LSU owns 10 wins in its last 13 rivalry meetings with Ole Miss, and two wins in three tries with the current head coaches. But the Rebels are 2-1 against the spread over those last three meetings and 6-3 ATS over the last nine. The Tigers and the Rebels hook up for the latest edition of the Magnolia Bowl Saturday afternoon in Oxford.
Point spread: Rebels opened as 4.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 41.9-33.9 Rebels
Why the LSU Tigers can cover the spread
LSU is coming off consecutive losses that have knocked it from championship contention, but it can still salvage perhaps a New Year's Day bowl with a couple of victories to finish this regular season. Two weeks ago, the Tigers fell to Alabama 30-16, and last week they lost to Arkansas 31-14.
Louisiana State went down to the Razorbacks 21-0, rallied to within one score at 21-14 but faded from there. On the night, LSU gave up 440 yards of Arkansas offense, but almost half those yards came on three long Hogs scoring plays.
Prior to the loss to the Tide two weeks ago, the Tigers had started this season 7-0 SU and 4-3 ATS, outrushing every opponent. And last year LSU upset then-unbeaten Ole Miss 10-7 in Baton Rouge, outrushing the Rebs 264-137. If they can win the ground battle Saturday, the Tigers could win this game outright.
Why the Mississippi Rebels can cover the spread
Ole Miss had won back-to-back contests against Texas A&M and Auburn, outgaining those two by a combined 400 yards, but lost a crazy game against Arkansas two weeks ago 53-52 in overtime. The Rebs then had last week off.
Ole Miss went toe-to-toe with the high-powered Hogs, and led late, but gave up the game-tying score with just under a minute to go. Then, in overtime, the Rebs became the latest victim of college football's recent bout of lateral-happy craziness, giving up a first down on a 4th-and-25. Arkansas then scored, and an Ole Miss facemask penalty gave the Hogs a second chance on the two-point conversion, which they converted.
On the day, the Rebs racked up 590 yards of offense, 222 on the ground, but it's hard to coach against miracles. Ole Miss was ranked No. 3 in the country last season when it lost at LSU; perhaps the Rebs have a dose of revenge in mind for Saturday.
LSU deserved to lose to Alabama and Arkansas; Ole Miss beat the Tide earlier this season and did not deserve that loss to the Hogs. Also, LSU Heisman candidate running back Leonard Fournette has been held to a total of 122 yards rushing over the last two games. Ride the Rebs here, the home team at a reasonable spread.
LSU is 5-13 ATS in its last 18 games against Mississippi.
Mississippi is 5-15 SU in its last 20 games in November.
LSU is 17-2 SU in its last 19 games after a loss.
All point-spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates, and get the free odds-tracker app.