Auburn was ranked as a top-10 team for half of the early season, but coming off back-to-back losses, suddenly finds itself not even in the rankings. It’ll be hard to trust the Tigers, even against an Ole Miss team that is still somewhat of a mystery. The Tigers were -4 point road favorites with an over/under of 62.5 as of Tuesday at YOUWAGER..
Things haven’t gone to plan in the last two Games for Auburn, losing at Mississippi State and then surprisingly to Tennessee last weekend. The loss to LSU could have been forgiven, but the other two, not so much. Ole Miss is still a bit unknown, as it was blown out in its two toughest Games (Alabama, LSU), yet beat a decent Texas Tech team in the opener and most recently came back to defeat Arkansas. Auburn controlled this matchup last year by winning on both lines of scrimmage and that led to a 326-83 discrepancy in rushing yards. To win on the road, Auburn will have to do that again.
The problem for Auburn is that its rushing attack is nowhere near as good with 4.1 yards per carry as a team behind JaTarvious Whitlow, who is leading the way with 456 yards. That’s almost a full yard less per carry for this group and it doesn’t help that quarterback Jarrett Stidham is completing more than a yard less per attempt at 7.04 with just seven touchdowns. The only reason this group could turn things around is because Ole Miss has one of the worst defenses in the country giving up 500 yards per contest with more than 200 of those coming on the ground. And as long as Auburn can run the ball it should be fine, but is that something to bet on after losing at home to Tennessee?
Auburn’s defense also hasn’t been as good as projected and while it’s allowing only 16.6 points per Game, just gave up 30 points at home to Tennessee. The Tigers will need to match what they did in last year’s 44-23 win, holding the Ole Miss rush down and then only allowing garbage yards to quarterback Jordan Ta’amu. The issue is that the Rebels actually have a decent ground Game led by SCottie Phillips, who leads an attack that’s going for 5.7 yards per carry. Even without recently injured wide out D.K. Metcalf, Ta’amu still has A.J. Brown and DaMarkus Lodge to work with and they will allow the offense to move the ball at a minimum. Ta’amu is throwing for more than 10 yards per attempt and passed for more than 330 yards against every defense other than Alabama and LSU’s.
A stout running Game has been the difference between these teams the last two years, but so far it’s been Ole Miss that’s rushing the ball better. Throw in a weaker Auburn defense and the Rebs are in a solid position for an upset.
The Tigers haven’t covered in their last six against a team with a winning record and are 1-4 ATS in their last five in SEC play. The Rebels are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 at home and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 following a straight-up win. Auburn is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these schools and the over has hit in seven of the last nine.
Our Pick – Ole Miss +4