Alabama vs. Mississippi State Analysis & Pick
No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1 SU, 4-4 ATS) vs. Mississippi Bulldogs (4-5 SU, 3-6 ATS)
Date/Time: Saturday November 16th, 2019. 12:00PM (EST)
Where: Davis Wade Stadium Starkville, M.S.
Point Spread: ALA -20/MSST +20 (Intertops)
Over/Under Total: TBA
It finally happened! Alabama’s home winning streak of 31 games was officially snapped last weekend at the hands of LSU. I had been warning bettors for weeks that LSU is the best team in the SEC, and I picked the Tigers to win outright in last week’s preview. Though LSU may be the top team in the SEC, Alabama’s season is far from over, and every goal is still within reach. The Crimson Tide rallied from a 20 point halftime deficit against LSU to nearly score a comeback victory in one of the best games of the season. Alabama’s performance was amidst a quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, who was less than 100% and an offense that dazzled against one of the best defenses in the country. Despite the loss, Alabama did not “lose” much in the eyes of the public and is still rightfully one of the top 4 teams in college football. The road back to the College Football Playoffs goes through Starkville this week as the Crimson Tide will be 20 point road favorites against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The 90 Mile Drive
If you are not familiar with both Alabama and Mississippi State, then you may not realize that the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are considered rivals. Just 90 miles separate the two campuses, and due to their deep roots in the SEC, the “90 Mile Drive” rivalry was born. Obviously, Alabama’s biggest rival is Auburn, which takes place in the historic Iron Bowl at the end of each regular season. The Bulldogs have a similar season-ending clash with archrival Mississippi in the popular “Egg Bowl.” However, both Alabama and Mississippi State have a storied history that has been smothered by the Crimson Tide’s success during the Nick Saban era. After losing to Mississippi State in Saban’s 1st year in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has won every game since piling up an 11 game winning streak over the Bulldogs that is likely to continue on Saturday.
Bet on Alabama with confidence against Mississippi State
Despite Tua Tagovailoa’s premature return from a high ankle sprain, the star quarterback threw for 418 yards with four touchdowns in the loss to LSU. It was a gritty performance from a guy that would have likely been on the sidelines if it were not the most crucial game of the year. For Alabama, it is imperative that Tagovailoa gets back to 100% if they are going to make a run back to the College Football Playoffs. The good news is that Alabama’s quarterback did not suffer any setbacks in the loss to LSU. Though his range of mobility was obviously limited, Tagovailoa’s ankle should get better each week, and he was good enough for 400 passing yards with four touchdowns against LSU last week; therefore he should be fine for this week’s match-up against a Bulldogs defense that has been plagued with injuries.
Not only does Mississippi State have numerous injuries to worry about on the defensive side of the football, but the Bulldogs is extremely one-dimensional. The quarterback situation for Mississippi State has been flat awful between Garrett Shrader and Tommy Stevens, who have combined for 14 touchdowns with nine picks on the season. The offense’s success revolves around running back Kylin Hill, who has 176 touches through 8 games, which leads the SEC in rushing attempts. Historically, Nick Saban’s defenses at Alabama have feasted in these situations where they can stack the box to stuff the run and put pressure on inferior quarterbacks. This is a potential recipe for disaster. The Bulldogs currently rank 117th in the FBS with 19 turnovers loss, and Alabama now ranks 9th in turnovers gained with 19 forced turnovers. The Bulldogs just ended a four-game losing streak thanks to an awful Arkansas team, but their production has been horrible against good teams. The offense will struggle again, and a few turnovers will make this meeting with Alabama turn ugly.
Alabama vs. Mississippi State betting trends
Despite Alabama’s notorious success, the Crimson Tide are just 4-4 ATS on the season and only 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games going back to 2018. Mississippi State is just 1-4 ATS in their previous five games, which were all against SEC competition. As a team, the Bulldogs have hit the ‘over’ in 7 of their last ten games going back to 2018. As stated earlier, Alabama has won 11 games in a row over Mississippi State and are 11-1 SU against the Bulldogs under Nick Saban. In the last 12 meetings, the under has cashed in 9 of 12 games.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Alabama -20
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