No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0 SU, 4-5 ATS) vs. No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday November 11th, 2017. 7:00PM (EST)
Where: Davis-Wade Stadium Starkville, M.S.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ALA -14.5/MSST +14.5
Over/Under Total: 51
The no. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide remained undefeated last week with a 24-10 victory over no. 19 LSU. While most teams around the nation have suffered at least one loss, it appears Alabama and Georgia are cruising as the two best unbeaten teams in college football. With a potential collision looming on the horizon in the form of an SEC Championship Game, the Crimson Tide must avoid any setbacks before a trip to Atlanta is booked. This week the Crimson Tide faces yet another stiff challenge when they go into Starkville for a date with the no. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs inside Davis-Wade Stadium.
For those wondering about the race in the SEC West, Alabama still has plenty of work to do before they clinch the division. The Crimson Tide could clinch this weekend with a victory over the Mississippi State and a Georgia victory over Auburn. Any other scenario would mean that the Iron Bowl would once again determine the fate of the West when Alabama meets Auburn in a few weeks. For this week, Alabama will be 14.5 point favorites when the go into Starkville and seek their 10th straight win over Mississippi State.
The last time the Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide was in Nick Sabans debut season in Tuscaloosa back in 2007. At first glance of this weeks matchup, it certainly feels like the trend will continue. The Crimson Tide has only given up more than 10 points once in the last 6 games. They are playing incredible defense relinquishing just 243 yards (2nd in FBS) and 9.8 points (1st in FBS) per game on the season. Offensively, Alabama is not very explosive or flashy. They are just very strong along the offensive line and very efficient with their running threats. Running back Damien Harris and quarterback Jalen Hurts have produced more than 1,400 yards and 17 combined touchdowns throughout the first 9 games. Meanwhile, Bo Scarbrough has added another 416 yards with 7 scores as well.
Obviously Alabama is playing extremely strong football on both sides of the ball. In fact, they have not had a single outcome this year decided by less than 12 points. However, we seen a ton of upsets around the college football landscape last week. We saw Michigan State upset no. 7 Penn State, a 17 point underdog in Iowa clobbered no. 6 Ohio State 55-24, and we have seen other upsets throughout the year. It seems like some of the biggest surprises always come in November when the weight of the entire season starts taking a toll. So before we write off the Bulldogs chances, lets discuss how they matchup and the positives that will be in their favor this Saturday.
The first important factor is this game will be played in Starkville at the tune of thousands of cowbells in one of the most difficult places to play in the SEC. Furthermore, Mississippi State is a physical football team and to beat Alabama you have to maintain some physical upside. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is a dual threat quarterback that is very dangerous for opposing defenses. Fitzgerald has thrown for 1,459 yards with 13 scores and 10 picks this year while being even more dangerous on the ground with 801 rushing yards and 12 additional touchdowns. Plus running back Aeris Williams has provided a solid workhorse mentality out of the backfield with 163 touches for 776 yards. The key for Mississippi State this weekend will be to keep the chains moving with their running efforts. If they can sustain some drives and keep Alabamas defense guessing with their option reads, perhaps limiting Alabamas chances with the football will give them a chance to compete.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Mississippi State seems to have shaken off their mid-season blunders when they were blown out in back to back weeks by Auburn and Georgia. They have racked up 4 straight victories and are playing pretty well. I know Alabama is a different type of animal but I still believe the Crimson Tide offense is under performing. I will go against the grain here but I think the Bulldogs will keep this one surprisingly close. Take Mississippi State +14.5 - Bet this game and all your sports bets at 5Dimes! Why should you switch? Because you’re being overcharged for odds! Your book is socking you -110. Why pay that hefty price when you can bet at the lower price of -105? This saves you $5 for every $100 you bet and $50 for every $1000 you wager. Added up over time, this amounts to a massive amount of cash you’re pissing away. Plus, 5Dimes is simply better. More wagers, teasers up to 20 points, parlays up to 25 teams, faster payouts. It doesn’t make any sense to bet anywhere else! Get signed up today by clicking here!