Alabama-Ole Miss Betting Guide: Rebels’ Elite Offense Can Keep It Close

Alabama-Ole Miss Betting Guide: Rebels’ Elite Offense Can Keep It Close article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Saban and AJ Brown

Alabama-Ole Miss Betting Odds

  • Odds: Alabama -21
  • Over/Under: 71
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET, Saturday
  • TV Channel: ESPN

>> All odds as of 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.

By Stuckey

Ole Miss and Alabama first played in 1894, and have met 65 times since, with Bama owning a 53-10-2 overall edge.

The biggest blowout in the last 100 years came last season, when Alabama blew the doors off the Rebels 66-3 in Tuscaloosa.

I’m sure Ole Miss, which isn’t eligible for postseason play, is itching to get its revenge this year in what should be its 2018 Super Bowl. The Grove will be wild on Saturday.

Market Moves for Alabama-Ole Miss

By Danny Donohue

Alabama is on pace to receive more tickets than any other team on Saturday. The Tide have drawn 73% of bettors in one of the most lopsided games, and as a result, this line has jumped from -18 to -21.

The total opened at 63,  but behind 78% of bets and 94% of dollars, it’s now up to 71, making it the first time in our database (since 2005) that an Alabama game has had a total over 70.

Key Injuries for Alabama-Ole Miss

By Stuckey

Alabama is extremely healthy right now, something it hasn’t been (especially on defense) in the last few years.

Ole Miss got a little banged up last week, particularly in the front seven. But starting linebacker Kevontae’ Ruggs and starting defensive end Tariqious Tisdale are both probable.

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

Under Nick Saban, Alabama is 9-2 straight up against Ole Miss, but 4-7 ATS.

The rate at which Alabama has covered as a big favorite in conference games under Saban:

  • 7 or more points: 42-28 (60%) ATS
  • 14 or more points: 29-17 (63%) ATS
  • 21 or more points 15-5 (75%) ATS

By Stuckey

The total does seem high, but these two teams have combined for 240 points over the past three years for an average of 80 per game. The Tide are actually averaging a tad better than 50 points per game in those three meetings.

  • 2015: Ole Miss won 43-37
  • 2016: Alabama won 48-43
  • 2017: Alabama won 66-3

By Evan Abrams

Alabama-Ole Miss is the seventh SEC game since 2003 to have an over/under at 70 or higher. The over and under have each hit three times, but the under is covering by 6.7 points per game.

Key Metrics

By Steve Petrella

1. Per Football Outsiders’ S&P+, here are each team’s offensive and defensive ratings.

  • Alabama offense: No. 5
  • Ole Miss offense: No. 1
  • Alabama defense: No. 7
  • Ole Miss defense: No. 115

2. Ole Miss wide receiver AJ Brown, a projected first-round pick in the NFL draft, piled up many of his elite numbers against bad teams in 2017, as illustrated by Red Cup Rebellion.

He was still really good in two of five games against better competition (Miss. State, Auburn), but not best-receiver-in-the-country good.

Unit Mismatch

By Stuckey

It’s not often any team has a clear advantage over Alabama, but Ole Miss might have the best group of wide receivers in college football (led by Brown and DK Metcalf). They should have big days against the very raw (but obviously talented) Alabama secondary. Join the club, Tide.

If Ole Miss is going to cover — which I think it can — it will take a shootout because I don’t know how the Rebels defense will ever stop ‘Bama. FCS club Southern Illinois scored 38 in the first half alone last week in Oxford.

Bet to Watch for Alabama-Ole Miss

By Ken Barkley

Because of Alabama’s offense, this may be a season of gambling firsts. There’s never been an Alabama total over 70 in the Saban era, and Tua Tagovailoa and company are the main reason why we’re going to start seeing them.

My question in this game, though, is this: Are we valuing Alabama too highly? The Tide closed -23 at Pinnacle in the opener on a neutral field against Louisville, and are now -21 in a true road game in conference against a much better team than Louisville. We’ve made that much of an adjustment here?

Not only was Louisville near the bottom of the country in returning production (meaning a strong Week 1 performance was unlikely) but since then, the Cardinals have struggled with FCS Indiana State and benched their starting quarterback.

How much do we want to value the Louisville game whatsoever anymore? The team directly ahead of Louisville right now in S&P+ ratings is Tulane. So let’s just keep that in mind.

And have people not adjusted Ole Miss at all despite the fact it dismantled a Texas Tech team that was No. 2 in the country in returning defensive production? It could be that the Southern Illinois game last week, which Ole Miss really had to work to get through, is keeping people from valuing the Rebels too highly, but how many times do we see SEC teams in lookahead spots just completely mail it in? About 9 in 10?

I think the way these two teams are perceived entering this game is creating an inflated number, and while Ole Miss may not defend well enough to have a legitimate chance to win, its offense should have MUCH more success than Louisville’s did.

Neither new Alabama coordinator has needed to do anything so far with regard to game plan, either. It hasn’t been required because of the talent disparity in both games.

Let’s see how the Tide do in a somewhat trickier spot.

The play: Ole Miss +21 for me.

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