The #16 overall Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-3) travel to Tuscaloosa this weekend for an important SEC showdown with the #1 overall Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0). Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST at Bryant-Denny Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Taking a look at the Week 11 college football odds, Alabama opened as a 24.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has shifted by one and a half points after early betting, as the Crimson Tide are currently listed at -26. The total for the game is sitting at 52 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Alabama vs Mississippi State
Mississippi State crushed LA Tech 45-3 last weekend to improve to 6-3 overall on the season. The Bulldogs were dominant on both sides of the ball, racking up 532 total yards of offense while giving up just 238. QB Nick Fitzgerald was fantastic, throwing for 243 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for more than 100 yards. WR Deddrick Thomas also had a good game, catching three passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Mississippi State has looked fairly average on offense so far this year, as they are currently averaging 29.1 points per game (65th overall). They have really done a nice job on the ground, however, averaging 230.8 yards per game on the ground (20th overall).
The Bulldogs have arguable been the best defensive team in the entire country so far this season, as opponents have scored an average of just 12.3 points per game (2nd overall). They have been especially good against the pass, as they are currently giving up only 167.2 yards per game through the air (7th overall).
Alabama stayed perfect last weekend after a dominating 29-0 performance over rival LSU. The Crimson Tide put on a show on both sides of the ball, although their rock-solid play on defense was the clearly the biggest story of the game. They frustrated the Tigers all game long, giving up just 196 total yards. However, the offense certainly did their part as well, racking up 576 total yards. QB Tua Tagovailoa continued his string of impressive performances, throwing for 295 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown. He had a ton of help from WR Jerry Jeudy, who racked up 8 receptions for 103 yards. RB Damien Harris also chipped in with a solid performance, rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Alabama is currently the highest scoring team in the entire country, averaging a ridiculous 51.3 points per game. They have also looked very balanced, as they currently rank 5th overall through the air and 24th overall on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, the Crimson Tide are currently giving up an average of just 14.1 points per game (7th overall). They have been especially good against the run, as opponents are only averaging 102.1 yards per game on the ground (11th overall).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Alabama -26
As I pointed out several weeks ago, I’m done picking against the Crimson Tide until they give me a reason to do otherwise. Of course, I failed to follow my own advice last weekend in the matchup against LSU after getting sucked into the whole “Death Valley is a tough place to play” narrative. They put on an absolute clinic against the Tigers, winning by 29 points in a game they were only favored in by two touchdowns. In any event, while it might seem like laying 26 points against a strong Mississippi State defense is a bad idea, I still don’t think I’m willing to do otherwise in this particular spot. The Bulldogs were completely shut down by LSU several weeks ago, losing 19-3. If you add the 29 point difference between the Tigers and Crimson Tide in Week 10 to the 16 point difference between Miss. State and LSU in Week 8, the total is 45 points. While it might not be that simple, I still think the Tide will roll at home on Saturday.
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Alabama is 4-1 ATS over their last five games against teams with a winning record. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an against the spread win and 6-3 ATS on the season overall. Mississippi State is just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games on the road. They are also only 1-4 ATS over their last five meetings with the Crimson Tide on the road.
While Nick Fitzgerald did look quite good last weekend against LA Tech, I’m still not really buying that performance. His play against LSU several weeks ago seems much more relevant in this particular matchup, as Alabama has been fantastic defensively. Fitzgerald threw for just 59 yards while getting picked off four times against the Tigers, so I have a hard time envisioning him going into Bryant-Denny Stadium and having a quality showing. As good as the Bulldogs have been defensively, their offense is can’t keep pace with an Alabama team that is scoring more than 50 points per game so far this season. I’m laying the 26 points and taking the home favorite – give me the Crimson Tide.