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Alabama Primed to Bounce Back vs Mississippi State

The road to the College Football Playoff just became a whole lot tougher for the Alabama Crimson Tide as they face the host Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday. Alabama’s 46-41 loss to the visiting LSU Tigers will leave the Tide outside the top four teams in the CFP, meaning they’ll need to win out and get some help in order to make it back to the playoff.

Matchup Information
  • Alabama Crimson Tide vs Mississippi State Bulldogs (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: November 16, 12 noon ET
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Alabama -21 | O/U 62.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

These teams are used to wide spreads, and this game is shaping up as more of the same with Alabama opening as a 21-point favorite. The Crimson Tide have been -20 or better five times vs Mississippi State since 2008, going 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in those games.

Alabama News & Notes

Let’s start with the good – and there was plenty of it despite the stunning loss to the Tigers. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa did well to keep the Crimson Tide within striking distance in the second half, finishing with 418 passing yards and four touchdowns (despite completing just 21 of 40 attempts) while showing few ill effects of the ankle injury that had sidelined him coming in.

But for as well as the Tide offense moved the ball against the Tigers, the defense couldn’t do much of anything against Joe Burrow and the LSU pass attack. And all of a sudden, Alabama ranks outside the top 30 in both passing defense (203.8 yards per game allowed) and rush defense (132 ypg) despite having one of the friendliest schedules of any team in CFP contention.

Mississippi State News & Notes

The Bulldogs finally put it all together last time out, drubbing the Arkansas Razorbacks 54-24 to halt a four-game losing streak going into a much-needed bye week. The Bulldogs defense had been torched for an average of 40.3 points over its previous four games, while the offense had scored more than 30 points just once over that span.

But you can’t take points with you – and if Mississippi State is going to atone for last year’s 24-0 loss to the Tide, the Bulldogs will need to figure out how to score. They managed just 169 total yards in last year’s shutout defeat and aren’t well-positioned to improve in that regard, ranking outside the top 100 in passing offense (190.8 yards per game) while averaging 2.44 sacks allowed.

Betting Pick: Alabama -21

Nick Saban’s crew has been a mediocre cover option this season – but that was before Alabama found itself on the wrong side of the CFP landscape. Look for the Crimson Tide to take out their frustrations on the hapless Bulldogs.

Shark Bites
  • Alabama is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games vs SEC opponents.
  • Mississippi State is 1-4 SU and ATS in its last 5 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Alabama’s last 8 games vs the SEC.