LSU (1-1) and Mississippi State (2-0) are set to square off in an SEC West showdown in Starkville. We continue our college football odds series for the 2023 season with an LSU-Mississippi State prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.
The Tigers bounced back from their disappointing opening week loss to Florida State by posting a 72-10 win over Grambling in Week 2. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and company will look to start SEC play with a win, and it could provide a much-needed confidence boost after letting things slip away against the Seminoles.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs escaped with a 31-24 overtime victory against Arizona a week ago after holding a 21-7 lead in the third quarter.
Here are the college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: LSU-Mississippi State Odds
LSU: -9.5 (-115)
Mississippi State: +9.5 (-105)
Over: 54.5 (-110)
Under: 54.5 (-110)
How to Watch LSU vs. Mississippi State
Time: 12 PM ET/PT
*Watch college football LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why LSU Will Cover The Spread
The Tigers should have a chip on their shoulder in this game. The keyword there is “should.” LSU was the favorite in the Week 1 game against Florida State, yet lost by three touchdowns in a primetime game on national television. This a chance to show the world what they're really made of. Can they run the table and find a way to play for a national title? It starts with this game.
Brian Kelly has one of the most talented teams in college football. Jayden Daniels has all the tools to be an elite quarterback. The Tigers could have the best wide receiver group in the SEC. The front seven on defense is loaded with talent. There is just a lot to like about this team.
The reason LSU can flex its muscles in this one is Daniels. While Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura threw four interceptions against Mississippi State (he threw three in the same matchup in 2022), he had success when he challenged the Bulldogs with the deep ball. Daniels has the weapons at his disposal to do the same.
Brian Thomas Jr. is off to a terrific start this season with 13 receptions, 220 yards (including a 75-yarder), and three touchdowns. Malik Nabers has 11 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown. There are even more options with wide receiver Kyren Lacy (6 receptions, 98 yards, and 1 TD) and tight end Mason Taylor (5 receptions, 39 yards).
The winning game plan for LSU in this game is quite simple: Let Jayden Daniels cook.
Why Mississippi State Will Cover The Spread
More cowbell. That's the only choice, right? But in all seriousness, the atmosphere could easily play a role in Mississippi State scoring the victory. The better bet on the Bulldogs to cover is the talent of their quarterback.
That is if Mississippi State uses him. Will Rogers had only 17 pass attempts in the Arizona game, which is a new career-low for him after the previous one (29 attempts) came…..in Week 1 against Southeastern Louisiana. We knew the offense was going to be different under new offensive coordinator Kevin Barbay, but that's a drastic change from Rogers' role in previous years with the late Mike Leach as head coach.
Barbay knows that number must go up against this LSU defense. The Tigers allowed Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis to throw for 342 yards and four touchdowns in Week 1, so the secondary is still a work in progress. Brian Kelly said “developing consistency” and “tackling, leveraging the football, being in the right leverage” (via NOLA.com) are the goals for LSU in that area. Can they improve all of that in a single game? Probably not. That's why Rogers must have more opportunities to make plays, while still giving stud running back Jo'Quavious Marks (43 carries, 250 rushing yards, 91 receiving yards, three total TDs) lots of touches.
There's also something else we can't ignore: Mississippi State's defense. Two All-SEC linebackers – Nathaniel Watson (18 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble) and Jett Johnson (17 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, and two forced fumbles) – lead the way for an opportunistic group that's already racked up six turnovers and four sacks.
If the Bulldogs can get to Daniels – he was sacked four times against Florida State – then there's the potential to keep adding more to that total.
Final LSU-Mississippi State Prediction & Pick
LSU is better than it showed against Florida State. Keep in mind that it was a tie game until late in the third quarter when Travis worked his magic for the Seminoles. The Tigers should make it clear they're still an SEC title contender in a double-digit win to kick off SEC play.
Final LSU-Mississippi State Prediction & Pick: LSU -9.5 (-115)