No. 21 Mississippi Rebels vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide Free Pick
Saturday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m. (ET)
NCAAF Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Alabama -14.5
Total Line: 55.5
It has been quite a while since Ole Miss played of game of this magnitude after being an afterthought in the SEC West Division race for the past several seasons. Despite the fact that they are two-touchdown underdogs in this matchup, the Rebels have to feel pretty good about their chances to go into Tuscaloosa and steal a win. They are 3-0 straight-up (2-1 against the spread) on the year with solid victories over Vanderbilt and Texas on the road. The total went OVER in both of those games.
To have any shot at pulling off an upset, Ole Miss is going to have to get a huge effort from a running game that is averaging 250 yards a game. Jeff Scott has led the way with 330 yards on 35 carries and quarterback Bo Wallace has proven to be duel threat with 648 yards passing and another 120 yards on the ground. The Rebels have been able to tighten things up on defense after giving-up 35 points to the Commodores on opening day. Two weeks ago they held the Longhorns to 23 points and 320 yards of total offense.
Alabama is still the top ranked team in the nation after a 3-0 SU start, but it has not been its usually dominant self with a 1-2 record ATS. The Tide rolled over Colorado State last Saturday 31-6, but came nowhere close to covering as 40-point home favorites. The total stayed UNDER the 55-point closing line in that game after going OVER in four of their previous five contests.
With AJ McCarron at quarterback, Alabama continues to take a very workman-like approach to moving the ball on offense, but its running game has not been what it used to be with an average of 132 yards a game. TJ Yeldon is averaging 5.6 yards a carry, but he has only rushed for a total of 273 yards in his first three games. The bigger concern for the Tide as they get into the meat of their SEC schedule is a defense that was torched for 42 points in a hard-fought win over No. 10 Texas A&M.
It is hard to see Ole Miss going on the road and snapping a nine-game SU losing streak in this series, but it is more than capable of throwing a serious scare into the defending national champs in front of the home-town crowd. The Rebels have covered in seven of the last 10 meetings and they will play well enough to cover again on Saturday night.
Alabama 27 Ole Miss 20