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LSU vs. Mississippi State picks and best bets for Week 4

The Tigers and Bulldogs meet on Saturday in what the oddsmakers think will be a very close game.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

This felt like a monumental moment in the SEC in 2020 when the Mississippi State Bulldogs opened the Mike Leach era with a win over the defending-champion LSU Tigers. However, Mississippi State has gone 5-8 since then, while LSU went just 6-6 over that same span. The two will meet in Starkville on Saturday, September 25th at noon ET with LSU coming in as slight favorites on the road.

LSU (2-1, 0-0 SEC) followed a season-opening loss to the UCLA Bruins by overpowering McNeese State and Central Michigan Chippewas the last two weeks. Max Johnson threw the ball well this season and while the defense is much better than last year’s version, the pass defense hasn’t been anything special even with elite talent at the cornerback position. Obviously, Mississippi State is going to throw the ball a ton, so the LSU secondary will be tested once again.

Mississippi State (2-1, 0-0 SEC) is coming off a brutal way to lose their first game of the season on the wrong end of a punt return touchdown that shouldn’t have counted in a 31-29 loss to the Memphis Tigers. The Bulldogs cannot feel bad for themselves because they have a significantly more talented team coming to town on Saturday. Will Rogers has racked up a ton of passing yards, but the Bulldogs average just 6.6 yards per pass attempt, which ranks No. 83 in all of college football.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

LSU: 26 overall, 33 offense, 40 defense
Mississippi State: 41 overall, 68 offense, 18 defense

Injury update

LSU

T Cameron Wire - Questionable (knee)
S Jay Ward - Probable (undisclosed)
RB Tyrion Davis-Prince - Probable (undisclosed)
DE Andre Anthony - Out for the season (knee)
WR Jontre Kirklin - Questionable (academics)
DE Ali Gaye - Questionable (undisclosed)
DE Soni Fonua - Questionable (academics)
OL Anthony Bradford - Questionable (eligibility)
DB Sage Ryan - Questionable (undisclosed)
RB Armoni Goodwin - Questionable (undisclosed)

Mississippi State

No injuries to report

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

LSU: 1-2 ATS
Mississippi State: 1-2 ATS

Total

LSU: Over 2-1
Mississippi State: Over 1-2

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

LSU: 7 overall, 13 offense, 4 defense
Mississippi State: 31 overall, 37 offense, 28 defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: LSU -2.5
Total: 57
Moneyline: LSU -130, Mississippi State +110

Opening line: LSU -4
Opening total: 53.5

Weather

81 degrees, 5 MPH wind, 7% chance of rain

The Pick

Under 57

This is a great opportunity to take advantage of line movement as the point total continues to increase, creating value on the under. Mississippi State can move down the field with short passes as we’ve seen this season, and the Bulldogs held a very good Memphis offense to just 264 yards of total offense last weekend. LSU has tried to get a running game to minimal success, so that should keep this clock moving and help the under cash.

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