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Crimson Tide Huge Favorites to Roll Again Against Bulldogs

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to running back Najee Harris (22) during an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.

Alabama (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) has won all of its games this season by at least 15 points, a trend that looks likely to continue this week when it hosts struggling Mississippi State (1-3, 1-3). The Bulldogs have averaged just 10 points in their last three games and opened as 32-point underdogs.

Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Date/Time: October 31, 7 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Bryant-Denny Stadium
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Alabama -32 | O/U 62 (Line History)
  • Mississippi State vs Alabama Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

According to our database, the 32-point opener is the largest point spread for any game in this rivalry dating back to 1997. Meanwhile, Alabama has laid 32 or more points only four times in its last 26 SEC games, going 1-3 ATS in those contests.

Mississippi State News & Notes

It’s been just over a month since Mississippi State set the college football world on fire with a 44-34 upset of LSU in Mike Leach’s SEC coaching debut but it probably feels more like a century for Bulldogs fans.

Since that season-opening win, Mississippi State has scored just 30 points in three games combined, going UNDER the total by 13 points or more in each of those contests.

Senior transfer quarterback K.J. Costello has thrown nearly twice as many interceptions (10) as touchdowns (6) this season, causing Leach to bench him in favor of freshman Will Rogers in each of the last two games.

Rogers completed 15 of his 18 passes for 120 yards, his first collegiate touchdown and, perhaps most significantly, zero interceptions in Mississippi State’s most recent game against Texas A&M. At the time of writing, it wasn’t clear who would be starting at quarterback for the Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa following their bye week.

Mississippi State’s offensive struggles are just part of the reason the Bulldogs are 3-1 to the UNDER this year. The team’s defense has been a pleasant surprise, ranking 15th in the nation in rushing yards and total yards allowed. However, they won’t have strong safety Fred Peters for the rest of the season after the veteran underwent season-ending surgery last week.

Alabama News & Notes

The Crimson Tide offense is ranked third in the nation in points, yards and passing yards per game, but it will have to make do without one of its top weapons for the rest of the year.

Junior wide receiver Jaylen Waddle suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the first quarter of Alabama’s 48-17 rout of Tennessee last week. Waddle was the Tide’s leading receiver through four games, averaging 22.3 yards per catch, and was also the team’s top punt returner.

QB Mac Jones didn’t seem to miss him against the Vols, however, throwing for 387 yards before being pulled from the game in the fourth quarter. Senior running back Najee Harris added 157 yards from scrimmage and redshirt sophomore Slade Bolden, who replaced Waddle, had 49 yards on six receptions.

In the lopsided win over Tennessee, Alabama failed to go OVER the total for the first time in five games as the Tide and Volunteers combined to score just six points in the final frame, keeping the game UNDER by two points. Alabama has scored at least 41 points in each of its last four games while the defense has yielded 24 or more in three of its five outings.

Betting Pick: Mississippi State +32

Only one of Alabama’s five victories this season came by this many points, while Mississippi State’s defense has allowed more than 28 points only once this year. Coming off a bye, I think the Bulldogs should be able to stay inside this inflated number.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Mississippi State’s last 12 road games.
  • Alabama is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 home games.
  • Mississippi State is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games at Alabama.