We are being rewarded with a battle of two ranked SEC teams in Week 5 of the college football season with the Ole Miss Rebels traveling to face the Alabama Crimson Tide. Lane Kiffin will get another opportunity to coach against Nick Saban after spending time as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama from 2014-2016.
Ole Miss comes into this game with a 3-0 record to begin the season and is currently ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25. On the other side of the field, Alabama continues to be the team to beat in college football and is the No. 1 team in the nation with a 4-0 record.
Most people expect this game on Saturday to be a high-scoring affair with Bryce Young and Matt Corral squaring off at the quarterback position. Ahead of what should be an exciting game to watch this week, I’ll be laying out my prediction and best bets for the showdown between Ole Miss and Alabama.
Ole Miss vs Alabama Best Bet: Over 79 Total Points (-110) at BetMGM
For in-depth analysis of this CFB bet of the day and others, continue reading.
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Ole Miss vs Alabama Prediction
Coming into Saturday’s contest, Ole Miss and Kiffin have had no issues dominating their opponents. While they have yet to face a ranked team this season, the Rebels have defeated Louisville, Austin Peay, and Tulane by an average of 32 points. In those games, Ole Miss has posted an average of 52.7 points per game, which leads the entire nation.
Alabama isn’t a slouch on offense either, with Young replacing Mac Jones at quarterback this season. The Crimson Tide have recorded 46.5 points per game so far this season, en route to beating Miami (FL), Mercer, Florida, and Southern Miss.
Alabama’s defense is also rather stout, as the unit has only allowed more than two touchdowns once in a game this season, surrendering 29 points to Florida back in Week 3. Saban will definitely have his hands full trying to slow down Kiffin’s offense on Saturday, especially given how it can air the ball out with ease with Corral at the helm.
These programs were pitted against one another last October and it was an absolute shootout as Alabama won the game 63-48. Saban improved to 21-0 against his former assistants, but Kiffin was the first to have his team score 35+ points against Saban. Even though I believe it will be closer than some people think, I see Saban improving his record to 22-0 against his former assistants.
Prediction: Alabama 48, Ole Miss 40
Ole Miss vs Alabama Best Bets
Best Bet: Over 79 Total Points (-110) at BetMGM
Wager: 1 Unit
Whenever you see a total of 79 points, you may want to immediately to bet the under. However, with Ole Miss coming to Alabama, there’s merit to having the over/under at 79 points as both teams can score in bunches.
We have a team in Ole Miss that is currently leading college football in points per game going up against an Alabama team that has scored 30+ points in 30 consecutive games. With Corral and Young also looking to increase their odds to win the Heisman Trophy, I expect non-stop scoring in this game between these SEC foes.
Once again, when these teams faced each other last season, the score was 63-48 for a combined total of 111 points. Saban likely wasn’t happy to be involved in a game that saw the most scoring in SEC history, even with him being on the winning end. While Saban hopes to restrict Ole Miss to a lower total this time around, he better be prepared for another back-and-forth affair.
Best Bet: Ole Miss +14.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Wager: 1 Unit
There’s a reason why Alabama is favored by 14.5 points on Saturday. The Crimson Tide truly look like the No. 1 team in college football and it’s tough to see a team beating them, especially at home. Alabama’s only game this season that was within single-digits was its narrow road win over Florida in Week 3.
That being said, Ole Miss looks like an up-and-coming program under Kiffin that can make things difficult for Alabama. It’s hard to expect Alabama to win by more than two touchdowns in a game where I see both teams trading score for score in a shootout.
You could argue that Ole Miss hasn’t faced a ranked team so far this season, but they’ve taken care of business against unranked teams thus far and it hasn’t been close. Now the true test begins, as the Rebels face two consecutive ranked SEC teams in Alabama and Arkansas in their next two games.
Ole Miss did also have an extra week to prepare for Alabama after having a bye in Week 4. With extra time to get themselves ready, and the high-octane nature of its offense, I believe Ole Miss is capable of keeping this game closer than expected.