College Football Week 1 Predictions: Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Saturday, 8/30/14, 7:30 p.m. ET
Opening Point Spread:  Mississippi St -25.5
Current Betting Line:  Mississippi St -25.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 8-4 SU in their last 12 home openers
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 8-4 SU in their last 12 home openers

Southern Miss nearly dropped all 12 of its games last season, but it managed to pick up a road victory over UAB as 14.5-point underdogs in the finale, which could allow second-year head coach Todd Monken to build off that result in Hattiesburg.  The Golden Eagles have won 10 of their last 14 games in this series, but the last meeting came back in 1990, which is important to consider when making your Week 1 college football predictions.  Southern Miss has gone OVER the betting total in 13 of its last 16 road games.

The Golden Eagles are impossible to back on the money line in this matchup, considering they’ve dropped their last nine road openers by an average of 20 points, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football betting lines.  Southern Miss does welcome back 16 overall starters, with sophomore quarterback Nick Mullens looking to build off a mediocre first year on campus, as he completed just 49.3 percent of his passes for 1,776 yards and 13 touchdowns with 14 interceptions.  On the other side of the ball, the team welcomes back its top four tacklers, with DeBarriaus Miller leading the charge at multiple positions.

Mississippi State will have eight starters and 27 letterwinners return from a offense that shattered school records for total yards and first downs.  The Bulldogs will be led by junior signal-caller Dak Prescott, who threw for 1,940 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also managing to gain a team-best 829 yards on the ground.  All of this should lead to sixth-year head coach Dan Mullen improving upon his 36-28 overall record since arriving in Starkville.  Mississippi State is 0-6 ATS in its last six games in the month of August.

The Bulldogs have won eight of their last 12 home openers, but they’ve compiled a 2-4 mark versus FBS opponents in that situation.  Mississippi State has a great opportunity to start the season with a 3-0 record in non-conference play before taking on the LSU Tigers in Death Valley to open up its daunting SEC schedule.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bulldogs due to their 7-3 ATS mark as home favorites dating back to the 2012 season.

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