The early lines for college football’s 2017 bowl games are out, and Louisville is a 5.5-point favorite over Mississippi State for Dec. 30’s TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville. The line opened at U of L -5.5.
On paper, this seems like an even match between two teams that went 8-4 overall and 4-4 in conference play. A deeper look, however, reveals why Louisville is favored by close to a touchdown.
Mississippi State will enter bowl season while still dealing with the loss of head coach Dan Mullen, who took the head coaching job at Florida and took most of his top assistants with him. It’ll also be facing life without starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, whose dislocated his right ankle in the team’s regular season-ending loss to Ole Miss.
I thought the line might be a little closer to 7, but I’m good with 5.5. If it were being played today, it would be hard for me not to take the Cards to cover.