A big SEC battle will take place in Tuscaloosa, AL as the Alabama Crimson Tide play host to the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:15 PM EST. The Crimson Tide enter the game 7-2 (5-4 ATS) and the Bulldogs have surprised many by also opening the season up 7-2 (5-4 ATS).
Mississippi State has been a surprise of sorts so far this season. They currently rank 18th in the nation but sit well back of Auburn in the SEC West. The team shook off a couple of early season losses and has posted 6 straight wins. They haven’t played in a couple of weeks when they bested Kentucky by a score of 24-17. The team has played strong defense so far this season and rank 9th in the nation allowing just 17 points per game. The rushing defense is 20th in the NCAA, allowing just 115.2 yards per game on the ground. The offense is led by tailback Vick Ballard and his 13 touchdowns on the season. The team is 14th in the nation, averaging over 220 yards per game on the ground. They need to get more out of a very pedestrian passing attack though.
Alabama’s national title dreams took a decisive blow last week in a 24-21 loss to LSU. The team is now ranked 12th in the nation and have lost 2 of their last 4 games after opening the season with 5 straight wins. The offense has not been as spectacular as in previous seasons, as evidenced by their 28th ranking in total yards. The defense has been strong again this year, which is normally the trademark of Alabama teams. They are 5th in the NCAA in points allowed, giving up under 14 per game. The rush defense has been solid but still is giving up over 125 yards per game on the ground.
Mississippi State vs. Alabama Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Mississippi State Bulldogs +13.5
@ Alabama Crimson Tide -13.5
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Mississippi State vs. Alabama Betting Predictions:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – Alabama had dreams of a second straight national title when the season began, but barring a miracle they will not get the chance this season. My feeling is this will affect their play going forward and they may not come out as sharp as they should in this contest. Mississippi State has played above expectations this year and are hot right now. The Bulldogs are 4-1 in their last 5 games in Alabama. The road team has also taken 7 of the last 9 ATS in this series. Take a look at the Dogs with the points.
Game Total Prediction – Neither of these teams has given up many points this season and this game has all the makings of a low scoring SEC slugfest. The two teams are combining to allow just 31 points per game and neither offense can be considered elite. Also consider that the total has gone under in 9 of the last 11 meetings between the two schools.