Mississippi Rebels vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Pick ATS 11/28/19
Mississippi Rebels (4-7 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-6 SU, 4-7 ATS)
When: Thursday, November 28, 7:30 p.m EST
Where: Davis-Wade Stadium, Starkville, Miss.
Point Spread: MISS +2.5/MSST -2.5 (WagerWeb)
Total: O/U Off
Outlook For Week 14
Long before the NFL decided to play three games on Thanksgiving Day, there was the Egg Bowl. There has always been the Egg Bowl, the one night of the year where the Magnolia State stands alone in the spotlight. So yeah, this one matters, even if Mississippi can’t go to the postseason. The Rebels saw that chance slip away by losing to LSU, yet another frustrating result in a year that has been full of them.
But the Rebels can ruin Mississippi State’s postseason hopes, and in Oxford, that’s almost as good as winning an SEC championship. Joe Moorhead has to be feeling the heat with the way this season has gone, as Mississippi State has lost five of its past seven games and fallen apart since September. The Bulldogs have won two of their previous three, but the wins have come against FCS program Abilene Christian and league doormat Arkansas, which might as well be an FCS program with how poorly the Razorbacks have played this year. Mississippi State has been a mess for a while, and if the Bulldogs do make a bowl, it’ll truly be backing into the postseason.
How the Public is Betting the Mississippi/Mississippi State GameIf you saw this line at Mississippi State by 14 at any point, which is where this thing opened, you should have opened the wallet and bet whatever was in it on the Rebels. As such, that ridiculously favorable line is long gone, and the Bulldogs are now favored by 2.5.
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Mississippi: Running back Scottie Phillips is questionable after missing the past two games with an ankle issue.
Mississippi State: Wide receiver Deddrick Thomas is questionable with a lower-body injury, while safety C.J. Morgan is out for the season with a lower-body injury.
When Mississippi Has the Ball
Mississippi has been pushing a two-quarterback system for a while, but being completely honest, it’s two-quarterback in name only. Matt Corral will play a few snaps here and there, but John Rhys Plumlee has taken over as the de facto signal-caller for the Rebels. Plumlee gives the Rebels an element that Corral does not. He’s just as much of a threat with his legs as he is with his arms. In fact, he might be a bigger threat with his legs, as in four of the five games where he’s gotten the lion’s share of the snaps, he’s produced more rushing yards than passing yards. Just to be clear, that’s not a knock on his throwing as much as it is an endorsement of his running: over the past two weeks, he’s rushed for 389 yards, numbers that any running back would be proud to own.
When the Rebels do pass, the ball is almost certainly going to go to Elijah Moore. Of the 171 passes that Ole Miss has completed this season, 64 have gone to Moore, and no other receiver has more than 17 catches.
When Mississippi State Has the Ball
Mississippi State has also used a two-quarterback system, although unwillingly, as Tommy Stevens has battled injuries all season. The plan for the Bulldogs was supposed to be for Stevens to start and Garrett Shrader to learn this year and take over next year, but the two have played roughly the same amount of snaps this season. Stevens has returned for November and has been acceptable, but very unspectacular. None of his performances have gone for more than 200 yards, even against a weak Abilene Christian squad.
Instead, the Bulldogs will lean on the running game of Kylin Hill. Hill has rushed for 1,215 yards this season and ten touchdowns, a solid number for the yardage, but not so much on the scores. The Bulldogs have really struggled with their scoring as of late, failing to break 13 points in three of their past six games. Two of the exceptions were Abilene Christian and Arkansas, who, again, can’t really stop anyone, even an offense as subpar as Mississippi State’s.
In recent years, having the home field hasn’t meant much of anything in the Egg Bowl. Over the past four seasons, not only has the road team covered, but the road team has won each game outright, which drastically favors Mississippi. Even beyond that, weird things tend to happen in the Egg Bowl. Over the past seven matchups, the underdog has covered in five of them.
Recent trends suggest that streak will continue, as Mississippi has been a cover machine in SEC play, while Mississippi State has been an almost sure loser against SEC opponents. The Bulldogs have lost five of their past six league games ATS, while the Rebels have covered in six of their past seven. The under is also a strong play, as it has hit in five of the past six Egg Bowls and all four of the Bulldogs’ previous four games in Starkville.
It’s going to be partly cloudy and around 58 degrees for this matchup, making for ideal conditions for the Egg Bowl.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Forget the records here. Mississippi is not going to be mailing in anything against its bitter rival, and Mississippi State certainly doesn’t want to see its season end in the Egg Bowl when postseason play is a possibility. However, the Rebels have been playing hard for Matt Luke in his third season, while the Bulldogs don’t seem to be doing the same for Joe Moorhead. I think that Mississippi has been a lot closer to breaking through than Mississippi State has, and given that weird things tend to happen in the Egg Bowl, I want the Rebels and my free 2.5 points.