The games that football fans tend to watch and wager on are often dependent upon the type of football that they like to watch unless of course there is a line on a game that seems open to being taken advantage of. For some, tight defensive struggles are what make a great game, while others prefer wide-open shootouts where the highest point total imaginable constantly seems under threat. For fans of the latter of those two options, the matchup between Louisville and Mississippi State should probably be considered must-watch TV, just check the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl betting odds to confirm it.
It’s a great way to kick off a busy Saturday afternoon, with both teams set to lock horns in Jacksonville, Florida. Both of these teams posted big offensive numbers during the regular season, and it’s tough to imagine that either one of them is going to switch off that style of play heading into a big bowl game. The Cardinals have been made 6 ½ point favorites for this one, and at 63, the point total is one that I think might be in real trouble here. Let’s take a closer look at these two teams.
Cardinals vs. Bulldogs 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl Betting Preview
- When: Saturday, December 30 at 12 PM EST
- Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: 840 AM (Louisville) / 97.3 FM (Mississippi State)
- Live Stream: Watch ESPN
- TaxSlayer Bowl Betting Odds: Louisville Cardinals -6.5 (Over/Under at 63 points)
- Partly Cloudy: 14°C/57°F
- Humidity: 58%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Cloud Cover: 30%
- Wind: 9 mph WNW
- Stadium Type: Open
- All: Louisville Cardinals 8-4 / Mississippi State Bulldogs 8-4
- Home: Louisville Cardinals 4-2 / Mississippi State Bulldogs 5-2
- Away: Louisville Cardinals 4-2 / Mississippi State Bulldogs 3-2
- ATS: Louisville Cardinals 4-7-1 / Mississippi State Bulldogs 7-5
- Over/Under: Louisville Cardinals 5-6 / Mississippi State Bulldogs 4-8
Why bet on the Louisville Cardinals?
In Lamar Jackson, the Louisville Cardinals have a legitimate offensive weapon, and it’s perhaps that their results usually depend on how he plays. If the ways he finished the regular season is any indication, then the Bulldogs defense might be in for a world of hurt. In the final 3 games of the season, Jackson led the Cardinals to 3 straight wins, with the offense putting up 138 points. Jackson did most of the damage, getting close to 1,000 yards of offense in those 3 games whilst also chipping in 10 TD’s.
Overall, the Cardinals averaged 30 PPG on offense, but they often needed all those points, as the surrendered an average of 27 PPG. There can be no denying that the Cardinals are an offensive juggernaut, but the question is whether the defense can hold up their end of the bargain against a very good Bulldogs offense. Overall, the Cardinals went 4-7-1 ATS and 5-6 O/U.
- Average Score For: 39.00
- Total Yards: 560.5
- Rush Yards: 249.92
- Passing Yards: 310.58
- Average Score Against: 27.08
- Total Yards: 386.75
- Rush Yards: 153.92
- Passing Yards: 232.83
Why bet on the Mississippi State Bulldogs?
The Mississippi State Bulldogs finished the season at 8-4 but struggled to find consistency this year, going through some serious ups and downs. This is a team that has gone 5-2 SU in their last 7 bowl games, but that record came under coach Dan Mullen, who bolted at the end of the season to pastures new. The Bulldogs started this year as one of the best offensive teams in the nation and ended up the years averaging 32 PPG.
It was the defense that got the Bulldogs through some tougher times, though, as they allowed just 20 PPG, and were particularly tough to break down through the air. This defense is very good, but they are going to need to be on their toes against a very mobile Lamar Jackson. The Bulldogs have won the last two bowl games that they came into as an underdog. They went 7-5 ATS this season and 4-8 O/U.
- Average Score For: 32.08
- Total Yards: 419.83
- Rush Yards: 249.58
- Passing Yards: 170.25
- Average Score Against: 20.42
- Total Yards: 302.00
- Rush Yards: 127.00
- Passing Yards: 175.00
Latest TaxSlayer Bowl Betting Trends
- Louisville is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
- Louisville is 4-11-1 ATS in its last 16 games
- Mississippi State is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Mississippi State’s last 7 games
- Louisville is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Lamar Jackson is going to be the man to watch in this one, and I just don’t see any way that the Bulldogs can completely eliminate the threat that he brings to the table. I am going with the Cardinals to win and cover, and the total to go OVER.
Score: Louisville Cardinals 37 – Mississippi State Bulldogs 27