CFB Betting – Mississippi State Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

Mike Leach is finding out just how tough life in the SEC is. And things aren’t getting any better when his Mississippi State Bulldogs take on the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. After shocking the college football world with a 44-34 upset of LSU in their opener, the Bulldogs’ offense has been nearly non-existent. They totaled 30 points while losing three in a row falling to 1-3. Not being able to score points against Bama is a death sentence. The Tide has the third-ranked scoring offense in the FBS topping the 40-point mark in each of their last four games.  Bookmaker.eu is offering a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600)

Mississippi State Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide
Date and Time: Saturday, October 31, 2020, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
CFB Odds: Alabama -31, O/U 63.5
Mississippi State at Alabama TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Alabama has faced some big spreads in the past, but none bigger than the 31-points they’re laying in this contest. If the line holds it’ll be the largest in the series since at least 1997 and the most points Bama has given this season. That seemed nearly impossible a few weeks ago when Mississippi State looked like a threat with a dismantling of LSU in the opener. As we’ve seen since, the Tigers aren’t very good defensively and the Bulldogs played way over their head. Alabama got its second straight cover with a 48-17 win at Tennessee last week improving to 3-2 ATS. The Bulldogs are being outscored 73-20 during their three-game losing streak failing to cover the line each time. MSU is now 1-3 SU and ATS.

Mississippi State

It looks as though things will get worse for Leach and the Bulldogs before they get better. Mired in a three-game losing streak and facing a team they haven’t beaten since 2007, the Dogs suffered another blow when last year’s leading rusher Kylin Hill decided to opt out for the remainder of the season to supposedly prepare for the NFL draft. That move certainly doesn’t help an offense that’s averaged 10 points over the last three games and didn’t score a point in one of them.

All the euphoria from their season-opening win has dissipated leaving the Bulldogs to wonder what they have to do to score. Since throwing for 623 yard and five touchdowns against LSU in the opener K.J. Costello has 644 yards with one touchdown and eight interceptions since. His shoddy play opened up competition with Will Rogers relieving the last two games. “I don’t like splitting reps with quarterbacks. I like to settle on one. I would prefer that approach, but we’ve been awfully up and down. We need to figure out who gives us the best spark,” Leach said about the competition.

Defensively the Bulldogs have been surprisingly good, which is why they’ve cashed the UNDER in three straight games. They allowed 157 total yards to Kentucky a few weeks back and rank 15th nationally against the run and in total defense. Those numbers will be tested this week against the Crimson Tide, who rank third in total offense and scoring.

Alabama Crimson Tide

How much the Tide’s explosive offense is impacted by the loss of Jaylen Waddle remains to be seen. The junior had 25 catches for 557 yards and four touchdowns averaging 22.3 yards per catch during the first four games but suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the first quarter of last week’s game against Tennessee. Alabama leads the SEC and is third nationally averaging 566.4 yards and 48.4 points per game. “I hate that people in college football can’t see him play more,” Nick Saban said of Waddle.

Don’t feel too bad for the Tide. Like every year there’s another prospect waiting for the chance to shine. Waddle was in that category playing behind Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. Now it’s time for DeVonta Smith and John Metchie to step up. And Slade Boldin, who replaced Waddle last week, finished with six catches for 94 yards after entering with zero receptions. Najee Harris will shoulder some of the load and Mac Jones will continue to distribute the football so I doubt there will be much dropoff.

The Tide picked up the pace defensively since getting shredded by Mississippi. They allowed a season-low 302 yards last week in the win over Tennessee and conceded fewer points in the last two games (41) than they did in that 63-48 win over the Rebels

Bet Mississippi State at Alabama at BookMaker.eu

One of the SEC’s oldest rivalries hasn’t been much of a contest recently with the Tide owning the series with 12 consecutive victories. Only twice in that span has a game been decided by fewer than 10 points with Bama going 8-4 ATS. None of those games had a higher spread than what we currently see and with Mississippi State coming off a bye week, taking the points looks inviting. Bama has one win by at least 31 points and MSU’s defense is pretty good. The loss of Waddle will be felt initially which is why I’m taking the Bulldogs and the hefty spread.

CFB Score Prediction: Alabama 45, Mississippi State 20

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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