In one of the biggest matchups of this young SEC football season, #15 Ole Miss visits #13 Alabama for a classic southern gridiron duel. Get Ole Miss vs. Alabama odds, predictions, and picks below as our best bet is Ole Miss +7.
Ole Miss Vs. Alabama Prediction & Best Bet
After starting the year 1-1 for the first time since 2003, the Alabama Crimson Tide picked up the week three win, but did little to convince anybody that things have turned around as the team prepares to kick off their SEC schedule. Granted, the rain was absolutely pouring, but Tyler Buchner is absolutely not the answer at quarterback as he completed just five of 14 passes following the benching of Jalen Milroe. With a long season ahead, and massive challenges along the way, the Tide need to figure out the game’s most important position and do it fast if they want to avoid by far the worst season of Nick Saban’s distinguished reign, as the Tide have already fallen out of the AP top ten for the first time in eight years.
For Ole Miss, there are some questions, but largely on the other side of the ball. They’ve limited the run pretty well, but struggled to close out a Tulane team that was without star quarterback Michael Pratt as the Green Wave seemed to find just a few too many big plays. The Rebels pulled away towards the end, but like Alabama against USF, they left the game feeling worse than they did when they came in rather than better.
This is a really tough betting spot, and I would absolutely urge you to avoid the total. The Ole Miss defense hasn’t been impressive thus far, but it’s almost impossible to know what we’ll get out of Alabama’s offense, as we don’t even really know who’s going to be running it from under center. Ultimately, the best play here is to focus on the ambiguity of Alabama’s overall situation, and bet against their ability to pull away. Yes, this could very well be a game where Saban finds a way to win, but against Lane Kiffin and a squad with some real firepower, it’s hard to imagine them doing so in style.
Ole Miss Vs. Alabama Prediction & Best Bet: Ole Miss +7
Ole Miss Vs. Alabama Betting Odds
Despite some recent struggles, Alabama is still favored by 7, with -110 odds on either side of that line. The total is set at 56.5, and you can wager either end of that at -110 odds as well.
Ole Miss Vs. Alabama Key Matchups
With Alabama looking to establish a strong run game and Ole Miss hoping to push the pace, it’ll be a clash of styles in Tuscaloosa. Let’s look at some positional matchups and see which way it might end up going.
Alabama Ground Attack vs. Ole Miss Run Defense
While the passing game has slipped dramatically for Alabama as a product of the transition from Bryce Young to Jalen Milroe, the rushing offense has remained to be a relative positive. PFF considers the offensive line to be the nation’s 31st-best run blocking unit thus far, while ‘Bama rushers are tied for 12th in those same rankings. The carry and yardage split are pretty even between Roydell Williams and Jase McClellan as both are off to pretty efficient starts to the year. The line doesn’t feature the superstar talent we’ve seen on previous units in Tuscaloosa, but with guys like big tackle JC Latham, veteran center Seth McLaughlin, and up and coming guard Tyler Booker, they have plenty of bodies up front.
Ole Miss’s run defense is characterized by a consistent collective effort, but does have a few headliners. That group includes d-lineman JJ Pegues, linebacker Ashanti Cistrunk, and even safety Teja Young, as the cause extends to all levels when it comes to this run-stopping unit. So far, they’ve absolutely stifled opposing ground offenses, who have averaged just 2.9 yards per carry on 43 rushes per game, a very impressive start to the year, albeit against sometimes subpar opposition. If Alabama wants to impose their will and define the pace of this one at home, they’re going to have to overcome a very solid Ole Miss run prevention group.
Ole Miss Air Game vs. Alabama Pass Defense
The key to staying in this game and pulling out the win for Ole Miss will be the same as in many big road upsets, finding some big plays through the air to either build a lead, or be impossible to put away. The Rebels are currently 43rd in the nation in explosive pass plays, but overall, PFF absolutely loves the passing game built around Jaxson Dart. Dart is currently 12th in their passer grade rankings, while his receiving group is also top ten by the same metric. He’s averaging 12.5 yards per attempt with a completion rate of 66.2%, with Jordan Watkins and Dayton wade both sitting over 200 yards so far, and Tre Harris owning the lion’s share of touchdowns with 5. The Rebels’ o-line, led by the a left-side duo of guard Quincy McGee and tackle Victor Curne, is PFF’s 21st-ranked pass blocking unit thus far.
They’re facing an Alabama air defense that has been solid so far, centered around the 6th-best secondary in PFF’s rankings. The Tide are holding passers below 8 yards per attempt, and to a completion percentage of 55.4%, although Texas’s Quinn Ewers did have a big day against them. The star is NFL prospect cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry, while safeties Malachi Moore and Jaylen Key have been solid as well thus far. As for the pass rush to get after that sturdy Ole Miss line, Linebacker Deonte Lawson has performed well, while edge Dallas Turner is half a sack better with 2.5.