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Did Vegas Pick Mississippi State to Lose 7 Games? Not Really.

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Vegas recently labeled MSU as the underdogs in 7 games, but also predicted MSU to win 7 games. What do they really think?

Derick E.Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of days ago, Vegas provided us with seven spreads to debate about.  MSU is listed as an underdog in all seven spreads.  Despite that fact, Vegas predicted MSU to go 7-5.  At a glance, this is contradictory.  However, it makes more sense if you predict MSU's win total by the odds MSU has of winning each game.

Below I have the chances Vegas gives MSU of winning each game, based on the spreads that came out the other day.  The percentages come from the website Betting Talk.  I used the spreads based on ESPN's ranking system for the other games, except for Northwestern State.  I'll assume MSU is beating Northwestern State, which shouldn't be a risky assumption.

Southern Mississippi 100%
LSU 43%
Auburn 26%
Texas A&M 32%
Troy 100%
Louisiana Tech 87%
Kentucky 80%
Missouri 34%
Alabama 25%
Arkansas 23%
Mississippi 47%

If you add up all those percentages (and Northwestern State), it adds up to 6.97 wins, which is what MSU's over under currently is.

MSU will be favored over Southern Miss by around 20 points according to ESPN (it could be a little higher).  If Vegas does a preseason spread for the Troy game, the spread will be around 30 points.  The website I used listed favorites by 20 or more points as having a 100% chance of winning, which is inaccurate but close enough.

A few observations:

  • Our staff seems to view Mississippi as a more difficult opponent than Vegas does.  Most of us ranked Alabama and Auburn ahead of Arkansas, but Vegas says Arkansas is the most difficult game.
  • Louisiana Tech is the best out of conference team on the regular season schedule.  They aren't a Boise State level FBS team, but they could be a top 50 team.
  • Vegas agrees with most MSU fans that every team in the SEC West could lose to any other team in the division.