Alabama vs. Ole Miss College Football Odds & Betting Preview: Our Top Picks for Battle Between Lane Kiffin & Nick Saban
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Jameson Williams (1) of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
- The Ole Miss Rebels take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in an SEC rivalry game on Saturday afternoon.
- Our staff sees plenty of betting value on one side and the over/under in this matchup.
- Check out odds and all of our staff's favorite picks and predictions for this SEC matchup below.
Alabama vs. Ole Miss Odds
-110o / -110u
|Ole Miss Odds|
-110o / -110u
Our Best Bets for No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 12 Ole Miss
The set of college football team logos below reflects each of our college football staff’s best bets for Saturday’s top-25 SEC Rivalry game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 12 Ole Miss.
Click one of the bets in the “Pick” column below in order to navigate to that specific section in this article.
|Ole Miss +14.5|
|Ole Miss +14.5|
|Ole Miss +14.5|
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAF Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Ole Miss +14.5
I think this is too many points for an elite Ole Miss offense that we saw keep up with Alabama last year in a wild shootout that was tied 42-42 in the fourth quarter.
Well, this Alabama team is not as good as last year, and Ole Miss is even better.
The Alabama offense should have plenty of success on the ground against a Rebels defense solely focused on preventing explosive plays this season.
Alabama will put up plenty of points and sustain many drives, but the offense has certainly had some growing pains at times this year after all of the offseason turnover on the roster and staff.
The Alabama defense also got completely gashed against Florida’s zone-option attack even without star freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson. Well, the Ole Miss offense is even more potent in that regard. It’s not been as dominant of a unit as I had originally projected.
Also, keep in mind that Lane Kiffin has two weeks to prepare for this game. That’s even more important when you consider Kiffin is one of the best play-callers in all of college football. I’m sure he’ll have plenty of new wrinkles for this one.
I’m sure you’ll hear throughout the week that Saban is 23-0 against former assistants. Well, he’s a heavy favorite to make that 24-0, but it’s really an overblown stat considering Alabama has always been a favorite — and usually a sizable one.
And we don’t care who wins outright in this business, but rather which team covers outright, as Ole Miss did last year in addition to nine other instances in this spot.
I also have a hypothesis heading into this week that the gap has closed between the elite teams and everybody else this year as a result of the uber-experienced rosters due to the COVID-related rules for this season.
It’s why I think we’ve seen the usual elite teams (Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, for example) struggle in the early going, as those programs still had to replace an abundance of NFL talent like most years.
My belief is the market hasn’t properly accounted for this and is leaning too heavily on priors and pedigree. It’s still a small sample size, but you simply can’t ignore the early season results.
If I’m wrong, I’ll have a brutal Saturday. If I’m right, it will be very enjoyable, as I show value on a lot of the underdogs facing the elite class.
Lastly, there should be an enormous opportunity for a backdoor here if needed. If Ole Miss is down, say, 17 or 21 late, there’s a good chance the Rebels’ high-powered offense can sneak in the backdoor if needed.
That’s what makes getting over 14 even more critical.
Pick: Ole Miss +14.5 (No lower than +14)
Ole Miss +14.5
I spent a lot of time thinking about this game and trying to figure out what the bookmakers were thinking.
The total seems crazy high, and my initial inclination (usually the wrong decision) was to take the under. The more I broke down the game and results so far this season, the more comfortable I got with the 79.5 total number that Vegas is hanging.
Everyone remembers Alabama’s 63-48 epic win from last year. I think knocking the total down 30-some points from last year makes sense. Alabama gave up 29 points to Florida two weeks ago, and I think it’s entirely reasonable to assume that 29 points to Florida would easily be 35 to 40 points for Ole Miss.
The current Alabama roster has what it takes to hang with and beat Ole Miss, but I don’t see this game reaching 85 or more points.
The Crimson Tide do not have the weapons they had last year, namely Mac Jones, Devonta Smith and Najee Harris. Given my rationale on the total and the reload that Alabama is facing as it plays its first SEC game, I’m going to focus on the spread in this one.
This is the highest-ranked Ole Miss squad since 2016, coming into the game at No. 12 in the AP and Coaches Polls.
The difference-maker in this game is going to be Ole Miss junior quarterback Matt Corral. The Rebels currently lead the nation in scoring offense, averaging 52.7 points per game behind Corral’s stewardship. Corral averages 335.3 yards per game and has thrown for nine touchdowns and zero interceptions this season.
Ole Miss can run the ball too. It ranks fourth in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 298.67 yards per game on the ground. The rushing attack has contributed 11 touchdowns this season and averages 6.18 yards per carry.
