Inside the (betting) line: LSU is a heavy favorite against Mississippi State; Is it too much?

2 months ago The Advocate 0

LSU has exceeded public expectation, Mississippi State has fallen short, and the combined results have produced one of the wider betting lines of the college football weekend.

No. 2 LSU (6-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) is an 18-point favorite against Mississippi State (3-3, 1-2 SEC) — odds that are substantially wider than they were back in May, when LSU was only a 6.5-point favorite.

LSU has the nation’s top scoring offense (52.5 points per game), and Mississippi State has lost three of its last four games. No. 11 Auburn beat the Bulldogs 56-23 on Sept. 28.

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Think 18 points is too many?

According to the Action Network, a substantial majority of the betting public disagrees. Of the public money wagered on the site, 78% were siding with LSU as of Friday morning.

The program from the town nicknamed “Starkvegas” has a dismal 2-4 record against the spread. Mississippi State’s only cover against a Power 5 opponent came in a 28-13 win over Kentucky, when the Bulldogs were favored by 5.5 points, and backup quarterback Garrett Shrader recorded 305 total yards in his first career start.

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead named Shrader Monday as the Bulldogs starting quarterback against LSU.

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According to bettors, the question isn’t whether LSU will beat Mississippi State on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. It’s by how much. The over/under is hovering around a combined score of 62 points, or a possible final of 44-18 when combined with the betting line.

That’s about a touchdown fewer than LSU’s averaging; but the Tigers have committed to running the football against Utah State and Florida and scored 42 points in both games.

“What interests me is if LSU will continue to show balance running the ball more as they have the last two weeks,” said Michael Riordan, a business partner at Right Angle Sports, a handicapping service. “If they continue to run the ball more and play slower, unders could be an angle to look forward to the next few weeks.”

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