Ole Miss Rebels (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday September 30th, 2017. 9:00PM (EST)
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MISS +28/ALA -28
Over/Under Total: TBA
The Alabama Crimson Tide destroyed any potential upset bids last week in a 59-0 blowout against Vanderbilt. The Commodores were on the heels of an upset win over Kansas State and were 18.5 point underdogs heading into the game in Nashville with a lot of experts expecting a potential close game. Instead, Alabama dominated in every facet of the game in one of their best performances of the season. This week Alabama looks to keep their momentum intact against SEC West rival and the visiting Ole Miss Rebels who have won 2 of the last 3 meetings against the Crimson Tide.
I have personally had this game circled on my calendar for weeks because I believe it creates an interesting matchup. Ole Miss does not have the same talent that they have had in recent years that has helped them win 2 of the last 3. The Rebels have not even played that well this season with shaky performances against South Alabama, then Tennessee-Martin, followed by the most recent loss to Cal 27-16 two weeks ago. Overall the Rebels defense has been mediocre and the offense has lacked consistency. Therefore this weeks battle with Alabama would seem like a complete disadvantage especially considering the Crimson Tides demolition of Vanderbilt last weekend.
However, I believe Ole Miss could still be a familiar thorn in Alabamas side. In all likelihood, Ole Miss does not have the defense to stop Alabamas power running game and does probably not have enough weapons on offense to keep the Crimson Tide defense on their heels. Still, the one thing that the Rebels do have which makes this game interesting is quarterback Shea Patterson. I believe Patterson is one of the best pure passers in the SEC. Patterson is completing 70% of his passes this season and has racked up 1,281 yards with 11 touchdowns and 4 picks in just 3 games. Before last week, Patterson was ranked 3rd in the FBS in passing yards.
Obviously the turnovers are somewhat concerning but Patterson is still a great passer. I have said for years that the best and most effective way to attack Alabamas dynamic defenses under Nick Saban is by throwing the football down the field. If you look at the last several teams that have beaten Alabama, they have all been really good passing teams that can stretch the field vertically. The Rebels have receivers that have size and speed which will give Ole Miss at least opportunities down the field. If they can hit a few passes, perhaps they can continue to give the Crimson Tide a tough time.
Of course that may be somewhat optimistic thinking for the Rebels. After all, Alabamas defense demolished Deondre Francois in the opener showing relentless blitzes until he was eventually knocked out with an injury. Last week, Vanderbilt quarterbacks Kyle Shurmur and Duece Wallace combined for 7 of 22 passing for just 38 passing yards against that same Alabama defense. Therefore, the Crimson Tide defensive front can wreak havoc and prevent Patterson from having time to throw which is likely what we will see most often. From an offensive standpoint for Alabama, Bo Scarbrough is developing into one of the nations elite rushers and he proved last week that he can put the offense on his back if needed. Alabama has enough firepower outside of Scarbrough to flourish with WR Calvin Ridley, complementary back Damien Harris, and quarterback Jalen Hurts. I am sure Alabama will score points in this game but how much will they need to cover the spread?
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Call me crazy but I think Ole Miss will give Alabama problems. I believe in Shea Patterson and I also believe there are just certain teams that play opponents well. Ole Miss is one of those teams for Alabama. Take Ole Miss +28 - Not all sportsbooks are created equal! Many are fly by night, poorly run and your loot is actually at risk. End that problem today by signing up at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbooks! Online for over 15 years, your credit card will work and you’ll also receive a 50% bonus up to $250 FREE at Bovada Sportsbook!