The action in the SEC never stops, and Saturday night (7:15pm ET) features a great match-up with the 3rd ranked Ole Miss Rebels (7-0) invading Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA to take on the host LSU Tigers (6-2) in a primetime showdown with major conference and national playoff implications. Ole Miss is fresh off of a dominating 34-3 home win over Tennessee last week, and has also knocked off Texas A&M (35-20) and Alabama (23-17) in conference play this season to propel their ascension up the national rankings. LSU has won two straight, including a 41-3 pounding of Kentucky last week after dispatching of Florida on the road the previous week 30-27. The Tigers have lost to #1 Mississippi St. (34-29) at home and Auburn (41-7) on the road this season in conference play.
The Rebels rank 29th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 35.4 points per game and 49th in total offense with 433.3 yards per game. Quarterback BO Wallace has stepped up his play against SEC opponents, throwing 7 TDs and no INTs in conference play as all 6 of his picks this season came against non-conference opponents. Defensively the Rebels have one of the best front seven’s in college football, ranking in top 10 in both run defense (6th, 97.1 YPG) and quarterback pressures. They have forced a turnover in 30 straight games, and cornerback Senquez Golson has picked off 4 passes in the past 3 games. Overall Ole Miss ranks #1 in points allowed with a mere 10.6 per game and 8th in total defense with 290.6 YPG allowed.
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LSU ranks 27th nationally in scoring offense with 35.6 PPG and 63rd in total offense with 415.3 YPG. The Tigers are a running team on offense, ranking 28th nationally with 220.9 rushing YPG, and they pounded Kentucky for 303 yards on a whopping 51 carries. Their quarterback situation is not strong, they have used both Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, and the two have combined to complete just over 50% of their passes for 13 TDs and 5 INTs. LSU ranks near the bottom nationally in passing offense with 194.4 YPG (96th). Defensively LSU ranks 8th in points allowed with 17 per game and 14th in total defense with 318.8 YPG allowed.
Ole Miss vs. LSU Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Ole Miss Rebels -3.5
@LSU Tigers +3.5
Over 44.5 (-110)
Under 44.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.ag
Ole Miss vs. LSU Pick:
LSU has lost only 3 night games at home under head coach Les Miles. The Rebels upset then-6th ranked LSU in Oxford last season, and they are 7-0 both straight up and ATS this season. LSU is 6-2 straight up and ATS this season, but the Tigers are just 1-5 straight up and 2-3-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a home underdog. The under is 4-0 in Ole Miss’s last 4 road games and 9-2 in Ole Miss’s last 11 road games against SEC opponents.
The Rebels have played lights out defense all season long while playing and defeating some of the best teams in the country, and LSU has also played very well defensively if one looks at the overall rankings. A closer look shows that LSU has struggled against the best teams on their schedule, namely Mississippi St. and Auburn. Their run defense is strong, but overall their defense is young and not up to the standard that we are used to seeing from the Tigers. Ole Miss, has raised their level of play since conference play began, and they are not afraid of LSU having defeated them just last year. Death Valley is an extremely tough road environment, and LSU will certainly be in this game, but the Rebels simply have too much strength and depth on defense to lose this game. The Rebels should hold down LSU and score enough points to cover as long as Wallace continues to take care of the ball. Take Ole Miss here.