Mississippi State Betting Odds Preview
Three straight winning seasons and bowl appearances sounds good, but for the Mississippi State Bulldogs it's not enough. It's no fun just beating the weak sisters on your schedule, and never knocking off the big dogs. MSU played that recent trend to a T last year, turning a 7-0 start into an 8-5 finish. The Bulldogs' goal has to be taking that next step and beating some of the better teams on their slate; whether that will happen this year is uncertain.
MSU's problem last year is that while they won eight games they didn't beat anyone of note. The Bulldogs started 7-0, reaching No. 13 in the polls, but as the schedule got tougher the Bulldogs got exposed as pretenders. They lost to Alabama by 31, to Texas A&M by 25, to LSU by 20, to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl by 17, and then lost in the Gator Bowl to Northwestern 34-20.
In the end the 'Dogs went 8-0 against teams that did not make bowls last year, and 0-5 against teams that did. They also went just 6-7 ATS last year, which was a bit surprising considering their +16 turnover ratio. What a waste. This year MSU returns seven starters on an offense that averaged 382 YPG last year, including senior QB Tyler Russell (24/10 TD/INT ratio last year), 1,000-yard rusher LaDarius Perkins, and four along the front line, but only five starters are back on a defense that gave up 387 YPG last season. Among the holes to fill are basically the entire receiving corps and three-quarters of what was a decent secondary.
This year's schedule does the 'Dogs few favors; they open with a tough game against early Big 12 favorite Oklahoma State in Houston, later have to play at South Carolina and at Texas A&M, and their home slate includes visits from LSU and Alabama. On the bright side MSU misses Georgia and Florida again. From afar, the Bulldogs might only have five or six “winnable” games on their slate, and that might not be enough to get back to a bowl.
SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Mississippi State +10000