This season has definitely not gone the way Nick Saban and Alabama had planned. After barely surviving games against Texas and Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide’s uneven and undisciplined play caught up to them in last week’s 52-49 loss at Tennessee.
This week, Alabama returns home to Tuscaloosa to host Mississippi State Bulldogs and Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. The Bulldogs enter this game at 5-2 but are coming off a loss against Kentucky in which Will Rogers and the passing game struggled.
Will a pissed-off Bama take care of business and demolish the Bulldogs as 21-point home favorites? Or is this too many points to lay with what has been an untrustworthy team thus far?
I dig through the numbers and bring you the best bet in my college football picks and predictions for this SEC showdown for Mississippi State vs. Alabama.
Mississippi State vs Alabama best odds
Mississippi State vs Alabama picks and predictions
Alabama is going to be pissed off, as the loss to Tennessee was a tough one. There is no way this team will be happy after giving up a 50-burger and 567 total yards. Oh, and getting penalized 17 times against the Vols was a serious problem.
One positive in that game for Alabama was that Bryce Young’s shoulder looked fine. However, after a game like that, I expect Saban to get his team to go back to the basics and maybe lean on the run game a little more. When you have Jahmyr Gibbs, that’s a really good option.
For my money, Gibbs has been Alabama’s best player this season. The Georgia Tech transfer back has already rumbled for 635 yards at 7.2 yards per carry with five touchdowns while adding another 268 yards and three scores through the air. He has also gone Over 100 yards rushing in three straight games, averaging 21 carries per game over that stretch.
Mississippi State, on the other hand, is coming off a disappointing loss to Kentucky. Quarterback Will Rogers, who is having a fantastic year overall, was inefficient. But the real problem for the Bulldogs in that game was stopping the run.
The Bulldogs allowed the Wildcats to run all over them to the tune of 239 yards rushing, and that has been a pattern for Mississippi State lately. Despite beating Arkansas, the Razorbacks rumbled for 241 yards, while LSU also went for over 200 yards on the ground in a game the Bulldogs lost 31-16.
Saban is going to do his best to take advantage of that and feed the rock to his running back all game. Gibbs should have no problem cashing his rushing yard prop on Saturday.
My best bet: Jahmyr Gibbs Over 103.5 rushing yards (-114 at FanDuel)
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Mississippi State vs Alabama spread analysis
This is a really difficult game to take a side on. This should be a “get-right” spot for Alabama coming off its first loss of the season. And why’s that?
Well, for starters, Alabama is 4-0 ATS following its last four straight-up losses. Bama has outscored Mississippi State in the two games since Mike Leach has taken over by a score of 90-9.
Even though the Tide have been burned by the deep pass this season, Rogers tends to kill you with the midrange game, and the Bama defense does a good job of keeping everything in front of it. The Bulldogs have also had a really hard time stopping the run, which is why I'm expecting a big game out of Gibbs.
All that said, it is just really hard to trust Alabama right now.
This secondary has had trouble with Quinn Ewers when they played Texas, and Hendon Hooker is now the second favorite to win the Heisman Trophy after he balled out for 385 yards and five touchdowns last week.
Then there are the Tide’s discipline issues. Syracuse, Houston, and UMass are the only three teams in the FBS who have more penalties per game than Alabama. You can say all you want about Saban using the loss as motivation, but this has been a problem for the Tide all season, and I’m not sure if that changes this week.
If Rogers can get in a groove at some point against a clearly struggling secondary, Mississippi State will have a chance to keep this within three scores.
I don’t love it, but I would lean ever so slightly toward the Bulldogs as dogs.
Mississippi State vs Alabama Over/Under analysis
Mississippi State has been a hard team to figure out this season. The Bulldogs looked great against Arkansas and Texas A&M while struggling against LSU and Kentucky. Both games that they had trouble moving the ball came on the road, where Mississippi State averaged just 16.5 points per contest.
Obviously, Rogers and the Bulldogs' offense had some success against a strong Texas A&M defense, but it kind of feels like we will see more of what happened in the Kentucky game. Rogers threw the ball 37 times but for only 203 yards as Kentucky kept everything in front of it.
In fact, in last year’s matchup against Alabama, Rogers threw for 300 yards, but it took 55 pass attempts. This Crimson Tide defense is going to want to show they are much better than that performance last week.
Because I expect a healthy dose of Jahmyr Gibbs as well in this one, I would lean toward the Under here.
Mississippi State vs Alabama betting trend to know
The Under is 5-1-1 in the last seven games these two teams have played in Tuscaloosa. Find more NCAA betting trends for Mississippi State vs. Alabama.
Mississippi State vs Alabama game info
|Location:||Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL|
|Date:||Saturday, October 22, 2022|
|Kickoff:||7:00 p.m. ET|
Mississippi State vs Alabama latest injuries
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