New Mexico State (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. LSU Tigers ( 3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date and Time: Saturday, September 27, 7:30pm EST
Where: Tiger Stadium - Baton Rouge, LA
TV: SEC Network
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NMST +42.5/LSU -42.5
Over/Under Total: 56
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Saturday night in Death Valley, the New Mexico State Aggies will come into town to take on a very upset and angry LSU Tigers team. Night games in Baton Rouge are tough even for the best teams in the nation, but now the Tigers are licking their chops to beatdown a cup cake from the southwest. New Mexico State enters the game at 2-2 overall and unranked, while LSU comes in at 3-1 and ranked 17th in the nation. LSU is coming off a home loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a game that was nowhere as close as the final score indicated. LSU was thrashed for three and a half quarters. I tend to feel sorry for the opposing teams the following week when LSU gets beat like that, and this is no different. New Mexico State is not only underdogs, they are huge dogs in this game. LSU sits as a 42.5 point favorite and the total points are set at 56. Many times I try to stay away from huge spreads like this, but I could see this game being nasty from the jump. Against the spread, both teams record matches their overall records. 2-2 for the Aggies, and 3-1 for the Bayou Bengals. Lets break this “game” down.
I am telling you, LSU is angry. Even though I do not believe they are as good of a team as they are used to in Baton Rouge, they still take pride in their team and hate losses….especially home losses against inner division opponents. I knew that Mississippi State would give them everything they wanted, but never did I expect the Bulldogs from the western division to beat them like that. Never. However, I think we finally see that Mississippi State is for real, and maybe this LSU team needs to improve. After LSU was able to battle back and beat Wisconsin in week one, many people believed that the SEC West would again be an Alabama, LSU, Auburn race for the title. Things have shifted somewhat. With that said, LSU looks to bounce back in a big way. Through four games, LSU has already pitched two shutouts with a 56-0 win over Sam Houston State, and a 31-0 triumph over Louisiana-Monroe. Of course, those were not SEC or “Power Five” opponents, but anytime your team has the discipline to keep a team from scoring, especially when it is a blowout, that says something. LSU has played one of the more tougher schedules through four games due to the Wisconsin and Miss State match-ups, but they have plenty of more to come in the coming weeks. The Tigers have the 11th best scoring defense in the entire country and I see that improving even more this week. There is no true “key” to this game for LSU. If they just play four quarters and don’t let up, they will win this game, and win big. A win is a lock….a cover is up in the air.
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You don’t have to tell the Aggies they are underdogs. They are used to this. New Mexico State typically travels once a season to play an SEC team, so this is nothing new for this program. So far this season, the Aggies are 2-2 with wins over Cal-Poly and Georgia State, while they dropped their last two games to UTEP and New Mexico. New Mexico State knows that the chance to win this game is slim to none, but we have seen crazier things happen in sports over the years. If the Aggies plan any type of upset, it will start with the play of their quarterback, Tyler Rogers. So far this season, Rogers has already thrown for 1,056 yards and 9 touchdown passes. The negative take on his play are the six picks that he has thrown. If the Aggies want to even compete in this contest, they cannot turn the ball over. Turnovers have been the key to LSU’s success during the Les Miles era. The key hanging in this game is again like I said, turnovers. New Mexico State is going to have to play a near perfect game in order to have any shot to keep it close, much less win. This is no knock on the Aggies program, I commend them on their willingness to travel year in and year out taking on some of the nation’s top programs and one day, one crazy night, maybe the stars will align and they finally pull that cataclysmic upset. Could it happen this Saturday night in Death Valley? We will see.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: These big spreads are always tricky. I have said this before, but one field goal, one missed PAT, or taking a premature knee can ruin these bets for us guys. With that said, the fact that LSU is coming off a humiliating home loss tells me one thing…they will play hard. The 42.5 is scary, but I seriously do not think New Mexico State will see the endzone. If LSU just uses their athletes and plays a clean game, I see this contest ending up about 53-3 or 48-0, something like that. I am putting my eggs in the basket of the LSU defense here. PICK THE LSU TIGERS -42.5 AND ALSO TAKE UNDER THE POSTED TOTAL OF 56 POINTS