2011 SEC Predictions: Mississippi State Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers

No. 16 Mississippi St. Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers
Saturday, 9/10/11, 12:20 PM EST, TV:  SEC Network
Opening Point Spread:  Miss St -6
Current Betting Line:  Miss -6.5
Opening Total:  54
Current Total:  56
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 6.5-point road favorites in their SEC opener against the Auburn Tigers

Mississippi State has won three consecutive games entering this weekend’s road contest against the Auburn Tigers and is looking to become the first squad to post back-to-back nine win seasons in school history.  The Bulldogs opened up the year with a 59-14 blowout win as 30-point road favorites against the Memphis Tigers.  Winning the season opener under third-year head coach Dan Mullen has not been a problem, as the team has won all three contests by a combined score of 153-28.  Running back Vick Ballard led the offense against Memphis, rushing for 166 yards and scoring three touchdowns.  Mississippi St is 8-2 ATS as a favorite in its last 10 chances.

The Bulldogs continue to excel in the red zone offensively, scoring in all three opportunities last week, which follows up a year of going 39-of-40.  Mississippi State will be seeking revenge from last year’s 17-14 home loss to Auburn, as the team allowed 348 yards of offense to Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and the Tigers’ offense.  Bettors may elect to bet the over due to the Bulldogs scoring at least 30 points in each of its last four games.

Auburn won five games decided by three points or less on its way to a national title and escaped with a four-point win in the season opener against Utah State, posting a come-from-behind 42-38 victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  “The majority of the focus of watching film is moving forward,” commented Tigers head coach Gene Chizik.  The Tigers still possess the longest winning streak in the nation, which is 16 games and includes nine wins at Saturday’s venue.  Auburn is 10-6 ATS at home the last two-plus seasons.

The Tigers are now 8-0 in games decided by four points or less under Chizik, including four of those wins coming against SEC teams.  Auburn is 44-28-5 in Southeastern Conference openers, including a 17-1 mark in the last 18.  In its last 13 SEC openers, the program has outscored its opponents by a considerable 403-150 margin.  Quarterback Barrett Trotter made his first start under center since the departure of Newton last week and the Aggies’ defense brought plenty of players up to the line of scrimmage because of it.  Auburn managed to gain just 78 rushing yards.

Bettors will likely back the Bulldogs due to their 4-0 ATS mark as a road favorite, while the Tigers are 5-6 ATS as home underdogs of 3.5 to 7 points.

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