Bet Mississippi State ATS vs. Ole Miss for Week 14 NCAAF

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 7:10 PM GMT

Always the biggest game of the year in the state of Mississippi, this year’s Egg Bowl has a different feel with host Ole Miss being able to ruin rivals Mississippi State’s chances at a national title run. The Bulldogs are the bet.

Odds Overview
#4 Mississippi State #18 Mississippi: (Mississippi State -1½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Saturday 20:30 (CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT): The Egg Bowl is all Eggs Benedict this year, with #4 Mississippi State (10-1 SU, 7-4 ATS, 6-1 SEC) as good as it has ever been and the host in this game, #18 Mississippi (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS, 4-3 SEC) having a phenomenal season themselves and boasting the best Scoring Defense (13.4 ppg) in the nation heading into this heated Magnolia State rivalry and incredibly important game for the visiting Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford on Saturday afternoon.

Oddsmakers opened Mississippi State slight 1-point Favorites in this game and is was quickly bet up to 1½ and 2 in some places by Monday evening. At least one operator, CGT Technology (Cantor Gaming), actually opened host Mississippi as 1-point Favorites. And to show how much has changed in perceptions and in the minds of oddsmakers and players, the Westgate SuperBook’s 2014 Games of the Year opened this game up with Ole Miss as 7-Point Favorites. The money line (Winner) college football odds here have Mississippi State priced at -130 with Ole Miss at +110 (SIA).

 

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Had Mississippi State and sixth-year head coach Dan Mullen (37-33 ATS) somehow not had #2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on the schedule this year, the Bulldogs (5-1 L6 on Road) would probably be in a much better position to snag a CFP (College Football Playoff) spot, but, as it is, Mississippi State (13-1 SU L14), at #4 in the last CFP Poll (before Tuesday’s new one is released), this Bulldogs team is still in a great spot but first has to beat rivals Ole Miss here in Oxford on Saturday afternoon to keep the dream alive. And it won’t come easy.

The Bulldogs are led by the versatile and talented QB Dak Prescott (189 completions, 2,714 yards, 23 TDs), who brings an added bonus when he runs the ball (171 rushes, 891 yards, 12 TDs) and along with RB Josh Robinson (165 rushes, 1,084 yards, 11 TDs), Mississippi State (#19 Rushing) can grind you down on the ground and average 246.8 ypg rushing. Mississippi State is also 40th in passing with WR De’Runnya Wilson (30 receptions, 458 yards, 6 TDs, 15.3 ypc) being Prescott’s favorite target. Wilson did not play in the Bulldogs’ 51-0 pasting of Vanderbilt last Saturday—highly recommended here last week at Sportsbook Review—but Mississippi State coach Mullen said on Monday that Wilson has been cleared to play for this massive game. And as it should be. All hands on deck. On defense, the Bulldogs allow just 18.4 ppg (#11) and compliment that reality by scoring a hearty 39.0 ppg (#12)—a very healthy and successful balance and we may have not heard the last from this impressive team. They are really good.

 

Mississippi Rebels
Mississippi’s big upset over Alabama at Home in Week 5 thrust the Rebels into the national title conversation but a loss at then-#24 LSU knocked Ole Miss from the ranks of the unbeaten, then the Rebels lost vs. then-#3 Auburn, ejecting them from any potential CFP system reality. Mississippi (9-3 SU L12) then hosted FCS-side Presbyterian (and won 48-0) before getting humbled and shut out last week in Fayetteville by Arkansas, 30-0, the Razorbacks an Underdog recommended here last week in my weekly Trying To Profit Off College Football Underdogs column here at SBR. Offensively, the Rebels are led by QB Bo Wallace (206 receptions, 2,789 yards, 22 TDs) and Mississippi ranks 33rd in Passing—with Vince Sanders (37 receptions, 647 yards, 6 TDS), Laquon Treadwell (48 receptions, 632 yards, 5 TDS) and Cody Core (35 receptions, 480 yards, 5 TDS) leading the charge—and 66th in Rushing—RB Jaylen Walton has 84 rushes for 435 yards and 4 TDs—and score an average of 30.4 ppg (#57). So, the Rebels defense almost has to be good. And it really is. Holding down teams like #25 Boise State (10 points), #2 Alabama (17 points), Tennessee (3 points) and LSU (7 points) to such low point totals is incredibly impressive and the win over the Crimson Tide was simply epic for #18 Mississippi (5-1 SU L6 at Home). But it does seem like this team may have peaked some with 3 losses in it L4 games with its only win in those games coming at Home in Oxford against the aforementioned Presbyterian Blue Hose. That scheduled game was tantamount to Manny Pacquiao training to fight Floyd Mayweather by boxing Fred Flintstone and you saw the result the following week—Ole Miss got shut shut out (30-0) by a team (Arkansas) that a week before was riding the crest of a 17-game losing streak in SEC play. But to actually think that affects this handicap in any big way is insanity as Mississippi State also scheduled a softie (UT-Martin) of its own at Home in Starkville earlier this month (the Bulldogs won 45-16).

 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
Many of the trends concerning the Total points hint at the Under here. In 10 games so far this season, Ole Miss has played 8 Unders (80%) while the Under is 5-1 in the L6 in this series when played here at Oxford and 6-2 in the L8 meetings overall. The Under is also 4-2 in Mississippi State’s L6 games, but at press time (Monday evening), no Total Points number had yet been released for this game so no strong opinion. This could be high-scoring or something weird like 17-11.

As far as the point spread, Mississippi State (5-1 SU L6 Road) could have been made 4- to 5-point Favorites here and a backing them with a healthy bet even at that number in this situation would have strongly been recommended, based strictly on the idea of how these two are feeling right now and what both have to work with. For me, Mississippi State is in a much better head space and could blow the Rebels out here and easily win by double digits. This game means so much to this team and they will be ready. In short, it seems that the Bulldogs can hang with the big boys, and can beat almost anyone this season—save for Alabama in Tuscaloosa—a feat even David with his little slingshot would have had trouble pulling off, while Ole Miss just got hammered and held scoreless by Arkansas.

The trends are a mixed bag in terms of the side, but Ole Miss is 5-1-1 ATS L7 against Mississippi State at Home and 6-1 SU L7 at Home vs. the Bulldogs, but Mississippi State just wasn’t as good as it now is today. The Bulldogs were good, now they’re bordering on great. And with Mississippi State is 4-1 ATS overall and SU in its L5 against Ole Miss—funny how stats and trends go and end up looking contradictory though correct sometimes—the Rebels are just 1-4 SU in their L5 against Mississippi State and also 1-4 ATS in their L5 games overall.

When making your college football picks keep in mind that Mississippi has played better football than it seems to be playing right now and although it should be pumped up for this game and has their own share of studs, the Rebels will have their hands full in Oxford on Saturday and getting Mississippi State laying anything under 3 points really seems like an early Christmas gift of sorts. Some bets jump out early and this one hopped off the computer and began running toward the old wallet immediately like few have this entire College Football season. It should be close and tight early on before Mississippi State breaks it open and again yells at the committee with its play, “Hey, don’t you dare forget about us guys.”

College Football Pick: Mississippi State -1½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) at Bookmaker

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