Time: 12:20 PM EST, Saturday
TV: ESPN 3
Spread: MISS -10
Betting Odds from Bookmaker
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 4-0 this year and have notched victories over Jackson State, Auburn, Troy, and South Alabama. They’ll come into this matchup against the Kentucky Wildcats as 10 point favorites.
The Bulldogs have one of the better defenses in the nation, at least going based on stats. They’ve held their four opponents to an average of 13.3 points per game while scoring 36.0 per game themselves. It’s enabled the Bulldogs to pull into the 20th spot in the AP poll, and they are 19th in the coaches poll.
Their rushing attack has been particularly effective, accounting for 184.3 yards per game. Junior LaDarius Perkins leads the way with 389 yards on 57 carries with five TDs. His monster game against Troy spoke volumes, as he rushed for 179 yards on 23 carries, posting his high for the season in both yardage and yards per carry (7.8).
Junior QB Tyler Russell has impressed, too, posting a QB rating of 143.8 on the season, with a 55.7 percent completion ratio. His 8:1 TD:INT ratio is impressive, too, as his good arm offsets the already dangerous running game.
Balance will be the key for the Bulldogs, and their defense should enable them to hold off a Kentucky offense that has struggled anyway, averaging only 21.8 points per game, which ranks near the bottom of the nation.
Mississippi State Betting Trends:
Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 conference games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games on grass. They are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 on the road and 0-8 ATS in their last 8 road games vs teams with losing home records.
After a nice stomping of Kent State in week 2, the Wildcats have gone on to drop their last three games. The week 3 loss to Western Kentucky was an embarrassment, as they lost on a two point conversion in OT, at home.
Fan support has been waning in Lexington, and the two losses to ranked opponents don’t help much. The loss to Florida was expected, but not to the tune of being shutout, while the 38-17 loss to then-No. 6 South Carolina last week didn’t help their cause either, in front of their home crowd.
Freshman QB Jalen Whitlow assumed starting QB duties and threw 12 of 23 for 114 yards, but he threw two interceptions, in what was a decent debut, as he had only attempted six passes prior to last week’s game. He was subbing in for Maxwell Smith, who went out on the first series with an ankle injury.
The Wildcats are 12th in the SEC in yardage per game with 349.4 ypg. They’ll likely alternate Jalen Whitlow with Patrick Towles at QB this week until Maxwell Smith comes back, which might be a while, as the ankle injury will require surgery.
Kentucky Betting Trends:
Wildcats are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games vs teams with winning road record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 following an SU loss. They are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 after scoring less than 20 the previous game and they are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 overall.
Want to crush the bookies? Make sure to check out our paid pick plans for the 2012 season. Our handicapping team has an excellent track record of lining people’s pockets, so get in on the gravy train!