This may be a top-20 matchup, but no one outside of Mississippi State thinks the Bulldogs will beat Alabama. At this point, there are only a couple teams in the country that can compete with the Crimson Tide. That’s why the betting line has the Tide as -24.5 point home favorites with an over/under of 51 as of Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
The biggest thing for Alabama is that it doesn’t let up after demolishing LSU last weekend 29-0. It was the same situation in 2017 when MSU almost stole this meeting, leading by a touchdown with 10 minutes to go. Playing at home, Mississippi State used its rushing attack en route to 172 yards and that was enough to keep the Game competitive. This year, its defense may have to play at another level and that could be possible as the Bulldogs are allowing just 12.3 points per Game. Then again, they haven’t exactly played a good offense yet and already lost by 21 points to Kentucky and 16 to LSU. Those results are clear issues coming into this Game, especially since their best wins came at home against Auburn and A&M.
As for Alabama, it’s been smooth sailing no matter where the Game is being played. Even at LSU last weekend, Tua Tagovailoa threw for 295 yards and the Tide ran for another 281 on the ground. Those numbers are ridiculous given the situation and something they can lean on again for this matchup. No one has stopped this offense with Tagovailoa completing 68 percent of his passes for 27 touchdowns, one interception and 12.17 yards per attempt. He’s in the Heisman conversation and then you throw in Najee and Damien Harris, who are both averaging at least 6.2 yards per carry. Mississippi State has been solid on the defensive end, but has struggled in some road Games and this will be the hardest yet.
Like last year, the Bulldogs will need to move the ball on the ground in order to eat up the clock. If not, this could end up being another blowout for Alabama. The Tide showed their strength against LSU last week by allowing just 12 rushing yards (sacks included) and if they put in a similar showing, it could be trouble for the road team.
Read this before Betting on the Louisville at Syracuse Game.
At the least, the tools are there with quarterback Nick Fitzgerald still leading the way with 839 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, while running backs Kylin Hill and Aeris Williams have done the rest, both at 6.6 yards per carry. However, the big problem with this offense has been the lack of a passing Game as Fitzgerald continues to have an issue throwing the ball with just a 50.8% completion rate and 6.36 yards per attempt. Those numbers will likely lead to Alabama stacking the box and trying to keep the ground Game in check. If that happens, Fitzgerald will be asked to air it out and he’s rarely been able to do that in his three seasons as a full-time starter.
The Bulldogs are 9-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but just 2-5 ATS in their last seven road Games. The Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, but 1-4 ATS in their last five home Games against a team with a winning road record. The under is 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings between these schools and the Tide are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings played in Alabama.
Betting on Alabama and Miss State this year would have produced a nice 12-6 record to date as both times are 6-3 ATS.
Early betting action has the majority of the bets coming in on this Game on Alabama by almost 80%. That’s to be expected with the way the Tide has rolled through opponents this year. But it also adds betting value to the other side for as long as this trend continues.
Our Pick – Miss State +25