Mississippi is off to its best start since 1962, but the Rebels now travel to Death Valley where LSU head coach Les Miles is an incredible 45-4 SU at night. Tiger Stadium will be the most hostile environment Mississippi has encountered this season, and the Tigers are a live Homecoming underdog that could win this game outright. “We are looking forward to another great opportunity to go against a very good defense,” left guard Vadal Alexander said. “We have to come prepared.”
While many sports bettors (including myself) walked away from LSU following its embarrassing 41-7 loss at Auburn on October 4, the “buy sign” began flashing once again after the Tigers reeled off back-to-back wins over Florida (30-27) and Kentucky (41-3). Coach Miles has acknowledged that his squad “is improving in all three phases,” and that assertion is supported by the fact that the Tigers garnered 303 rushing yards last week and held an SEC opponent without a touchdown.
LSU’s success is predicated upon an outstanding defense that is allowing a mere 17.0 points per game at 5.0 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.6 yards per play. The Tigers’ secondary is one of the best in the nation as they are yielding just 5.6 yards per pass play to quarterbacks who would average 6.8 yards per pass play against a mediocre pass defense. Moreover, the Tigers are 4-1 SU and ATS at home this season where they are limiting foes to 8.8 points per game at 5.0 yards per pass play, 4.3 yards per play and 30.9 yards per point!
Overall, LSU is 1.2 yards per pass play and 0.6 yards per play better than average defensively, which is good enough to slow down a solid Mississippi attack that is 0.7 yards per play better than average (6.0 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.3 yards per play). The strength of Mississippi’s offense is its passing game wherein quarterback Bo Wallace is averaging 8.7 yards per pass play against teams that would combine to allow 6.9 yards per pass play.
However, that strength plays directly into the hands of LSU’s defense, which is spectacular at shutting down opposing teams’ aerial game. Mississippi is 1.8 yards per pass play better than average offensively, but the Tigers are 1.2 yards per pass play better than average defensively. While Mississippi possesses a 0.6 yards per pass play advantage in this game, LSU’s secondary plays its best at home and will be able to focus on the passing game because Mississippi possesses a subpar ground attack. In fact, the Rebels’ ground game is 0.2 yards per rush play worse than average this season (3.8 yards per rush play against teams that would combine to allow 4.0 yards per rush play), and becomes even worse on foreign soil (3.5 yards per carry).
What many spots bettors don’t realize is the fact that LSU possesses a decent offense that is 0.4 yards per play better than average (5.9 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.5 yards per play). The Tigers are also averaging 44.0 points per game at home on 5.2 yards per rush play, 9.8 yards per pass play, 6.6 yards per play and 10.8 yards per point. The fact that LSU’s offense is extremely efficient is also overlooked as the Tigers are 2.3 yards per point better than average this season. The Tigers’ aerial attack is 1.6 yards per pass play better than average (8.8 yards per pass play against teams that would combine to allow 7.2 yards per pass play), which also comes as a surprise to many college football fans.
From a technical standpoint, LSU head coach Les Miles is 5-0-1 ATS off a SU and ATS win, whereas the Rebels are 1-6 ATS as conference road favorites of less than eighteen points and 2-10 ATS versus conference foes playing with revenge. With LSU standing at 5-1 ATS in their last six home games, take the Tigers and invest with confidence.