This article is part of our College Football Picks series.
Egg Bowl Odds, Best Bets and Predictions for Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State
Thanksgiving night, as you work through digesting all that turkey (or, if you are me, a vegetarian entrée), it will be time to sit down and enjoy the glory of the Egg Bowl. Rivalry Week kicks off Thursday when Ole Miss and Mississippi State square off in Oxford. Normally, you would expect rivals to be hyped to play each other. However, I can't help but wonder just where Ole Miss is, psychologically speaking, at the moment.
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Mississippi vs. Mississippi State Odds for Week 13
Spread: Mississippi -3 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Total: 59.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Moneyline: Mississippi -152, Mississippi State +126 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Usually the old rule of thumb in terms of home-field advantage being worth three points, this game is effectively a tossup. As such, I think the oddsmakers have the same curiosity related to Ole Miss that I do. The question, of course, is related to recency bias.
Mississippi vs. Mississippi State Betting Picks This Week
Ole Miss is 8-3, while Mississippi State is 7-4. In terms of SP+, Lane Kiffin's crew ranks 15th, while Mike Leach's squad is 22nd. Why is Mississippi only laying three points at home then? Because of the fear that the wheels have come off. Just a couple weeks ago, Ole Miss was 8-1 and had dreams of a trip to the SEC title game. Then, Mississippi lost to Alabama. Hey, it was 30-24, and even a "down" Bama is formidable. That was an understandable loss. However, that loss was followed by Ole Miss paying a visit to Arkansas and getting its doors blown off. The Razorbacks won 42-27, and that score flatters Mississippi.
Thus, the questions. Is the motivation gone on Oxford? With rumors swirling Lane Kiffin is topping Auburn's head coach wish list, where is Lane's mind? Can Ole Miss get back on track with its top rival in town? Normally, when I am making picks, I am focused on the numbers, the tangibles. The intangibles and armchair psychology is rarely considered. That Arkansas loss, though, is concerning. Mike Leach's offense does not take it easy on you. If Ole Miss isn't geared up for the Egg Bowl, it's in trouble. For Thanksgiving, I am playing armchair psychologist. Better to do it with a football team than my relatives.
Mississippi vs. Mississippi State Best Bet: Mississippi State +3 at FanDuel Sportsbook
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Mississippi vs. Mississippi State Prediction
Both of these offenses rank in the top 30 in SP+, but the Bulldogs are also 34th defensively. Ole Miss is 55th on that front. The goal of Leach's attack is always obvious, but that doesn't make it easy to stop. Will Rogers is arguably the best quarterback he's ever had as well. I'm thinking Mississippi State wins a high-scoring affair, and if I can throw an extra prediction in there, by the end of Black Friday, Kiffin will be announced as Auburn's next head coach. Happy Thanksgiving.
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