The LSU Tigers, who believe it or not, started this season in the top 4, are feeling rejuvenated after Les Miles was fired. They at least look like a much better team, the kind of team they were projected to be. LSU has gone 2-0 with Ed Orgeron as head coach. Miles was fired after a lifeless performance against Auburn. The offense immediately felt a jolt, as the Tigers have scored 42 and 45 points the last two weeks against Mizzou and Southern Mississippi. Yeah, those aren’t the stingiest of opponents, but Ole Miss doesn’t present the biggest challenge on defense.
Danny Etling has looked more competent at quarterback the last two weeks, passing for 3 touchdowns and an interception against Southern Mississippi. LSU didn’t need to throw the ball against Missouri, where they rushed for a staggering 422 yards. The LSU Tigers’ offense is going to see an additional boost this week with the return of Leonard Fournette. He will return after several weeks on the shelf. His last game came on September 24th against Auburn. Fournette has only seen three games and he’s rushed for 386 yards. If Fournette comes back feeling fine, the LSU running game is going to be a tough one to slow down.
They are already a load, evident in the yardage they throttled Missouri for rushing. If LSU had an elite quarterback, there wouldn’t be any questions that LSU would probably still be in the top 5. Sorry to Etling, who has shown the ability to improve as the season has progressed, but plug Chad Kelly in this offense and the sky would be the limit for the Tigers. LSU will welcome the Ole Miss Rebels to campus which promises to be a crazy atmosphere in Baton Rouge.
Ole Miss are one of those teams who have looked great in spots, but only have a 3-3 record to show for it. They had one slip away in the opener to Florida State after they blew a sizable lead. And then they also have losses to Alabama and Arkansas. They are the only team this season to push Alabama to their max in a 48-43 losing cause. Ole Miss faces a tough schedule after they were just on the road at Arkansas a week ago. Expect an even more difficult environment to play in tonight for the Rebels.
Ole Miss Rebels vs. LSU Tigers NCAAF Betting Odds:
Ole Miss +7.5 (-110)
vs. LSU -7.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Ole Miss vs. LSU Pick:
It’s been a frustrating year for Ole Miss. They have been right there all season long and could be undefeated with a win over Alabama if they got a bounce or two to go their way. Instead the Rebels are looking at going 3-4 and will be looking at a marginal bowl game later in the season. Nevertheless, a win tonight would shift their fortunes in a positive direction. Chad Kelly is going to have to play lights out, in other words, he’s going to have to play as good as he did against Alabama. Kelly had the benefit of operating at home in that one against the Crimson Tide. He catches a frenzied LSU crowd this evening.
Ole Miss has yet to win a big one on the road this season, with losses against Florida State and Arkansas on the road. Here is there chance to get a win on the road that they can hang their hat on. Chad Kelly has passed for 1,849 yards with 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He will be looked at in the NFL Draft in the future. Ole Miss have averaged 39.7 points per game this season, and note, they scored 43 points on an elite Alabama defense. LSU is allowing 180 yards per game through the air, so they are fully capable of containing Kelly if they bring a top-level effort to Saturday night.
The Ole Miss defense has been easy to navigate for opposing offenses. This is a nice opportunity for Etling to have a quality game at home. Ole Miss have allowed 30.3 points per game. Particularly eyebrow raising in this game is the spread on this game. The line opened at 7 and has gone to 7.5 in favor of LSU. Considering the public appears to be on Ole Miss, it’s an important point to note. Also, I wasn’t expect 7 to begin with, I was thinking more along the lines of 3.5 or 4 points. The books are screaming for action on Ole Miss. I’m not going to get fooled by the books tonight. LSU takes this by 10 or a couple of touchdowns at home.
PICK: LSU -7.5 (-110)