The #8 Auburn Tigers travel to Starkville this weekend to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in SEC action. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EST at Davis Wade Stadium and the game will be available on ESPN2.
Taking a look at the Week 6 college football odds, Auburn opened as a 3.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has barely moved after early betting, as the Tigers are currently listed at -3. The total for the game is sitting at 44.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Mississippi State vs Auburn
Auburn will try and win their third consecutive game this weekend after beating Southern Mississippi 24-13 in Week 5 to improve to 4-1 on the season. It was far from a convincing victory however, as the Tigers were favored by 27 points but only managed to win by 11. QB Jarrett Stidham was steady but unspectacular, completing 57% of his passes while throwing for two touchdowns. Auburn definitely prefers attacking on the ground, as they are currently averaging almost 180 rushing yards per game. RB JaTarvious Whitlow has had a good season so far, racking up 326 rushing yards and four touchdowns. As a whole, Auburn is currently averaging 32.6 points per game on an average of 376 total yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Tigers have been extremely impressive, giving up an average of just 12.6 points per game on 304.6 total yards. Their scoring defense is currently 3rd in the nation, while their run defense is 8th overall – opponents are only averaging 92.8 rushing yards per game.
Mississippi State fell to 3-2 on the season last weekend after a disappointing 13-6 loss to Florida in Week 5. The Bulldogs couldn’t get anything going offensively all game long, gaining only 202 total yards. QB Nick Fitzgerald had a rough afternoon, throwing for just 98 yards and no touchdowns. Fitzgerald has now been unable to find the end zone through the air for consecutive weeks and only has 4 TD passes in five games. However, he has chipped in with 5 rushing touchdowns on 318 yards on the ground. Mississippi State has averaged the exact same number of points per game as Auburn over their first five games – 32.6.
The Bulldogs biggest strength is clearly their defense, as opponents are only scoring an average of 13.4 points per game (8th) on 286.8 total yards. Mississippi State has been fantastic against the pass, allowing opponents to pass for an average of only 166.4 yards per game (16th). They certainly haven’t been too shabby against run either, giving up just 120.4 yards per game on the ground (31st).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Auburn -3
This should be a really entertaining game between two fantastic defenses. There likely won’t be a ton of scoring, as the current total of 44.5 points is easily one of the lowest one the board here in Week 6. While Mississippi State has looked quite good so far this year, they still haven’t shown that they are capable of knocking off a legitimate Top 10 team like Auburn. The Bulldogs couldn’t find a way to get past #22 Florida last weekend and I certainly don’t expect them to beat the #8 overall Tigers on Saturday. They also lost to Kentucky by 21 points back in Week 4, so both times they had to play a team ranked inside the AP Top 25 they failed to cover the spread.
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Auburn is a very impressive 8-3-1 ATS over their past 12 conference games while also going 13-4 straight up over their past 17 games against the Bulldogs. Mississippi State is 0-4 ATS over their past four games against SEC opponents. They are also just 2-6 straight up over their past 8 games when playing Auburn at home.
This is going to be a low scoring defensive struggle where one team has to grind out a victory in the second half. I just have a bit more faith in Auburn due to their Top 3 scoring defense and larger sample size against good teams like Washington and LSU. Although they couldn’t get past LSU in Week 3, they only lost by a single point and had every opportunity to win the game if a couple of breaks had gone the other way. Mississippi State has fallen outside of the Top 25 after two losses to ranked opponents and I’m fully expecting them to lose another close game on Saturday. I’ll lay the field goal and roll with the road favorite.