15* Tennessee/Mississippi State ESPN 2 Late-Night BAILOUT on Mississippi State -3
Tennessee vs. Mississippi State,
10/13/2012 21:00 EDT,
Score: 31 - 41
Point Spread: -3/-105 Mississippi State
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are a much better team than they are getting credit for with this line set by oddsmakers Saturday. They should be a heavier favorite against the Tennessee Volunteers.
At 5-0 and ranked No. 19 in the country, this is easily the best team that head coach Dan Mullen has had in his time at Mississippi State. I believe they should be ranked even higher, but after another win Saturday they'll move up quite a bit.
Tennessee is just 3-2 on the season, and it's easy to see that this team isn't ready to take the next step under head coach Derek Dooley. The Vols had their chances to prove they were for real, but they lost 20-37 at home to Florida, and 44-51 on the road to Georgia. Their three wins have come against Akron, Georgia State and NC State, which is unimpressive to say the least.
The Bulldogs are 3-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents 38.0 to 9.7 on average. That includes a 28-10 win over Auburn as only a 3-point favorite. I like the match-up here as Tennessee has a great passing game, but Mississippi State counters that with the 30th ranked pass defense (199.6 yards/game) in the country.
I also like the match-up for Mississippi State on offense. They have a balanced attack that is averaging 179.0 yards on the ground and 225.6 through the air. They'll be up against a Tennessee team that ranks just 83rd in the country in total defense (425.8 yards/game), giving up 186.2 yards on the ground and 239.6 through the air.
The Volunteers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record. Tennessee is 0-5-1 ATS in its last 6 games following a ATS win. The Vols are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in October. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning record. Mississippi State is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 conference games. These five trends combine for a 25-2 system backing the Bulldogs. Roll with Mississippi State Saturday.