Miss State vs. Iowa Outback Bowl Pick
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are laying seven points to the Iowa Hawkeyes on New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl at 12:00 p.m. ET. Is the spread too high in this matchup or will the Bulldogs cover for bettors?
270 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. 269 Iowa Hawkeyes
12:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Bulldogs are 7-point favorites to beat the Hawkeyes. The total, meanwhile, sits at 40 points. As of this writing, 62% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State HC Joe Moorhead indicated that he did not make a hard push for draft-bound junior DT Jeffery Simmons to return to school. We've seen coaches joke in the past about having to "re-recruit" draft-eligible players in an effort to get them back on campus. Moorhead coming at this from something of a different angle, one which we really appreciate in its sincerity. He told Simmons that he should take advantage of a "life-changing opportunity" and explained to reporters that he views Simmons' draft declaration as the right call. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranks the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder as the No. 9 draft-eligible player for the spring.
Iowa junior QB Nathan Stanley will return to school for his senior season. This isn't a big surprise, but it's welcome news for the Hawkeyes. Stanley took some big step forwards in 2018, and threw for 23 touchdowns with nine interceptions in his junior year. That 58.3 completion percentage still leaves a lot to be desired, and consistency has been an issue for the 6-foot-4, 242-pound signal-caller. A strong showing as a senior could see Stanley as a potential Day 2 pick in 2020.
The Bulldogs are 5-0 against the spread in their last five non-conference games and have covered the spread in four of their last five games overall.
The Hawkeyes failed to cover the number in four of their last five games overall but are 4-0 at the betting window in their last four non-conference games.
Iowa will have a difficult time putting the ball in the end zone this afternoon. Mississippi State’s defense ranks in the top five in red zone scoring, allowing opponents to score on only 71.9% of their trips inside the 20. The Hawkeyes will keep this game tight in the first half because the Bulldogs struggled to throw the ball this season but eventually, their rushing attack will wear down a tired Iowa defense in the second half. Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead is also familiar with the Hawkeyes after coordinating Penn State’s offense the past two years. In his two recent games versus Iowa, Moorhead put up 62 points in two victories while with the Nittany Lions.
Outback Bowl Prediction: Mississippi State Bulldogs -7