Ole Miss Vs. Tulane: Prediction, Best Bet, Odds (9/9/23)

After a season to remember for the Tulane Green Wave in which they knocked off USC in the Cotton Bowl, they have their first major clash with a Power Five team in week two this year. They’ll be hosting an Ole Miss team that started hot last year, but fell off massively down the stretch, and will look to flip the script this season. Let’s take a look at the odds for this game, where my prediction is a high-scoring affair that hits the over for a total of 65 points.

Ole Miss Vs. Tulane Prediction & Pick

This rivalry has more history than you might imagine. These teams have played 72 times since 1893, with Ole Miss leading the all time series 42-28. The Rebels are on a 12-game rivalry win streak, with Tulane’s last win back in 1988, so the tally was a lot closer before that run. They haven’t played as often in recent years; since the year 2000, the last nearly-annual edition of the matchup, they’ve played just three times, the most recent of which was a 61-21 drubbing.

Despite the recent lopsidedness of this rivalry, this year’s game is far from a foregone conclusion. Tulane is coming off of a fantastic season, in which they finished 12-2, and closed out the season with three wins over ranked teams as they took down 2021 CFP squad Cincinnati on the road, won the American Athletic Conference Championship against UCF, and pulled off a miracle comeback against USC in the Cotton Bowl.

Those three ranked wins were their first since 1984, and their final ranking of 9th in the AP Poll is their best since 1998. If it feels like their success came out of nowhere, their turnaround from two wins in 2021 to 12 in 2022 is an NCAA record as well. Quarterback Michael Pratt was an absolute breakout star, as he racked up 27 passing touchdowns to just five interceptions, as well as 11 rushing scores en route to a PFF grade of 89.3, placing him at 13th on the season list. He’s lost some weapons from last season, but still looked comfortable in a week one win over a South Alabama team that figures to be fairly competitive this year.

Ole Miss rose as high as 7th in the polls last year, but dropped five of their last six games in a total collapse, including an uncompetitive performance in the Texas Bowl against Texas Tech. That being said, they return a ton of key figures, such as head coach Lane Kiffin, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, QB Jaxson Dart and star halfback Quinshon Judkins. This offense could be a juggernaut, and looked like one as they hung 73 points on an overmatched Mercer squad.

The over should absolutely be the play here, as both teams should be able to contribute. As for the result, Ole Miss should defend their home field, but Tulane can keep it close with a solid returning QB/coach combination of their own. 7 is a tough football number and we could see a push, but I like Tulane on the spread.

Ole Miss Vs. Tulane Prediction & Best Bet: Tulane +7 / Over 67


Ole Miss Vs. Tulane Odds

Ole Miss is favored by a touchdown with a seven-point spread in this one, with -110 odds on both sides. For a total of 65, the over and under both have -110 odds as well.

Ole Miss Vs. Tulane Key Matchups

Michael Pratt vs. Ole Miss Defense

Yes, this matchup is one man against an entire unit, but that’s the gravity of Pratt, and a statement on the workload he’s going to have to put in this season after losing a ton of offensive talent. The biggest loss is probably running back Tyjae Spears, who put up over 1,800 scrimmage yards last season. Top wideouts Shae Wyatt and Duece Watts are gone as well but and last year’s #3 guy Jha’Quan Jackson racked up 106 yards and two scores on opening day, while Lawrence Key accumulated nearly 100 yards and scored. Pratt can be equally dangerous throwing and on the run; he’s a one-man wrecking crew, and will have to be just that to beat Ole Miss.

Ole Miss’s defense was just outside of the top 40 last year as per PFF, as they allowed 25.5 points and 387.8 yards per game. Edge rusher Jared Ivey is the biggest returning name, while Chargers safety AJ Finley is the unit’s most significant loss. Tavius Robinson, who led the squad with 7 sacks, is also now in the NFL. Defensive back Chris Graves was a big transfer from Miami, while TJ Dudley and Stephon Wynn coming in from Clemson and Nebraska are also nice additions through the portal, in which Ole Miss was very active this offseason.

Ole Miss Rushing Attack vs. Tulane Run Defense

To win this game, Ole Miss is going to want to control the football and keep it out of Pratt’s hands as much as possible; the best way to accomplish this is of course through a solid run game. Ole Miss has one of the nation’s best, as they finished third in the nation with 256.6 yards per game last year, at a rate of 5.4 per carry. Quinshon Judkins is back after a 1,567 yard, 16 touchdown rushing performance last year, and will be the center of that attack, especially with second back Zach Evans gone.

Ole Miss’s o-line, which ranked 89th in PFF’s run blocking grades, returns most of the same starters from last year. Tulane ranked a solid 59th in PFF’s run defense grades last season, as they allowed fewer than four yards per carry. Linebacker Jesus Machado and lineman Patrick Jenkins will look to anchor a unit that remains pretty similar to the group a year ago, with edge rusher Tylo Phillips and current Buffalo Bill Dorian Williams the most major losses.

Ole Miss Vs. Tulane Sportsbook Promo Codes

From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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