Mississippi State has opened as a 9.5 point underdog to the LSU Tigers for the two teams' Saturday matchup in Baton Rouge, according to the sports betting website BetOnline.com.
This game is the SEC opener for both teams, and the first real test for the Bulldogs as they get set for a second straight road game. Mississippi State defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 35-3 last week while LSU knocked off in-state opponent UL-Monroe 31-0 at home.
Mississippi State was improved on Saturday, with an offense that looked much better and a defense that definitely bent but did not break. The Bulldogs will face an LSU team that is averaging 226 yards per game rushing and 214 yards per game through the air so far this season. On the flip side, the Tigers are giving up just 111 yards rushing per game so far and an even more impressive 94 yards through the air. This will certainly be the first big test for an MSU offense that will come in averaging about 520 yards per game.
I have to say the opening line is a bit less than what I expected it to be. Mississippi State has not beaten LSU since 1999, and the Tigers are a top-10 team heading into Saturday's game at home. I wouldn't be surprised to see this line sneak up a point or two as the week goes on.
The Bulldogs and Tigers will kick off week four of the 2014 season for MSU on Saturday (6:00 CT) on ESPN.
Here are a few other lines of note for week three of the 2014 college football season:
Georgia Tech at -8 Virginia Tech
Utah at -6.5 Michigan
Florida at -15.5 Alabama
Oklahoma -11.5 at West Virginia
Clemson at -20 Florida State [College Gameday location]