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Les Miles, LSU trending in wrong direction

Even giving coach Les Miles the benefit of the doubt, the best we can say about Louisiana State is it remains a work in progress after not coming close to covering the spread in either of the first two games.

Moreover, Miles has made a switch at quarterback to Purdue transfer Danny Etling. Star back Leonard Fournette could be running at something less than 100 percent after missing last week’s 34-13 victory over Jacksonville State with an ankle injury.

Mississippi State recovered smartly from its opening-week loss to drill South Carolina, and coach Dan Mullen might have found the successor to Dak Prescott at quarterback in promising redshirt sophomore Nick Fitzgerald. Mullen has covered the past two versus LSU, and the Bulldogs were 7-2-1 against the spread in their past 10 as Southeastern Conference visitors in the days with Dak.

Miles is 8-3-1 as Baton Rouge chalk the past two seasons, but a slight technical edge, based on recent trends, supports Mississippi State as a 14-point underdog Saturday.

More college technical notes and trends from The Gold Sheet:

Florida State at Louisville: The Seminoles won and covered high-scoring games the past two seasons. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is 6-1 ATS in his past seven in the regular season. The Cardinals are 4-8 as home ’dogs since 2006, and coach Bobby Petrino is 5-4 as a ’dog since 2014. Tech edge: Florida State.

Colorado at Michigan: The Buffaloes improved to 3-2 as road ’dogs last year after a 3-6 mark the previous two years for coach Mike MacIntyre. Colorado is on a 9-5-1 spread run since late 2014. Jim Harbaugh is 6-2 as a home favorite as coach of the Wolverines. Tech edge: Michigan.

UNLV at Central Michigan: The Rebels, who covered as 27-point underdogs at UCLA last week, are 13-5 as road ’dogs since 2012. Central Michigan is 3-4 as home chalk since 2014, but 17-7 ATS in its past 24. Tech edge: UNLV.

South Florida at Syracuse: The Bulls have covered 10 of their past 11 regular-season games. South Florida covered its past six as chalk. Dino Babers is 10-4-1 ATS since last year as coach at Bowling Green and Syracuse. Tech edge: South Florida.

San Diego State at Northern Illinois: The Aztecs are on a 9-3 spread run since early 2015, with covers in their past five away from home. Northern Illinois has not been a home ’dog since 2011. Tech edge: San Diego State.

Oregon at Nebraska: When at Oregon State, coach Mike Riley lost his last seven straight up versus Oregon. The Ducks were 5-0 ATS as visitors last year and have covered nine straight on the road since early 2014. Riley is 4-10 ATS at home with Oregon State and Nebraska since 2013, though 2-0 early in 2016. Tech edge: Oregon.

UCLA at Brigham Young: The Bruins are 0-4 as underdogs since 2014. The favored team has covered the past seven UCLA road games since mid-2014. Bruins coach Jim Mora is 2-8 ATS in his past 10 non-Pac-12 games. The Cougars are 4-0-1 as home favorites since last year. Tech edge: BYU.

Michigan State at Notre Dame: This is the teams’ first meeting since 2013. At that time, Notre Dame had won three straight in the series, though Michigan State is 5-2 ATS in the past seven in the series. Spartans coach Mark Dantonio is 10-2 as a ’dog since 2012. Tech edge: Michigan State.

Texas A&M at Auburn: Tigers coach Gus Malzahn has opened the season with two covers after a 3-15 mark in his previous 18 versus the line. The road team has covered all four in the series since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012. Auburn is 1-8 in its past nine as home chalk. Tech edge: Texas A&M.

Southern California at Stanford: The Cardinal won and covered twice versus USC last year. The Trojans are 2-8 as ’dogs away from the Coliseum since 2013. SAZtanford coach David Shaw went 9-4 as home chalk from 2014-15, though he did blow the game against USC in 2014. Tech edge: Stanford.

Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is editor of The Gold Sheet (Goldsheet.com).

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