Mississippi vs Tulane Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Green Wave Struggle to Contain Ole Miss QB

In one of the more interesting Week 2 college football games, Ole Miss tangles with Tulane in a battle of ranked foes. Both teams come off blowout wins, but our betting picks expect quarterback play to be the difference in this contest.

Chris Hatfield - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Chris Hatfield • Betting Analyst
Sep 8, 2023 • 12:46 ET • 4 min read
Jaxson Dart Mississippi Rebels NCAAF
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

No. 20 Mississippi and No. 24 Tulane will meet in Week 2 for one of the better college football matchups of the weekend.

Mississippi won a laugher in its opener against Mercer. The Rebels scored over 70 points on the board and ended the day with nearly 700 yards of total offense. It was a preview of what we've come to expect from this team over the past few years — loads of offense.

Tulane won, though it was less comfortable over South Alabama. The Green Wave took care of business, winning by a score of 37-17. 

What's the best bet for this matchup? Find out in our college football picks and predictions for Mississippi vs. Tulane on September 9.

Mississippi vs Tulane best odds

Mississippi vs Tulane picks and predictions

Tulane is used to this. That's playing the big-name opponent. This team went toe-to-toe with USC last season in the Cotton Bowl and eventually toppled them. That went down in a long line of games with high-name opponents that the Green Wave have faced and, at the very least, often put a scare in them. Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin knows this and hopes his players have taken notice, too.

"That should certainly help grab their attention," Kiffin said of his team regarding Tulane's win over USC.

Indeed. Casual viewers may look at this matchup and think that an SEC team should be able to overpower the non-Power Five school and take care of business. But Tulane is no typical non-Power Five School, Willie Fritz is not a specific non-Power Five Head Coach, and QB Micheal Pratt is certainly not a typical non-Power Five QB. In addition, Ole Miss isn't the typical SEC team either; it's not going to overpower you usually; it plans to exhaust you. With all that in mind, I'm certainly leaning Tulane's way, but with so many points expected, there are better options for our best bet. 

I'm grabbing QB Jaxson Dart anytime for a touchdown at plus money.

What came out of Ole Miss' win against Mercer over the weekend was tons of offense, but it wasn't all smooth sailing, mainly from the RB spot in Quinshon Judkins. Mercer stacked the box and made life difficult for him. He led the SEC in rushing last season but could only find 60 yards of rushing yards for 13 carries. With Ole Miss reportedly emphasizing fixing that in week two, it likely contributed to the large price of -750 at FanDuel for him to score a touchdown. With Tulane seeing that on film, it wouldn't surprise me if he tried replicating some of the box looks Ole Miss saw last weekend. That opens up value on Dart to see the in-zone, particularly on zone reads and outside runs. It also helps that there were better areas for Tulane a season ago.

Tulane was a modest rushing defense a season ago, allowing 159 yards per game with a lackluster schedule, which was good for 79th in football. When it faced some quarterbacks that could move, it struggled occasionally. The most notable was Cincinnati QB Evan Prater, who ran for 84 yards against them two weeks before the season ended. I don't know how much Tulane has improved in that aspect. After all, although he ran for negative yards because of sacks, he gave up a rushing touchdown to South Alabama QB Carter Bradley last weekend. 

Dart ran for just one rushing touchdown a season ago, but some of that was unlucky. He ran for over 100 yards in multiple games and finished the season with 4.7 yards per carry. I expect it to continue being a significant part of the offense this season. Given the focus on how Judkins was shut down last week, I expect more opportunities for him, particularly on keepers in the red zone. This price shouldn't be plus money. I'm happy taking it down to the +110 area based on the volume he should get. 

My best bet: Jaxson Dart anytime touchdown (+120 at FanDuel)

Mississippi vs Tulane same-game parlay

Dart anytime TD

Mississippi moneyline

Over 66.5

I'm taking my Dart play and adding two legs with it for a highly correlated same-game parlay.

Ole Miss wins games when Dart can run the ball, so I'm adding Ole Miss moneyline here. In all of its losses except one last season, he was held to under 40 yards per game. In one of the largest SEC wins of the season against Auburn that came by 14, he eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Since I think the focus on Judkins will allow him to have some success, this will be a case of Ole Miss having an answer for every punch Tulane throws and eventually winning the game. 

I'm finishing things up with an Over of 66.5. We've barely mentioned Pratt, who will go under center for Tulane, but the resume speaks for itself. PFF graded him as the most efficient QB in the country last week, and he was able to answer the call in almost every game last season, including against USC in the Cotton Bowl. I envision neither one of these teams having too much trouble scoring and had this game projected at 68.5 points – the highest of any weekend game. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Mississippi vs Tulane spread and Over/Under analysis

Given how much scoring I expect in this one, I don't feel good about laying the 7.5 points on the Rebels. I don't feel good enough the other way, so I'm staying away. 

The Ole Miss defense has long been much maligned under Lane Kiffin. It's been in the bottom half of college football, making steady improvement over the past two seasons, allowing 379 per game last season and over a whooping 450 the year before. It's made some improvements, but I'm not sure it's ready this early, and this spot to slow down Michael Pratt and the Tulane offense too often here to cover. While I certainly believe the Rebels win the game, laying over a touchdown is just something I don't want to do.

It's tough to look at this one and see how it stays Under. 

Sure, the running clock may have some incremental effects on both of these high-tempo offenses, and yes, it will be scorching on Saturday in New Orleans, and the humidity could play a role. But these teams have experienced quarterbacks who are used to working with small timeframes, and both are used to playing in the humidity. Outside of those situational factors, the schematics of things certainly favor the Over of 66.5, too. Much has been made about Tulane's defensive line in this one, but it did lose five of its leading tacklers from last season and did struggle to slow down the top teams on its schedule. As for the Ole Miss defense, I'm assuming it will continue to be what it's been under Lane Kiffin, and that's lackluster. Expect points early and often. 

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Mississippi vs Tulane betting trend to know

Tulane went 9-1 ATS last season. Find more college football betting trends for Mississippi vs Tulane.

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Mississippi vs Tulane game info

Location: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET

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