Defensively, Alabama ranks higher than Ole Miss in Havoc at 26th and 56th, respectively. This discrepancy is certainly not worth two touchdowns in my opinion.
My model projects Alabama as 7-point favorites at home against the Rebels.
Corral and the Rebels have the firepower to hang with the Crimson Tide this season. Additionally, 14.5 is a great football number that lends itself to a backdoor cover if needed. Take the points in Tuscaloosa.
Pick: Ole Miss +14.5 (Wait to bet live if +14.5 is unavailable)
Ole Miss +14.5
By Alex Hinton
By now, you have probably heard about the connection between Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban.
Kiffin served as Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 2014-16. While he was the OC, he watched Nick Saban fuss about all the offensive plays that gave his defense fits. Kiffin made a list of those plays, stashed them in his notebook, and ran all of them against Alabama last season.
The Rebels put up 647 yards and 48 points on Alabama last season. You would think Alabama’s defense is more prepared for the Ole Miss offense. However, Alabama’s defense is not as good as it was last year, and it’s also banged up.
Alabama was outplayed by Florida for three quarters and had problems defending Florida’s zone read option attack. Florida does not have the passing threat that Ole Miss poses with Heisman co-favorite Matt Corral.
Ole Miss will have trouble stopping the other Heisman co-favorite, Bryce Young, and the Alabama offense. However, Ole Miss’ offense will help it hang around and stay within touchdowns.
Getting +14 is the key number here, as Ole Miss will plenty of opportunities for a backdoor cover.
Pick: Ole Miss +14.5 (Play to +14)
I didn’t initially plan on betting this game but had no choice to go under the total once it hit 80.
There isn’t really much to be said that hasn’t already. These two offenses combined for more than 1,300 yards and cashed the over by the third quarter in last year’s tilt. Points are certainly expected in a game featuring the two Heisman front-runners under center.
However, Alabama doesn’t have the array of playmakers in the skill corps as it did in previous years, and Matt Corral has yet to face a defense that’s ranked 98th or better in SP+.
How funny — and somewhat true — is it to think that all it takes is one costly holding call or a red-zone turnover to disrupt this entire game flow?
A year after everything went seemingly perfect for both offenses — they combined for three punts — I’m going the other way on a seriously inflated number.
Pick: Under 80
By Shawn Burns
Alabama won by double digits a year ago, but the defense was embarrassed by Ole Miss.
The Rebels scored 48 points with 647 yards of total offense and had 268 yards rushing. Alabama had breakdowns schematically and missed multiple tackles in space. Lane Kiffin and his staff were well prepared with a great game plan, and their offensive tempo was very effective.
This season, the Tide have a more experienced defense and have the advantage of playing at home in Tuscaloosa. This will be the Rebels’ first experience in a hostile environment, and it will be a factor, especially if they fall behind early.
Ole Miss is the most penalized team in the country, and it hasn’t met much resistance thus far, so it will be interesting to see how it reacts to the crowd noise.
The Rebels boast a great offense and a Heisman trophy candidate at quarterback. They will move the ball, but I can’t imagine them playing as well as last year offensively.
Alabama will be more prepared defensively, and the Crimson Tide offense isn’t nearly as explosive as last year’s juggernaut. This clearly won’t be a low-scoring game, but I like the odds this game goes under the total of 80.
Pick: Under 80
Lane Kiffin is going to try to push the pace as fast as possible against Nick Saban’s defense.
The Rebels rank fourth in plays per minute, but I have to imagine that Alabama is not going to try to get into a shootout with Matt Corral, as new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has slowed down the offense considerably, ranking Alabama 100th in plays per minute.
Yes, Ole Miss’ offense is unbelievable right now, ranking 12th in Success Rate and third in explosive plays, but it has yet to face a defense inside the top 75 in Success Rate Allowed.
Also, Lane Kiffin’s offense is running the ball 59.65% of the time, which will keep the clock moving, since Alabama did struggle against the run in Gainesville a few weeks ago, allowing 5.7 yards per carry.
I know everyone will point to the 63-48 final score last season, but this is not the Alabama offense of last season.
The Crimson Tide rank 35th in Offensive Success Rate and haven’t run the ball very effectively, as they’re 48th in Rushing Success Rate, 78th in rushing explosiveness, and 64th in Offensive Line Yards.
Ole Miss’ defense, meanwhile, has been much improved and isn’t allowing explosive plays in the passing game (ranked 11th nationally).
I think this total is way too high considering Alabama’s offense is playing at such a slow pace. I only have 67.83 points projected for this game, so I love under 79.5 points.