The opening conference game of the season for both the SEC's Mississippi Rebels and Alabama Crimson Tide is expected to be a much more evenly matched game than it was even a few weeks ago.
The spread sat 15.5 points in favor of the Crimson Tide before the season started, but is now down to just a touchdown. Can the Rebels cover the truncated spread or even upset the college football odds on the road?
Check out our free college football picks and predictions for Mississippi vs. Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL on Saturday, September 23.
Mississippi vs Alabama best odds
Mississippi vs Alabama and predictions
Mississippi sits at an expected 3-0, but not even that spotless record truly indicates how well the Rebels have played. They were 35-point favorites over FCS opponent Mercer and won 73-7. Then, the Rebels were 13.5-point road favorites against 24th-ranked Tulane and won 37-20. Finally, they were 16.5-point favorites over Georgia Tech last week and won 48-23.
The Rebels rank fourth in the country in scoring at 52.7 points per game, 11th in total offense at 526.7 yards per contest, and ninth in passing offense at 349.7 yards. On top of this great offense, they also have a fumble return and a punt return for a touchdown. Lane Kiffin has his team coming into Tuscaloosa red hot.
Alabama had a chance to get right last week after its home loss to Texas and failed miserably. Nick Saban decided to switch quarterbacks and it was an ugly experiment. Tyler Buchner went 5-for-14 passing for 34 yards before being pulled in favor of Ty Simpson after a 3-3 halftime score.
Saban has committed to going back to Jalen Milroe for this game, which is likely the correct decision. Yes, Milroe struggled against Texas, but the biggest issue is the offensive line. If you have protection issues, you need a guy who can move out of the pocket and Milroe is that man. He has 92 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground in his two games this season.
Bama has already allowed 12 sacks and is without one of its starting offensive linemen, who also missed last week against USF. The Mississippi defense has recorded 10 team sacks and will be looking to get after Milroe. It also averages 8.0 tackles for loss per game, which ranks 18th nationally. The Tide rank 103rd in the country allowing 7.0 tackles for loss per game.
Ultimately, I think last week is a throw out game for Bama given the quarterback situation. We need to look at a game more similar to the style it played against Middle Tennessee State and Texas, which were both higher scoring games.
Mississippi has shown it can give up big yardage as opponents average 350.3 yards per game (66th in the country). Alabama is a perfect 8-for-8 in converting red zone attempts into touchdowns. The great Mississippi offense combined with a rejuvenated Bama offense with Milroe at quarterback should lead to a high-scoring game.
My best bet: Over 54.5 (-115 at BetMGM)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
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Mississippi vs Alabama same-game parlay
High-scoring games typically provide great opportunities for big same-game parlay odds. This is one of those opportunities.
The Over in the game total gives multiple possible touchdown scorers. First, let’s look at Mississippi's Tre Harris. He is the most likely receiver to score with five receiving touchdowns on eight catches. And after an injury scare, Harris is on track to play. We will add him on the Rebels side.
For Alabama, it is a little wider open. Jermaine Burton and Amari Niblack each had a touchdown in both of Milroe’s first two games. Niblack has much better odds though, so we will add him to the SGP.
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Mississippi vs Alabama spread and Over/Under analysis
I expect this to be a higher scoring game and that will play into the Rebels’ favor. Quarterback Jaxson Dart has 1,045 total yards and nine total touchdowns through three games. The Bama defense is solid against the pass overall, but struggled with Quinn Ewers at Texas, who went for 349 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Last year, Mississippi only lost by six points at home to a much better Alabama team. Meanwhile, the Rebels may have an even better roster than last season and will put up plenty of points. The Rebels should be able to cover the spread here and may even pull off the upset outright.
The Tide’s defensive numbers are a little skewed by playing against the terrible offenses of MTSU and USF. Against Texas, they allowed 34 points and 454 total yards. The Mississippi offense will put up similar numbers and makes the Over a must play.
Mississippi vs Alabama betting trend to know
Mississippi has hit the Game Total Over in four of their last five away games. Find more college football betting trends for Mississippi vs Alabama.
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Mississippi vs Alabama game info
|Location:||Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL|
|Date:||Saturday, September 23, 2023|
|Kickoff:||3:30 p.m. ET|
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