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Mullen Magic Gone For Mississippi State

The Mississippi State Bulldogs and interim coach Greg Knox will look to continue the tradition left behind by former head coach Dan Mullen of winning bowl games. During Mullen’s nine-year tenure with Mississippi State, he led the program to a stellar 5-2 SU record in bowl games. The maroon and white will look to start off the post-Mullen era in style with a victory when they face the Louisville Cardinals in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Mississippi State’s last 7 games.
  • Mississippi State is 2-0 SU in its past two bowl games as an underdog.
  • Louisville WR Jaylen Smith has caught 4 TDs in the last 3 games.

No matter who is on the sidelines, defense is going to be of the utmost importance for Miss State. The Bulldogs have only allowed 20.4 points per game this season but face a Louisville offense that has topped 30 points in six consecutive games. If the defense falters, then the offense may not be able to catch up, with freshman quarterback Keytaon Thompson starting in place of the injured Nick Fitzgerald.

There is no need to dance around it: the Cardinals go exactly as far as Lamar Jackson can carry them. The Heisman-nominated signal-caller is 16th in the nation in passing yards and 11th in rushing yards. Jackson comes into this game playing his best football of the season, as he has accumulated 995 yards and 10 TDs in the last three outings.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The visiting Louisville Cardinals opened as 5.5-point favorites in this one at BetOnline and most sportsbooks tracked here at OddsShark. No total had been posted as of writing time; check the live lines pages in the coming days to see where the number opened.

A 40-29 result in favor of the Cardinals was the prediction by the OddsShark handicapping pick engine earlier this week. Check the picks page or matchup report during the week as factors may cause that prediction to be re-run. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NCAAF matchups here.

Louisville Cardinals vs Mississippi State Bulldogs Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Mississippi State Bulldogs sport a record of 8-4, and have posted a corresponding betting slate of 7-5 ATS. The Louisville Cardinals are 8-4 and 4-7-1 ATS. Betting totals have seen the Bulldogs post a 4-8 OVER/UNDER record this season, while the Cardinals have gone 6-6 against the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Mississippi State vs Louisville injuries news.

The Bulldogs sit at No. 55 in the current College Football Power Rankings here at OddsShark, while the Cardinals are at No. 18 on that chart.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Mississippi State Bulldogs' No. 38-ranked offense (32.08 PPG) against a Louisville Cardinals defense that ranks No. 71 at 27.08 PPG. The Mississippi State passing attack has averaged 170.25 yards per game, less than the Cardinals give up through the air (232.83 YPG on average).

Defensively, Louisville features the league's No. 22-rated road run defense, allowing 128 yards per game. Mississippi State, meanwhile, ranks No. 11 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Lamar Jackson ran through the Kentucky defense for 156 yards in Louisville's last game, handing the Wildcats a 44-17 setback on Saturday at Kroger Field.

Keytaon Thompson ran through the Ole Miss defense for 121 yards in Mississippi State's last game, but the Bulldogs still lost a 31-28 decision at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field.