The game of the day in the SEC features the 3rd ranked Auburn Tigers (6-1) and the 4th ranked Ole Miss Rebels (7-1) in primetime (7:00pm ET) from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, MS. Auburn hung on to defeat South Carolina 42-35 at home last week, rebounding from their 38-23 loss as #1 Mississippi St. in week 7. The Tigers have had impressive wins over Arkansas (45-21) and LSU (41-7) at home, and Kansas St. (20-14) on the road, this season. The Rebels lost 10-7 at LSU last week, their first defeat of the season after notching impressive wins over Alabama (23-17) at home and Texas A&M (35-20) on the road. With both teams making the top 4 cut for the first-ever college football playoff standings, this game will be highly anticipated and scrutinized nationally.
The Rebels rank 47th among all FBS teams in scoring offense with 31.9 points per game and 61st in total offense with 418.3 yards per contest. Quarterback Bo Wallace threw for 336 yards with a pair of TDs in a narrow loss to the Tigers last season, but he regressed last week from his “Good Bo” tendencies this season with a 14 for 33 passing performance that included a game sealing last-second interception. Ole Miss ranks #1 nationally in scoring defense with 10.5 PPG allowed and 9th in total defense with 305 YPG allowed.
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Auburn ranks 14th nationally in scoring offense with 39.3 PPG and 19th in total offense with 496.9 YPG. Auburn ranks 9th nationally in rushing offense with 281 YPG, and coach Gus Malzahn’s version of the spread offense relies heavily on the running attack led by quarterback Nick Marshall. Running back Cameron Artis-Payne is the top threat out of the backfield and comes into this game on a roll, he ran for a career-high 167 yards last week against the Gamecocks. Defensively Auburn ranks 25th nationally in points allowed with 20.7 per game and 46th in total defense with 362.4 YPG.
Auburn vs. Ole Miss Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Auburn Tigers +1.5
@Ole Miss Rebels -1.5
Over 49.5 (-110)
Under 49.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.ag
Auburn vs. Ole Miss Pick:
Auburn is experienced in big games, having rolled to the BCS National Championship Game last season with wins over Alabama and Missouri in the SEC Title Game with Marshall leading the way. The Tigers also showed their ability to win on the road with a tough, Thursday night win at Kansas St. in non-conference play. They will face an Ole Miss defense that is among the most physical in the country, and has had great success defending the run. They showed a kink in the armor last week though, as an LSU team that Auburn had their way with ran for 264 yards against the Rebels.
Ole Miss needs Wallace to be on his game in order to take advantage of Auburn’s weakness generating a pass rush, but his tendency to turn the ball over could hurt him against an Auburn defense that had 3 picks last week against South Carolina. He had 2 INTs against the Tigers last season, and he is too inconsistent to bet on in a big game. The call here is that Auburn is the team that comes into this game with more momentum offensively and has more experience in big games. They will be able to generate just enough on offense against the stellar Rebel defense to win the game. As a road underdog the Tigers are a solid play here, take Auburn and the points.