College Football Pick
The bookmakers weren’t completely fooled by Auburn’s huge win last weekend over Arkansas, but the Tigers can’t be taken for granted at this point, now on a winning streak after losing two of their first three Games. That said, they opened as just -2.5 point favorites at Ole Miss (now -3) as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
Everything went Auburn’s way last weekend against Arkansas, winning 56-3, which further verified how good Gus Malzahn is coming off a week of rest. Along the way, the Tigers ran for a ridiculous 543 yards and seven touchdowns. Once an afterthought, this team may be the last one to give Alabama a run for its money in the regular season finale.
On the other side, Ole Miss comes into this Game having lost two straight and sporting a losing 3-4 record. The Rebels were still ranked going into the Game at LSU, but that’s gone. That said, it’s hard to fault this team for its losses, falling to Florida State and Alabama early on and recently losing on the road to Arkansas and LSU. Things don’t get an easier for them in this Game.
When these teams met last year, it was a back-and-forth battle with the Rebels scoring the Game-securing touchdown in the final quarter. But even with a questionable offense in 2015, Auburn still gave Ole Miss a run for their money. Now, with a solid one-two punch in the backfield and more experience under center, the Tigers look like a legitimate team.
The problem for the Rebels is that they haven’t played great defense this season, most recently letting LSU run for 311 yards against them last weekend. And that’s where this Tigers offense steps in with Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson both averaging more than five yards per carry and six touchdowns a piece. Maybe the worst part for Ole Miss is that Johnson missed the last Game, yet Auburn still ran for 500-plus yards as a team. If that’s the case, quarterback Sean White won’t have to do too much and that’s exactly how they want it.
If the Rebs can’t stop this offense, it could be another similar result for them like the last two Games. Chad Kelly may be the best quarterback in the conference, but he can’t do it all for this team and that’s why they lost the last two Games. Yet again, Kelly faces a tough defense with the Tigers having allowed more than 20 points just once this season.
Kelly has fallen off a bit lately and that’s most because Ole Miss doesn’t have much of a run Game outside of him. Running back Akeem Judd has just 80 yards the past two Games, while Kelly is near 150. The difference for the Rebels is that they’re at home, but will that matter against another good defense, especially if they can’t stop Auburn from gashing them with their running Game?
The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last five road Games and 8-2 ATS vs. a team with a losing record, although Ole Miss isn’t a typical losing team. The Rebels are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 home Games and 5-1 ATS in their last six home Games vs. a team with a winning road record. That includes their home cover against Alabama earlier this season.
Our Pick – Ranking college football defenses using yards per point, Auburn has the #1 defense in the land 7 Games into the season. That’s impressive and isn’t a fluke. Numbers may lie after just a few Games, but numbers don’t like 7 Games in.
Revenge is a powerful motivator in college ball, providing the team has the means to get that revenge. Auburn has the means. Auburn -3