Mississippi State is the top-ranked team in the land, with a College Football picks record of 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS, but eternally lowly Kentucky is off to a pretty good start too, at 5-2 both SU & ATS.
Bulldogs-Wildcats Betting Odds
Most of the College Football odds market opened Mississippi State at right around -13 over Kentucky, then edged the Bulldogs up to -13.5 and -14 as of Tuesday morning.
Those out there who think the Wildcats might pull an upset here could get a price of +411 on the moneyline at Pinnacle.
'Dogs vs. 'Cats: The Situation
With a league-high 16 starters back from a team that went 7-6 last year Mississippi State hoped to make some noise in the SEC this season. The Bulldogs went off at odds of 40/1 to win the SEC and 150/1 to win the national championship. But with its 6-0 start and rise in the rankings Mississippi State has been bet down to around 3/1 to win the SEC and 7/1 to win the national title.
The Bulldogs opened this season by beating Southern Miss 49-0, UAB 47-34 and South Alabama 35-3. Mississippi State then began SEC play with a 34-29 upset of LSU at Death Valley, then topped Texas A&M 48-31, then beat defending SEC champion Auburn 38-23. The 'Dogs then had last week off.
The Bulldogs have outgained every opponent but one this year (Alabama-Birmingham), and outrushed every opponent but one (Auburn). MSU outrushed Louisiana State by 213 yards and A&M by 119.
With 15 starters back from a team that went 2-10 last year Kentucky just hoped to make some progress in its second season under Coach Stoops. But with five wins in their first seven games, and two wins in their first four SEC games, the Wildcats are on the verge of becoming bowl-eligible for the first time in five years.
Kentucky opened this season with a 59-14 victory over Tennessee-Martin, then beat Ohio 20-3, but then began SEC play with a 36-30 overtime loss at Florida, although it easily covered the spread as a 17-point dog. The Wildcats then snapped a 17-game SEC losing streak with a 17-7 win over Vandy, then started their first SEC winning streak in five years with a 45-38 upset of South Carolina. Kentucky then stepped out of conference to beat Louisiana-Monroe 48-14, but fell back to Earth last week with a 41-3 loss at LSU, whiffing on the cover as 12-point dogs.
The Wildcats have outgained and outrushed four of seven opponents this season, but just one of their four SEC foes (Vanderbilt). They got outgained by Florida by 82 yards, by South Carolina by 53 yards and by the Bayou Bengals by 209 yards.
Bulldogs-Wildcats Recent History
Mississippi State has beaten Kentucky five times in a row, going 4-1 ATS. Last year the 'Dogs beat the 'Cats 28-22 in Starkville, but Kentucky covered the spread as an 11-point underdog.
MSU led 21-7 in the second quarter, but the Wildcats got within 21-19 in the third quarter and 28-22 midway through the fourth. Near the end Kentucky drove to the Bulldogs' 29-yard line but got stopped on downs.
Mississippi State outgained the Wildcats 447-325 and won time-of-possession by a 34-26 margin.
Bulldogs-Wildcats Betting Trends
Kentucky is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games as a home dog, 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 games as a double-digit dog and 2-8 ATS in its last 10 SEC home games.
Mississippi State is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games as a road favorite, 3-0 ATS in its last three SEC road games and 4-3 ATS in its last seven games as double-digit chalk.
Seven of the last 10 games in this series have played UNDER.
Before the season started Bulldogs QB Dak Prescott was getting 50/1 to win the Heisman Trophy; he's now sitting at right around 15/1 on most Heisman betting boards.
Bulldogs-Wildcats Free Pick
Coach Stoops might have Kentucky headed in the right direction, but the close loss to Florida and the wins over Vandy and South Carolina don't impress us that much. Meanwhile, Mississippi State is averaging 265 yards per game through the air and 264 YPG on the ground.
Free College Football Pick: Mississippi -13.5 at Pinnacle