Alabama owns Mississippi State as of late, winning the last 10 meetings in a row by an average score of 31-9 and going 6-4 against the spread along the way. But will the Crimson Tide cover a big number against the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium?
College football point spread: The Crimson Tide opened as 25.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 51.0-25.2 Crimson Tide (College football picks on every game)
Why the Mississippi State Bulldogs can cover the spread
MSU is 2-0 both straight up and ATS the last two weeks after taking care of business last week against Louisiana Tech 45-23, covering as a 23-point favorite. The Bulldogs drove their first three possessions of the game 70, 59 and 75 yards to touchdowns, led 31-3 at the half and closed the deal from there for the cash.
On the evening, Mississippi State out-gained the other Bulldogs 532-238, held a 26-15 advantage in first downs and won the ground game 289-140.
Two weeks ago, MSU tamed Texas A&M 28-13. So the Bulldogs have now out-gained and out-rushed each of their last four opponents, going 3-1 both SU and ATS in the process.
Last year Mississippi State lost to Alabama 31-24, but the Bulldogs led that game 24-17 in the fourth quarter and eventually covered as 14-point home dogs.
Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread
The best team in the country proved it again last week, snuffing LSU in Baton Rouge 29-0, covering as 14-point favorites. Alabama led the Tigers 6-0 after one quarter, 16-0 at the half and 22-0 after three in another, typical, dominating SEC performance.
On the night, the Crimson Tide out-gained LSU 576-196, held a 29-13 advantage in first downs, out-rushed the Tigers 281-12 and won time of possession by a 35/25 margin. And that's how you quiet a Death Valley crowd.
Alabama has now won its first six SEC contests this season by an average score of 48-14.
The Tide are also 3-0 ATS their last three times out, covering additional spreads of 28 and 29 points against Missouri and Tennessee.
Smart betting pick
Alabama is going to win this game, but it's been an iffy bet at home recently because it's always favored by so much. This year the Tide are 2-2 ATS in Tuscaloosa, and over the last three-plus seasons they are 11-12-2 ATS at Bryant-Denny. Meanwhile, Mississippi State has a nice defense and a quarterback who can do a few things. The smart money here takes the points with the Bulldogs.
College football betting trends
The total has gone under in eight of Mississippi State's last 11 games vs Alabama.
Mississippi State is 0-10 SU in its last 10 games vs Alabama.
The total has gone under in Mississippi State's last six games.
All college football odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.