The Ole Miss have lost 14 straight SEC games, and they've lost to Alabama eight times in a row. But the Rebels have covered the spread in three straight trips to Bama, where they sit as 30-point favorites for their Saturday SEC matchup.
Last year Ole Miss scored the first touchdown vs. the Tide, then saw 'Bama score the next 52 points in a 52-7 Tide victory. So while Alabama is right on track for their planned repeat of their BCS national championship, Bama bettors are nervous here.
Next up for the 4-0 Tide is a team they've had little trouble with recently, the Rebels of Ole Miss, in the SEC opener for both teams Saturday night in Tuscaloosa (9:15 pm ET, ESPN). See the recent head to head game list here.
Earlier this week most online sportsbooks opened Alabama at right around -32 for Saturday night's game, with an over/under of 55. As of Thursday evening most shops had dropped the Tide to -30.
Alabama returned just 11 starters this season, four along the offensive line but just five on defense, from the team that went 12-1 and won the national title last year. 'Bama began this season with that 41-14 romp over Michigan, then took care of Western Kentucky 35-0.
The Tide then went to Arkansas and pounded the Hogs 52-0, then last week dispatched of Florida Atlantic 40-7.
So Alabama covered as 13-point favorites vs. the Wolverines and 20-point faves over Arkansas, but took its foot off the gas and declined to cover 38 points vs. the Hilltoppers and 47 points vs. the Owls.
With their four victories the Tide have moved from No. 2 in the pre-season AP poll to No. 1.
On the other side of this matchup Ole Miss returned 16 starters, eight on each side of the ball, for its first season under new head coach Hugh Freeze. The Rebs opened their season with a 49-27 victory over Central Arkansas, then beat UTEP 28-10.
But Mississippi then got blitzed by Texas 66-31, allowing 676 yards of total offense to the 'Horns. Last week the Rebs recovered to blank Tulane 39-0.
Ole Miss covered as 20-point favorites over UCA, as eight-point faves over the Miners and as 17-point chalk over the Wave. But the Rebs couldn't cover getting 10 points vs. Texas.
Mississippi has averaged 260 YPG on the ground so far, but hasn't gone up against anything close to Alabama's defense, which has allowed just 62 YPG on the ground.
Free Pick: Alabama has used its blowouts to give reserves field time, and that tactic has cost its financial backers twice already this year. The same might very well happen Saturday night. We'll take the points with the Rebs. (courtesy of Pick Shark)
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