The No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels (5-1, 2-1 in SEC) hosts their conference co-tenant LSU Tigers (4-3, 2-2) Saturday in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and airs on CBS at 3:30 p.m. ET.
LSU thumped the Florida Gators 49-42 as 12.5-point underdogs in Week 7, and junior RB Tyrion Davis-Price rushed for a school-record 287 yards with 3 TDs. The Tigers moved to 3-4 against the spread (ATS) with their defeat of the Gators, and it was their fourth Over this year.
But, the big news from Baton Rouge following the game was LSU and head coach Ed Orgeron announcing they are parting ways at the end of the season.
Ole Miss held off the Tennessee Volunteers 31-26 as 1.5-point road favorites this past Saturday. Rebels’ Heisman Trophy candidate QB Matt Corral was sensational; he threw for 231 yards with a 2 TD:1 INT ratio and added 195 rushing yards.
However, Corral’s status for this game is in question after taking many shots vs. Tennessee last week. Ole Miss is 3-2-1 ATS and 3-3 O/U this year.
- Opening Line: Ole Miss -12
- Current Line: Ole Miss -9.5
- Over/Under: 76
Orgeron took over LSU’s football program in 2017. Since then, LSU has been 15-9-1 ATS vs. ranked opponents with a plus-4.6-point spread differential, an SEC-best 24-13-2 ATS record in conference games, and 6-2 ATS as a road underdog.
The Lane Kiffin Era at Ole Miss kicked off last season, and the Rebels are 2-2-1 ATS as a home favorite and 5-7 ATS vs. SEC teams.
Ole Miss opened up at Circa Sports as a 12-point favorite, with the total sitting at 75.5. And, according to Pregame.com, around 65% of the money bet is on the Rebels, but their line has come down to -9.5 or lower at some sportsbooks.
As for the total, Corral’s game status speculation is most likely the reason for all the pro-Under money. According to Pregame.com, roughly 80% of the action is on the Under. But, the total is now 76, which is a half-point more than the opener.
Even though it’s technically “square,” LSU +9.5 is the only way I can bet this game. This season, LSU is coming off its most impressive performance, and Ole Miss just played a hard-fought road game. Typically, this is where you’d fade the team coming off a huge win.
That said, LSU has always performed well in this spot since Oregon has been the coach. In addition, the Tigers’ ATS records in the relative trends written are phenomenal.
Furthermore, last week, LSU ran for a season-high 321 yards after rushing for just 501 yards over the previous five games. This came against a Florida defensive line that ranks in the middle of the SEC in non-garbage-time line yards per snap. Ole Miss’s defensive front gives up the second-most non-garbage-time line yards per snap in the SEC.
Most importantly, I think LSU’s athletes will be motivated to have a strong finish for Orgeron. LSU won the 2019 College Football Championship under Orgeron, and several active NFL players have played for him.
Finally, there’s value in betting LSU +9.5 based solely on Corral’s iffy game status. When asked about Corral following the Tennessee game, Kiffin said: “Hopefully, he will play, but I do not feel good about that right now.”
Now, Kiffin isn’t beyond posturing or some gamesmanship. But, Corral is one of the best football players in the nation. If Corral is compromised or not in the lineup, then LSU might win this game outright.
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