#3 Alabama (-4.5) 27 #20 MISSISSIPPI 17
I'd love to bet Alabama here, as the Tide are clearly much better than an over-hyped Ole' Miss team that hasn't come close to living up to their lofty pre-season rating.
Mississippi has been mediocre on offense, averaging just 5.8 yards per play against teams that would allow 5.7 yppl to an average team, and they are at a huge disadvantage against a dominating Alabama defense that has yielded just 3.7 yppl in 5 games to teams that would combine to average 5.6 yppl against an average team.
Alabama has dominated two good offensive teams, holding Virginia Tech to 3.1 yppl and limiting Arkansas to just 3.8 yppl, so the Rebels would have a tough time moving the ball even if quarterback Jevan Snead suddenly returned to last year's good form.
Mississippi is good defensively, allowing just 4.0 yppl to teams that would combine to average 4.8 yppl against an average team, but the Crimson Tide have been incredibly balanced and efficient offensively.
Bama has averaged 6.9 yppl with starting quarterback Greg McElroy in the game (against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl) and have averaged 240 yards on the ground and 230 yards on pass plays.
Alabama has a significant edge on both sides of the ball even if Snead were to play at last year's level and my math model gives the Tide a very high 64% chance of covering based solely on the math.
However, Alabama applies to a negative 26-69-1 ATS situation that plays against unbeaten road favorites and there are also a few home underdog situations that favor Ole' Miss.
I won't make Alabama a Best Bet but they're certainly the side I favor in this game.
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