowns. The offense is designed to get the ball in both runners’ hands, but LSU has defended the run extremely well this year, ranking 16th in the FBS, giving up just 102 yards per game. On the other side of the ball, I don’t see anything preventing Burrow from continuing his incredible play with the talent at the skill positions against a rather mediocre defense.
With those things in mind, I understand why the spread is 19.5 when, in reality, it should probably be 24-27 points. The Bulldogs return home after an arduous two-game road stretch in an obvious bounce-back situation. Meanwhile, LSU is in the perceivable letdown situation following last week’s big win against Florida. However, I am not buying into the situational scenarios. LSU has not had the letdown performances under Orgeron mainly because the offense continues to play well. It’s much easier to avoid huge letdown situations when you have a good offense compared to teams that rely on run game/defenses as their success(e.g., Georgia). Additionally, I have looked back at LSU’s performances under Orgeron following big wins, and they have all been positive. In fact, if you look back at last year’s meeting against Mississippi State, the Tigers had just upset no. 2 Georgia and returned home to face a 19th ranked Bulldogs team in a similarly stylistic match-up as only 5.5 point favorites. The Tigers went on to cover the spread in a 19-3 victory. I expect that type of lopsided outcome to be the case again this week as LSU continues to thrive on both sides of the ball.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: LSU -19.5