SEC Football Pick
It took awhile for Alabama to get going last Game, but in the end, the Crimson Tide still ended up covering despite scoring only 10 points. Their offense should be back to scoring plenty in this matchup, but as seen multiple times throughout the year, it’s not wise to underestimate this Mississippi State team. That said, the Tide opened as -29 point home favorites at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
When these teams met a year ago, it was absolute dominance by the Tide on the road, winning 31-6. Derrick Henry ran for 204 yards and while the Bulldogs got 300 passing yards from Dak Prescott, it ultimately resulted in two field goals.
This Mississippi State team has been hard to predict the entire season. They lost to South Alabama in the opener, then almost won at LSU a couple weeks later. They lost at Kentucky and gave up 41 points to Samford and then unexpectedly won against No. 4 (in CFP rankings) Texas A&M last weekend. It’s been a weird year, but being weird doesn’t get you wins against Alabama.
The Tide haven’t been challenged at home this year, taking down Texas A&M by 19 points a couple weeks ago. They’ve been able to win every way possible. Whether that’s falling behind early to Ole Miss or in a defensive battle against LSU, this team has gotten the job done. Now going against the unpredictability of Mississippi State, one has to think they’re ready to pile the points on.
Alabama has slowed down offensively in the last couple Games, but there’s no reason to believe this Mississippi State defense can stop them. While they are inconsistent as a team, the Bulldogs have given up bunches of points against mediocre offenses all season, Kentucky and Samford included.
‘Bama should run through this defense, whether it’s quarterback Jalen Hurts (635 rushing yards, 10 TDs) or one of their many running backs led by Damien Harris (753 yards, 7.7 yards per carry). Hurts hasn’t thrown for more than 172 yards in the last three Games, but Nick Saban may let him loose a bit more in this one against a beatable defense. Of course, it may not even come to that if Harris and company are running for six or seven yards per carry.
The Bulldogs beat Texas A&M last week via explosive plays on the offensive end and that starts with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Not only did he throw for a couple touchdowns, but also ran for 182 yards and two more touchdowns. Fitzgerald has hit 100-plus rushing yards in three straight and has two rushing touchdowns in each of the last Four Games.
The problem is that none of those previous defenses have been at the same level of Alabama. The Tide just held a rushing attack led by Leonard Fournette to 33 yards on 27 carries. They have given up just 24 points total in the last three Games, which is about all that needs to be said. against better defenses this year, the Bulldogs were held down for 20 points at LSU and 14 against Auburn. It should be a similar outing for them again in this one, especially on the road.
This line is huge for good reason, but a covering isn’t out of the question for Miss. State if Fitzgerald can get something going for this offense.
The Bulldogs are 17-8 ATS in their last 25 SEC Games, but 1-4 ATS in their last five Games after an ATS win. The Crimson Tide have covered Four straight Conference Games, are 5-1 ATS in their last six home Games, but 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
Our Pick – Miss State +29