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The No. 13 Alabama Crimson Tide are hosting the No. 15 Ole Miss Rebels Saturday in a classic SEC showdown between two college football powerhouses.
Is the Alabama era of college football coming to a swift end? The Crimson Tide are 2-1 and only managed to score 17 points in a narrow win over unranked South Florida two weeks ago, and they’re well behind Georgia in odds to win the SEC.
Here, we will preview what is to come and discuss our favorite betting picks from No. 15 Ole Miss vs. No. 13 Alabama.
|No. 15 Ole Miss||+7 (-115)||+210||Over 55.5 (-105)|
|No. 13 Alabama||-7 (-105)||-260||Under 55.5 (-115)|
Ole Miss is 3-0 with three convincing wins, including a 37-20 result against No. 24 Tulane. They have not faced a team of Alabama’s caliber thus far but have performed well in all three outings.
Alabama, much the opposite, has already played an excellent Texas team (in a 34-24 loss) and will be prepared for what the Rebels have to offer as far as competitiveness.
The Crimson Tide are making a switch at quarterback and are going back to Jalen Milroe, who was benched after throwing for 255 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions against the Longhorns. Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson were given opportunities against USF, but neither was able to seize the moment and cement themselves as the deserved starter.
One of the reasons Alabama has taken a step back from being a national powerhouse is because of the deterioration of their offensive line. Once an automatic strength for Nick Saban teams, the O-line has been dominated by its opponents thus far, even those of lesser caliber. It now has to face a Rebels front that ranks third in the conference in tackles for loss (8.0).
Ole Miss has also done a great job responding late in games and has 100 second-half points, including 65 in the last two weeks against Tulane and Georgia Tech.
Misery loves company, and Alabama fans have not known true despair in a very long time. We’re not saying they aren’t still one of the 10 or 15 best programs in the country, but their defense is not totally dominant, they don’t have a guaranteed solution at quarterback, and they can’t control opposing defensive lines like they used to.
Ole Miss has also made significant improvements to its defense under Pete Golding, who was Alabama’s defensive coordinator from 2018-2022. The Rebels’ once-porous defense has allowed an average of just 16 points through three games.
We’ve yet to highlight Ole Miss’ QB, Jaxson Dart, who has 852 yards, seven touchdowns, an interception, and ranks 11th nationally in QBR through three weeks of play. The 6’2 junior has also run for 213 yards and a pair of scores and is the team’s leading rusher.
Milroe might be the best of Bama’s QBs, but he does not have the ability to consistently push the football down the field and relies too heavily on his ability to scramble out of the pocket. We think Ole Miss’ 3-3-5 and 2-4-5 hybrid defense will do a nice job limiting his big plays and will ensure this game stays close.
Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin wants to win this game more than any other, no doubt about it. He’ll have his team ready to play an ugly, defensive slugfest if that’s what it takes to walk out of Tuscaloosa with a victory.
This version of Alabama simply does not have the ability to meet the lofty standard Saban has set for his program in years past. The offense is particularly limited and is not in a strong position to score a ton of points if it isn’t in desperation mode, which we don’t expect it will be this weekend (unlike the Texas game).
With the expectation of pragmatism from Kiffin and reservation from Saban, we think the under is the best side to be on for the points total.
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Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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