Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Picks and Predictions
30 October 2020
Last updated: 02 November 2020 at 9:32 am
|Date:||Saturday, October 31st|
|Time:||7:00 PM ET|
The 1-3 Mississippi State Bulldogs will go on the road Saturday night to face off with the 5-0 Alabama Crimson Tide at 7:00 PM ET in Bryant-Denny Stadium. You can tune in on ESPN to watch the SEC showdown. The Crimson Tide host as 31-point favorites and we’re expecting a shootout with a 64 over/under. My favorite bet of the week happens to be in this game, and we’ll get to that a bit later. It’s sure to be an exciting game and you never know what will happen with two SEC teams on the field. Let’s dive into how this game will go and who will end up covering the spread.
- Mississippi State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
- Alabama is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Alabama’s last 6 games against an opponent in the SEC.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Alabama’s last 7 games played on a Saturday.
When The Mississippi State Bulldogs Have The Ball
After beating LSU in a thriller to start the season, Mississippi State has lost three consecutive games to Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas A&M. It sure seems like the SEC has figured out Leach in a hurry, but it might just be that LSU was terrible the first time they took the field with their new team. Whatever the case, they put up more points in week one than they have in the last three combined.
Senior Stanford-transfer K.J. Costello isn’t very good, to put it kindly. He’s thrown for 1,267 yards with six touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Mike Leach finally had enough of the madness and inserted freshman Will Rogers against Texas A&M, even after struggling a week prior. He proceeded to complete 15 of 18 attempts for 120 yards and a touchdown. Also, guess what. He didn’t throw an interception! Rogers is the much better option under center for the Bulldogs and it’ll be exciting to see what he can do against an Alabama defense that has struggled against the pass.
The weapons are plentiful for the Aggies when Rogers drops back. Osirus Mitchell was the team’s leading receiver a season ago and he has caught 20 balls for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Both starting running backs Jo’Quavious Marks and Kylin Hill have caught 23 passes out of the backfield and you can expect the combo to see 10+ targets against a Crimson Tide defense that will force a lot of underneath looks. Javonta Payton, Mike Heath, and Austin Williams have all caught 15+ balls and you never know where this offense is going with the ball. Mitchell is number one near the red zone, but there are six different guys who are looked at between the 20’s.
The Bulldogs don’t run the ball much and they certainly haven’t lately as they haven’t held a lead since opening week. Marks has carried it 22 times for 89 yards while Hill has carried it 15 times for 58 yards. There isn’t much to say about a running back group that’s only seeing 11 or so carries per game. If the Bulldogs want any success against Alabama, they’ll have to gain at least a little bit of respect on the ground.
When The Alabama Crimson Tide Have The Ball
The Crimson Tide have jumped the Clemson Tigers as the odds-on favorite to win the CFB Championship. They’re sitting around +130 in most books while Clemson is around +155. The Crimson Tide have barely been tested on their five game win streak and the offense has been as electric as ever. Some predicted Tennessee would give Bama trouble, but the game was over by halftime and Alabama covered the spread. They’ll now move on to Mississippi State, who might sport the worst defense in the SEC.
If there is a worry for Bama, Jaylen Waddle is out for the season. He’s one of the best players in the entire country and he cannot be replaced. While Alabama has a ton of talent at the WR position, they don’t have another Waddle and whoever does replace him won’t have the same chemistry with the QB. Personally, I think Devonta Smith is a lot better than Waddle and he might see 20 targets as the lone superstar. John Metchie III will step into the WR2 role and I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes off. Slade Bolden will step into the starting lineup and he gives Bama a sure-handed option that can route solid routes. He’s nowhere near as fast as Waddle, but there isn’t any tape on how Bama will run routes with his skill set and it’ll be interesting to see if it gives Mississippi State any problems. It likely will knowing their defense.
Junior QB Mac Jones has been exactly what Saban was hoping for. He doesn’t try to win the game by himself and he doesn’t care about being in the spotlight. Jones does an elite job of getting the ball to the weapons that can break the game open on any given play. He’s thrown for 1,905 yards and 12 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He also uses his size well around the goalline and is always a threat to run one in.
The offense runs through running back Najee Harris, who’s rushed for a silly 595 yards and 14 touchdowns in five games. Harris is not only averaging 5.8 yards per carry, but he’s averaging nearly three touchdowns per game. The Bulldogs don’t have a chance to stop him and will do their best to keep him under 180 yards and three scores. It will be a tough task if he’s given his usual 15-20 carries.
I believe in Will Rogers and I’m not sure Alabama will be as explosive with Jaylen Waddle off the field. Don’t get me twisted here. The Crimson Tide are going to dictate the pace of this game and dominate. I just expect that game plan to include a lot more running and shorter routes. Waddle takes the top off defenses as without that threat, we may see a slower game where Bama just misses the spread. I don’t have a huge lean on the spread as I think it’s extremely accurate. Let’s move on to my favorite bet of this weekend.
The Pick: Mississippi State +31
I’ll be laying five units on this over, which I only do two or three times a season. I like this game to get into the 70’s with ease as Alabama will put up 50 and Mississippi State could close in on 30. If you’re riding with me, you’re all over this and I’ll take all the blame if it doesn’t hit. There are going to be a ton of points in this game and I also like the over 30.5 1st half over/under as well as the 44.5 Alabama team total.
The Pick: Over 64
Final Score Prediction: Alabama 52, Mississippi State 24