O/U Pick: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS) vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0 SU, 6-3 ATS)
NCAA Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday November 10th, 2018. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
Point Spread:MSST +24/ALA -24
Over/Under Total: 51
The undefeated and undisputed no. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide survived their biggest challenge of the season last week with a 29-0 shutout over no. 3 LSU in Baton Rouge. Unlike many of the opponents previously, LSU presented a different type of challenge with an incredibly talented defense and one of the more physical football teams in the country. However, Alabama shined in every aspect of the game. The defense was downright nasty, the offense continued to show explosiveness despite a very tough matchup, and the end result was yet another convincing victory and cover as the Tide moved to 9-0 SU and 6-3 ATS. This week another seemingly difficult challenge awaits against a ranked opponent, but the Crimson Tide are staggering 24 points over the visiting Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Can Mississippi State’s defense hold up?
One of the important questions anytime an opposing defense plays Alabama is how anyone can slow down this Crimson Tide offense? We saw LSU have some success last week. However, the Tigers offense could not do anything, and LSU’s defense could not hold up for the full 60 minutes. Despite the solid effort, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 295 yards with 2 TDs and a pick, running back Damien Harris had 107 rushing yards with a touchdown, and WR Jerry Jeudy caught 8 passes for 103 yards. Needless to say, all of Alabama’s playmakers still hit their numbers in one of their most difficult matchups of the season.
From a statistical standpoint, the Bulldogs defense is better than LSU and even Alabama. Mississippi State ranks 6th in the FBS in total defense giving up just 278 yards per game and 2nd in scoring defense allowing only 12.3 points per game. This Mississippi State defense has a very impressive resume holding the likes of Florida, Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, and Louisiana Tech to just 11 points per game over the last 5 contests. Now obviously the challenge is much different this week against an Alabama offense that ranks no. 1 in scoring averaging a whopping 51 points per game. Still, this defense gives the Bulldogs a chance to compete especially with a 24 point spread, but they have to get some help from the offense to limit Alabama’s possessions.
Bulldogs offense vs. Alabama defense
We know Mississippi State’s defense and will likely challenge Alabama early. The true test to determine the way the side unfolds surrounds if this Bulldogs offense can make some plays. For as good as the defense has been, Mississippi State’s offense has been the opposite. The unit revolves around quarterback Nick Fitzgerald who is completing just 50% passing with 10 touchdowns and 7 picks. For fairness, the majority of Fitzgerald’s damage comes on the ground where he leads the team in rushing with 839 yards and 9 additional scores. While I think Fitzgerald’s talent and option reads, will move the football to some degree; I am just not confident it will create a ton of scoring opportunities. Another thing to consider is that Head Coach Nick Saban knows that they have to focus on Fitzgerald and I will assure you the defense will be coming after him on each play. I expect the Bulldogs to create some first downs, but they will ultimately continue to struggle scoring.
Mississippi State vs. Alabama Betting Trends
Both teams have been solid for bettors this year. Mississippi State is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games and has hit the under mark in each of their last 5 games. Meanwhile, Alabama is 6-3 ATS on this season and 4-2 ATS in their last 6 at home. The Crimson Tide are also 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings against the Bulldogs. Also, it is also noted that the under has hit in 8 of the last 11 meetings between the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am a little hesitant to take the side in this game with Alabama being at home. I think the under 51 is the best play because both defenses are really good at keeping opponents out of the end zone. Take the under 51