Not long ago, LSU hung a 21-1 straight-up run on rival Mississippi State. But the Bulldogs are fighting back, taking two of the last four meetings outright, including a 37-7 decision last season and going 4-0 against the spread in the process.
Which side is the smart bet for Saturday night's SEC West battle in Baton Rouge?
College football point spread: The Tigers opened as seven-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 33.4-27.4 Tigers (College football picks on every game)
Why the Mississippi State Bulldogs can cover the spread
Mississippi State came up with its most important win of this season so far last time out, a 23-9 victory over Auburn two weeks ago. The Bulldogs then enjoyed last week off.
MSU spotted Auburn the first three points of the game but led 13-3 by halftime. The Bulldogs later allowed the Tigers to get within one score at 16-9 but iced the game on Nick Fitzgerald's 21-yard touchdown scamper with two minutes to go.
Mississippi State outgained Auburn 418-304, outrushed the Tigers 349-90 and dominated time of possession by a 42/18 tilt. The Bulldogs have now held five of their six opponents to this season to 13 points or less.
Why the LSU Tigers can cover the spread
The Tigers are also coming off a big win, a 36-16 upset of Georgia last week at Death Valley. LSU, as a seven-point dog, scored the first 16 points of the game and never let the Bulldogs get back within one score after that on its way to a surprisingly easy victory.
LSU outgained Georgia 475-322, outrushed the Bulldogs 275-113, held a 34/26 advantage in time of possession and won the turnover battle 4-0, creating a plus-13 point differential. LSU also converted four-for-four on fourth downs.
The Tigers have now outgained three of their first four SEC opponents this season. At 3-1 in SEC play, LSU remains in the hunt in the West Division, with a showdown with Alabama coming up in a couple weeks.
Smart betting pick
Mississippi State won this matchup last year by 30 points. The Bulldogs are not expected to win this game by 30, but they could still win it outright. Also, LSU is coming off a huge emotional effort last week and might be ripe for a letdown. The smart money here likes Mississippi State and the points.
College football betting trends
Mississippi State is 4-0 ATS in its last four games versus LSU.
The total has gone under in Mississippi State's last three games versus LSU.
Mississippi State is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games on the road after consecutive home games.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.