Ole Miss Betting Odds Preview
Playing in the land of the big boys with Alabama, LSU and various others makes life tough for the Rebels. Ole Miss regularly goes to bowl games – four in the last six years – but they have never played in the SEC Championship Game. And until they do they will always be regarded as second-division in the SEC.
But perhaps there's hope, because heading into their third season under head coach Hugh Freeze the Rebels have several of the ingredients in place, including an experienced QB and a bunch of returning starters on what should be one of the best defenses in the league, to make some noise.
Mississippi started 3-0 last year, with wins at Vanderbilt and Texas, but then lost three in a row, to Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M. How about that for an early-season schedule? The Rebels then upset LSU, the first of four straight victories, but ended the regular season with consecutive tough losses to East Division champion Missouri and rival Mississippi State. Ole Miss then beat Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl to finish 8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS. That makes the Rebs 15-11 SU and 17-9 ATS in two seasons under Coach Freeze.
This year Mississippi returns 15 starters, second-most in the conference. Six starters are back on offense, including QB Bo Wallace, with 26 starts under his belt, but only two along the offensive line. And nine starters are back on defense, including three on what should be one of the best defensive lines in the conference, two among one of the best sets of linebackers in the country, and the entire secondary. Ole Miss allowed just under 24 points per game last year, and that figure could well drop this season.
Ole Miss opens this year's slate with a game against Boise State in Atlanta, later plays at Texas A&M and LSU, and hosts Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State. But maybe most importantly the Rebels miss the top four contenders in the East – Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Missouri.
The goal for Ole Miss is to break through and win the SEC West, and with what's probably their best team so far under Coach Freeze, and a little luck, they've got a chance.
SEC Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5
South Carolina 5/1
Ole Miss 14/1
Texas A&M 25/1
Mississippi State 40/1
The Rebels of Ole Miss have had a few good moments over the last decade or so, including three Cotton Bowl victories, but they still haven't broken through into the “big time” with, like, a division or conference championship or BCS bowl bid. But might big things be on the horizon down in Oxford? The Rebs bounced back from 2-10 two years ago to 7-6 with a bowl victory last year for new head coach Hugh Freeze, and with a bunch of returning talent and a top-10 recruiting class expectations are suddenly very high for Ole Miss.
In the first season of the coach Freeze era last year Ole Miss, with 16 returning starters, lost six games, to Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia, Vanderbilt, and LSU. But the Rebels actually played 'Bama somewhat tough, lost by a field goal to A&M, let one slip away against Vandy, and lost by six in Baton Rouge.
Ole Miss also won two road games and took the Egg Bowl for the first time in four years to become bowl eligible. The Rebs then extended their postseason winning streak to five with a Compass Bowl victory over Pitt. Ole Miss was also very kind to its financial backers; in out-playing expectations on a regular basis the Rebs went 10-3 ATS last year, 6-2 ATS in SEC play, and 4-1 ATS on the road.
This year the Rebels return nine starters on both sides of the ball, including QB Bo Wallace (22 TD passes last year), leading rusher Jeff Scott, leading receiver Donte Moncrief, four along the offensive line, six of the front seven on defense, and three-quarters of the secondary. Toss in the highly regarded incoming class and this program seemingly, suddenly, has a lot going for it. However, besides expectations, the Rebs have one other large obstacle to overcome; the schedule.
Ole Miss plays four of its first five games this fall on the road, including dates at Vandy, Texas, and Alabama. Then, strangely, the Rebs have six straight home games; unfortunately, the first two are against A&M and LSU. That's a tough first seven weeks.
SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Mississippi State +10000