This Saturday the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) will travel to Starkville to take on the No. 18 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-2, 3-2 SEC). Kickoff is set for 7:00 EST at Davis Wade Stadium and will be televised on ESPN.
Oddsmakers currently have the Crimson Tide listed as a 14-point road favorite with the total set at 51 points. Click here to check a complete Week 11 betting schedule and for more links to our game previews.
Alabama vs Mississippi State Betting Odds & Vegas Game Preview
The Crimson Tide come in off a hard fought 24-10 win at home over rival LSU, where they came up short of covering the spread as a massive 21-point favorite. Alabama is just 1-3 against the number in their last 3 games with the only cover coming against Tennessee in a 45-7 win as a 36.5-point favorite.
The Bulldogs enter off a sloppy 34-23 win at home over UMass, where they were no where close to covering as a 31.5-point favorite. Mississippi State had covered each of their previous 3 games before that and are still a respectable 6-3 ATS on the season.
Last year’s meeting between these two teams was over shortly after it started. Alabama led 30-0 at the half and cruised to a 51-3 win as a massive 30-point home favorite. The Crimson Tide have won 9 straight in the series with the Bulldogs last win coming way back in 2007, which was Nick Saban’s first year as head coach in Tuscaloosa.
College Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Mississippi St +14
I’m anticipating the public will be all over Alabama in this one, but my money is on the Bulldogs catching two touchdowns at home. I know Mississippi State had a couple of clunkers earlier this season against two of the top SEC teams in Georgia and Auburn, losing 31-3 to the Bulldogs and 49-10 to the Tigers. The big reason I’m not investing a ton into those games is they both came on the road and Mississippi State has righted the ship with 4 straight wins, including an impressive 35-14 victory at Texas A&M prior to their game against UMass.
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As for the poor showing against the Minutemen, that was to be expected off that big game against the Aggies and knowing they had Alabama at home on deck. I expect the very best the Bulldogs have to offer, as I don’t think there’s any doubt that this team believes they can knock off the Crimson Tide.
The biggest factor here for Mississippi State is that this is a home night game in prime time on ESPN. The cow bells will be out in full force, as the atmosphere at Davis Wade Stadium is going to be electric. I believe that gives the Bulldogs a fighting chance. It also doesn’t hurt that they are catching Alabama off their huge showdown last week at LSU. It’s the perfect spot for Mississippi State to pick off the SEC frontrunners.
I also like the matchup here for the Bulldogs, as they have the talent, depth and playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, much like LSU, to give this Alabama offense fits. As we saw last week against the Tigers (only 116 rushing yards), if you can keep the Crimson Tide from running at will, you can keep their entire offense in check.
I’m not expecting a ton of fireworks from the Mississippi State offense against this top notch Alabama defense, but I think they can score enough to keep this within the number. If there’s been a weakness for the Crimson Tide defense under Saban, it’s mobile quarterbacks that can extend plays with their legs. The Bulldogs have one of the better dual-threat QB’s in the country in Nick Fitzgerald, who leads the team in rushing with 801 yards and has also scored a team-high 12 rushing touchdowns.
History also supports a play on Mississippi State. Favorites of 10.5 to 21 points who have won 8 or more consecutive games and have a winning percentage of at least 80% are just 16-46 (26%) ATS when facing a team that’s won 60% to 80% of their games. At the same time, Underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points that have won 4 of their last 5, who have won 60% to 80% of their games are 32-5 (87%) ATS when playing a team with a winning record. Give me the Bulldogs +14!