Alabama is 0-2 both straight up and against the spread in its last two meetings with Ole Miss, but that might just inspire the Tide heading into their battle with the Rebels on Saturday afternoon in Oxford. Can Alabama cover a big number on the road, or do the Rebels have another upset in them?
Point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 9.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 43.3-30.4 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)
Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread
Alabama is 2-0 both SU and ATS this season, after dispatching Western Kentucky last week 38-10, covering as a 27-point favorite. The Tide scored on their first two drives of the day, then slowly pulled away. On the day Alabama outgained the Hilltoppers 489-239, while winning time of possession by almost 12 minutes.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts, a true freshman making his first career college start, didn’t dazzle, but he did hit on 23 of 36 throws for 287 yards and two scores, without an interception. Meanwhile, the Alabama defense scored once itself and held Western Kentucky out of the end zone until less than a minute remained in the game.
Two weeks ago the Tide opened this season with that 52-6 rout of USC, breezing to the cover as 13-point favorites.
Finally, while Alabama lost to the Rebels the last two seasons, they outgained and outrushed Ole Miss both games, but lost the turnover battle by a 7-1 margin.
Why the Ole Miss Rebels can cover the spread
Mississippi bounced back after that season-opening loss to Florida State, beating Wofford last week 38-13. The Rebels led 17-0 out of the gate, stretched it to 31-3 midway through the third quarter and eased home from there. Ole Miss outgained the Terriers 416-305, while converting 10 of 13 third downs.
Quarterback Chad Kelly kept those chains moving with an efficient 20-of-27 passing performance, tossing three touchdown passes without a pick.
Two weeks ago, in the season opener, Ole Miss jumped out to a 28-6 lead on the Seminoles, but let it slip away, resulting in a 45-34 defeat.
Finally, as mentioned above, the Rebels own a two-game winning streak in this series, beating Alabama two years ago 23-17 and last year 43-37.
Tide coach Nick Saban was not happy after the win over Western Kentucky, and might whip his team into a frenzy for this one. The Rebels have Kelly, but if they can’t run the ball he’ll be in big trouble. Plus, playing on the road means the spread is a little friendlier toward Alabama. The smart money here rides the Tide.
Alabama is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games against Mississippi.
Mississippi is 3-0 SU and ATS in its last three games in Week 3.
Alabama is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games after consecutive wins.
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Source: Bleacher Report-Alabama Football