This matchup lost a bit of luster, with each team coming off a loss last week. For Auburn, they saw slim divisional hopes crushed in losing to Texas A&M 20-3. Mississippi St saw themselves fall out of the college football playoff ranking after debuting at 17 due to an upset to Arkansas. The saving grace for each team is season-ending rivalry games looming, but the winner of this game will take the momentum forward.
Both teams look to bounce back, but a total of 49.5 leans toward a more defensive-focused game, does the betting play match?
- Opening Line: Auburn -6.5, O/U 49.5
- Current Line: Auburn -6.5, O/U 49.5
- Last meeting: December 12, 2020, Auburn 24, Miss St 10
It is no surprise that a Mike Leach-coached team will come in with a dominant passing attack, and Mississippi St does not let down. QB Will Rogers leads the 5th ranked passing offense, and WR Makai Polk has taken a step towards stardom. The downside is that production has not always resulted in points, as the team ranks 71st in scoring at 28 ppg. The rushing offense is non-existent, ranking dead last at 130th. The team has done a decent job protecting Rogers; they rank 96th in sacks allowed though an offense that leans heavily towards passing would expect to rank low. Their turnover margin has washed out to neutral, with 13 giveaways and takeaways each.
The strength of the defense is stopping the run, where the team ranks 11th. The scoring defense has been average, the 65th rank while allowing 25.33 ppg. The team is deep upfront as five players have recorded at least three sacks, led by LB Aaron Brule. The passing defense ranks 45th, but both CB Martin Emmerson and CB Emmanuel Forbes are among the best in the conference.
No fundamental part of Auburn’s offense stands out as the team ranks 50th in scoring offense with 30.7 ppg. QB Bo Nix brings experience, but the passing attack ranks 54th, and the team could struggle against Mississippi St’s talented corners. There is talent at RB between RB Tank Bigsby and RB Jarquez Hunter, both over 500 yards rushing for the 48th ranked attack. The team has protected Nix, 24th in sacks allowed and protected the football ranking 15th in giveaways.
The defense has been the team’s strength as the 24th scoring unit at 19.78 points per game. The low point total has been a product of decent all-around effort, a passing defense that ranks 57th, and a rushing unit ranking 49th. S Smoke Monday has been the leader and will need to step up as the team ranks 115th in turnovers generated.
- Mississippi St is on a 4-1 ATS run
- Auburn is 5-4 ATS in 2021
- Mississippi St is 1-4 ATS over the last five vs. Auburn
Auburn has been a solid but largely unspectacular team. If Mississippi St can force a shootout, Auburn may struggle to keep up. Even absent that, Auburn’s average passing defense has a monumental task. The 5.5 number allows room for Mississippi St to turn this into a tight game, and their ability to catch up leaves the number comfortable.
Pick: Mississippi St +5.5
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