LSU absolutely owns its border rivalry with Mississippi State, winning 28 of the last 32 meetings, including 16 of the last 17. However, it's the Bulldogs who have covered the spread each of the last three meetings, pulling off one outright upset and rallying to keep the other two games close.
Mississippi State will play as a home dog when it tangles with the Tigers in the SEC opener for both teams Saturday night in Starkville.
College football point spread: The Tigers opened as 6.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 44.8-27.0 Tigers (College football picks on every game)
Why the LSU Tigers can cover the spread
The Bayou Bengals are 2-0 straight up and 1-0-1 against the spread this season, after beating Chattanooga last Saturday 45-10. LSU spotted the Moccasins an early 3-0 lead, then scored the next 42 points to take control. The Tigers later did their financial backers a small favor, kicking a field goal with three minutes to go to push the 45-point spread.
On the night LSU outgained Chattanooga 454-242 and outrushed the Mocs 222-68. Quarterback Danny Etling compiled 227 yards passing on just eight completions, running back Derrius Guice ran 15 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver DJ Chark caught three balls for 103 yards and took a punt back 65 yards for a score.
The Tigers opened this season with a 27-0 blanking of BYU, covering at minus-15.
Why the Mississippi State Bulldogs can cover the spread
The Bulldogs are 2-0 both SU and ATS, after winning at Louisiana Tech on Saturday 57-21, covering at minus-10. MSU spotted the other Bulldogs an early 9-0 lead and scored the game's next 36 points.
Mississippi State racked up 459 yards on offense. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald accounted for 235 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns (three through the air and two on the ground), while running back Aeris Williams rushed for 107 yards on just nine carries. Meanwhile, defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons scored two touchdowns, one by recovering a punt he blocked in the end zone and another on a 90-yard fumble return.
The Bulldogs opened this season with a 49-0 shutout of Charleston Southern, easily covering at minus-21.
Fitzgerald can be a handful, but LSU is 9-3 SU and 7-4-1 ATS since Etling took over at quarterback early last season. And playing on the road means the spread might lean a bit friendlier toward the Tigers. The smart money here likes LSU.
College football betting trends
LSU is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 games against Mississippi State.
The total has gone under in seven of Mississippi State's last 10 games at home.
The total has gone under in nine of LSU's last 11 games against its conference.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.