LSU visits Mississippi State in an early season SEC West showdown, with the Tigers favorites on the road at the sportsbooks.

The LSU Tigers have dominated the Mississippi State Bulldogs over the years with a 14-1 SU and 11-4 ATS record in their last 15 matchups. The Tigers hope to kick their season off with a win on the road this Saturday night against the Bulldogs.

LSU is going off as a four-point road favorite according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. After winning their previous 14 games against the Bulldogs, LSU lost to Mississippi State 34-29 at home last season.

The difference between a potential playoff berth and a disappointing season in the middle of the pack in the SEC West, for LSU, is likely going to be quarterback play. The team is stacked on defense, and at running back Leonard Fournette comes into the season bigger and stronger than he was one season ago.

Fournette has legitimate Heisman potential and the defense will lock most teams down. But in close games that LSU needs a spark from its quarterback, will Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris be able to rise to the challenge? Whoever is under center will have to deal with a tough road atmosphere this Saturday.

LSU is 3-1 SU and ATS in its last four games played in September according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

Mississippi State won 10 games for the first time in 15 years and was right on the cusp of earning a playoff spot last season. The Bulldogs did lose some talent on defense, but they also return the most proven quarterback in the SEC in Dak Prescott.

A win in this game could establish Mississippi State as a team that is here to stay in the SEC West, while a loss could spark a step backwards. The Bulldogs are 8-0 SU over their last eight home games.

Saturday’s total is set at 49.5 points for the Tigers vs. Bulldogs betting matchup. The UNDER is 5-0 in LSU’s last five conference games and 4-0 in Mississippi State’s last conference games.

There will be no gimmes in the SEC West this year, and this game should serve as a prime example of that. Leonard Fournette figures to have a big day against a Bulldogs defense that has struggled against the run in recent years. But if Dak Prescott can keep the Bulldogs close and keep the crowd in the game, this one could go either way.

LSU Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

When: Saturday, Sept. 12, 9:15 p.m. ET

Where: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Miss.

Betting Line / Total: LSU -4 / 49.5 points

Tigers vs. Bulldogs OddsShark matchup report