Ole Miss vs. Alabama – College Football (Saturday, October 2, 2021)

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| October 1, 2021 9:59 am PDT

The SEC West has turned into the best division in college football, and Ole Miss and Alabama have been flexing their muscles thus far. The winner will have an advantage in the division. They both look like top contenders and could challenge the SEC East.

A loss will likely put them out of the SEC title game race since the winner can lose another SEC game and still reach Atlanta. Going 12-1 and capturing the SEC title is more than enough to grab a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Here are the latest odds for this showdown in Tuscaloosa via SportsBetting.ag.

Ole Miss vs. Alabama Odds

Ole Miss (+14.5)-116
Alabama (-14.5)-104
Over 79-112
Under 79-108

Alabama is 8-1 against the spread at home after handling this past weekend’s game against Southern Miss. Kiffin is winless (0-2) against Alabama, but we have seen Ole Miss cover in both meetings.

Ole Miss has gone 14-5-1 against the spread as road dogs under Kiffin. In three of the last five road games as an underdog, the over has ended up hitting. The point total seems a bit rich for my blood, but this game opened at Alabama by three touchdowns that was quickly bet down.

It is time to dissect this matchup. Here are your keys to victory for both squads.

Why Ole Miss Wins

The most electric offense in the country has been the Rebels. They are coming off a bye week, and in a down 2020 season, they combined with Alabama to score 111 points last season. The Rebels were only a 5-5 team, but they showed their skills towards the end of last season.

Matt Corral is the Heisman favorite due to his video game numbers in this Ole Miss offense. Corral has 997 yards passing without an interception.

The Rebel signal-caller has run for 158 yards and can reach paydirt on every play towards the goal-line. Corral has combined for 14 touchdowns and entered Week 4 before their bye week as the third-highest player in total offensive yards per game (385.0).

People forgot that Ole Miss led the SEC in rushing last season, and they have drastically improved.

Jerrion Ealy is an NFL back, and there is depth behind him in Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish. The offensive line deserves some credit since they have been one of the better units in the country this season.

Running the no-huddle is challenging to defend. I can only imagine the week of practice for Nick Saban and Alabama.

Luckily, Saban is 23-0 against his former assistants. However, Kiffin and the Rebels have the firepower to become the first former assistant to buck this trend.

Why Alabama Wins

Saban has been remarkable against Top 25 foes with a 68-19 record while at Alabama. In his career, Saban is 91-43 against ranked opponents.

The record for Saban as No. 1 in the AP Poll is 83-8, and he has not lost a game in the regular season atop the polls since Auburn knocked them off in 2017, 26-14. That loss at Auburn ended their regular season.

The last time Alabama lost at home atop the polls was in 2012.

Johnny Manziel dethroned the Crimson Tide. Of course, Johnny Football eventually won the Heisman, but Alabama has gone 35-0 at home since that defeat.

That is remarkable, but the Crimson Tide program under Saban has been flawless. Bryce Young has plenty of firepower in the arsenal to find success. The key to victory will be Saban putting enough speed on the field to slow the Ole Miss offense down.

One of the best defensive minds in SEC history, Saban is likely to find a way to limit the explosive plays for Corral and the offense. If he turns it over as he did against LSU and Arkansas last season, the Tide will win by double-digits.

Ole Miss vs. Alabama Prediction

This SEC showdown will come down to the wire, and the points will be flowing. The Crimson Tide have not lost a home game atop the polls since Johnny Manziel knocked them off. Another potential Heisman winner is ready to flourish in Tuscaloosa.

Matt Corral is going to dazzle America, and he is ready to win the Heisman Trophy. If Ole Miss loses the game, the stiff-armed trophy could be up for grabs, but an impressive performance will give him a great shot.

A victory could seal the deal in early October, which cannot be said often.

I have said before that this isn’t close to the best Bama team I have seen. The defense has been prone to giving up big gainers. That will put the Tide in a challenging position.

The Rebels have the star quarterback to pull this upset off because there are enough pieces everywhere on the field to stun the Tide. I smell a game that comes down to the wire and feel this will be the top offense Alabama goes up against the entire season.

The defense will pick off Young in a vital spot that will turn their momentum into points. That will enable Ole Miss to pull off a stunning and thrilling upset that shakes up the college football world.

Ole Miss vs. Alabama Pick

The Rebel offense is electric, and they have the goods to win this outright. Many will be pounding Bama with the points. I lean on the opposite end. Ole Miss has enough weapons to keep up, and this one comes down to taking care of the ball and avoiding a defensive meltdown.

There is value on Ole Miss, and this showdown will come down to the wire. I love the chances of Ole Miss winning outright, but the play is to take the points with the road squad.

Pick
  • Ole Miss (+14.5)
    -116

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