Troy vs. Ole Miss Betting Picks & Odds: Defenses to Shine in Week 1
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss)
- Troy and Ole Miss go to battle in a Week 1 college football matchup on Saturday.
- While Ole Miss is known for Lane Kiffin's offense, Cody Goggin sees betting value on the total.
- Check out Goggin's full betting guide and pick for Troy vs. Ole Miss below.
Troy vs. Ole Miss Odds
Expectations are high in Oxford, Mississippi, as Lane Kiffin has Ole Miss back towards the top of the SEC West. The Rebels finished 10-3 last season with a berth in the Sugar Bowl.
Kiffin enters his third season in Oxford after improving the team by five wins last year. This will be his first year, however, without quarterback Matt Corral, who departed for the NFL.
Troy was 5-7 last season and dismissed head coach Chip Lindsey. Replacing him will be Jon Sumrall, who will be making his head coaching debut after coming over from Kentucky’s defensive staff.
Troy’s offense struggled last season, but there are some reasons to be optimistic about improvement.
In 2021, the Trojans ranked 103rd in Success Rate (105th in rushing, 90th in passing), but they do return nine starters for 2022.
Among those returning are quarterback Gunnar Watson, running back Kimani Vidal and top receiver Tez Johnson. The Trojans also return four starters on the offensive line.
While the production from the Troy offense wasn’t good in 2021, new OC Joe Craddock may be able to bring a new scheme to these experienced players and jump towards the top of the Sun Belt this season.
Defense was undoubtedly the strength of Troy’s team last year. The unit ranked 20th in Success Rank, including an impressive 16th against the run.
Nine starters return on this side of the ball, as well, including seven of the Trojans’ top eight tacklers from last season.
Carlton Martial is the leader of this defense. The linebacker led the team last year with 127 tackles, which was the sixth-highest total in FBS last season.
Shiel Wood is the new DC, as he comes over from being the co-DC at Army. Sumrall will also bring experience to this unit after serving as the co-DC at Kentucky last season.
The Troy defense should be one of the best in FBS this year and may be good enough to give Ole Miss trouble this week.
Ole Miss had a very good offense last season, ranking 35th in Success Rate.
However, the 2022 Ole Miss offense will probably be much different and take awhile to get going.
Corral departs from Oxford after four seasons after throwing for 8,287 yards and rushing for another 1,338.
Ole Miss will also have to replace its top two running backs, Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner, as well as its top three wide receivers.
The new man under center is former USC quarterback Jaxson Dart. Dart had a 72.2 PFF passing grade last season while throwing for 1,351 yards for the Trojans.
Dart will battle for the job with Luke Altmyer, who saw limited action behind Corral as a freshman last year. Both of these players were highly-regarded recruits, but it remains to be seen what they can do with this offense.
These other offensive holes are also being filled with high-ranked transfers. Zachary Evans is set to take over as the starting RB from TCU, and Dannis Jackson, Jonathan Mingo and Jaylon Robinson are thought to be the starting wide receivers.
The good news for the Rebels on this side of the ball is that four of their top five offensive linemen return. Their only new starter on the line is Eli Acker, who played one game as a true freshman last year and was a four-star recruit.
Jeff Lebby was the offensive coordinator last season, but left for the same position at Oklahoma. Charlie Weis Jr. and John David Baker will serve as the new co-offensive coordinators for this team.
Weis was previously the OC at USF and at FAU under Kiffin. Baker was the tight ends coach for Ole Miss last season.
While this will likely look like a typical Lane Kiffin offense, there may be some tweaks made with the new staff and personnel, as well.
Last season, Ole Miss’ defense ranked just 98th in the country in Success rate. The Rebels were 70th against the pass, but a terrible 120th on running plays.
Seven starters return on this defense — in addition to adding seven transfers to the unit — so it should be able to improve.
The Rebels will have to replace the pass rush ability of Sam Williams and Chance Campbell, who combined for 18.5 sacks last season.
The Ole Miss defense may be slightly improved from last season, but I don’t expect it to be a defensive stalwart at all.
Troy vs. Ole Miss Betting Pick
The returning production from this game leads me just one way: the under. Ole Miss is replacing a lot of offense and may be able to score some, but against a stout Troy defense, it will have to work for it.
Troy’s offense just isn’t good enough to put the Rebels on upset watch.
With both teams likely to start slow on offense, under 58 points is a bet that I will be on this weekend.