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2005 Mississippi State Bulldogs Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


After a 2003 season in which they imploded with a record of 2-10 both straight up and against the odds, which followed a 2002 season in which they went 3-9 straight up and 3-8 against the odds, Mississippi State had reached rock bottom, or so it seemed, and fired long time head coach Jackie Sherrill who, to his credit, had led the Bulldogs to some of their greatest seasons. With new coach Sylvester Croom’s arrival, 2004 was to be written off as a rebuilding year at Starkville and most online sports betting blogs ignored Mississippi State as a potential team to be included on any sports bettor’s list of football picks.

The Bulldogs began 2004 with a promising 28-7 home win over Tulane as 6.5-point chalks. They were likely overpriced in this game due to their Southeastern Conference status but got the cash nonetheless. In their next game, however, they were given a cold slap in the face back to reality in a 14-43 home loss to Auburn as 13.5-point home dogs in a game in which they were proven to be completely over-valued. The next game was the REAL shocker, however, and it wasn’t even on the sports betting odds board. Maine, a 1-AA school, defeated State 9-7. At this point online sports betting board totally wrote off the Bulldogs, except as a “go against” sports handicapping team. Many online sports betting blogs vowed to have State’s opponents at the top of their lists of football picks for the remainder of the season.

After a 0-51 blowout debacle at LSU as 30.5-point dogs, there didn’t appear to be a sports betting line high enough to scare bettors away from opposing Mississippi State. The Bulldogs lost two more games both straight up and against the spread, (13-31 at Vanderbilt as 12.5-point dogs and 13-27 at home against Alabama Birmingham as 11.5-point dogs). At this point Mississippi State stood at 1-5 straight up and 1-4 against the odds. Even worse, they had a record of just 6 wins in their last 28 games against the sports betting line. As Florida entered Starkville the general consensus was that even Gator coach Ron Zook couldn’t screw up a “sure thing” with his Gators as 24-point chalks. In the most shocking game of the 2004 college football season State beat Florida 38-31, which cost Zook his job and began a resurgence for the Bulldogs in which they won four consecutive games against the odds in an astounding sports handicapping market correction. After getting their respect back, however, they lost value and failed as 5.5-point dogs at Ole Miss 3-20.





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