No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide at Mississippi Rebels
Saturday, 10/15/11, 6:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN2
Opening Point Spread: Alabama -24.5
Current Betting Line: Alabama -27.5
Opening Total: 45
Current Total: 44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Alabama takes its show on the road to Oxford, MS, coming off a 34-0 shutout victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores as 29-point home favorites. The Crimson Tide have out-gained all six of their opponents by a triple-digit margin. Running back Trent Richardson leads the charge offensively, ranking fifth in the country with 729 rushing yards, while also scoring 11 touchdowns on the ground. “I definitely think we are an offense that can run and pass at will when we were clicking on all cylinders,” commented Crimson Tide tight end Brad Smelley. Alabama is 5-1 ATS on the season and 22-10 ATS over the last two-plus campaigns.
The Crimson Tide have simply dominated teams in the fourth quarter this year, outscoring them by a 52-8 margin, while holding a 413-yard differential on the ground. Alabama’s defense has been ferocious in the quarter, allowing opponents to complete just 42.6 percent of their passes, while limiting them to 2.47 yards per rush. Winning in October is nothing new for this program, posting a 15-1 record since the 2007 season. Winning away from Tuscaloosa has been one of the teams strengths under head coach Nick Saban, registering a 13-2 mark since 2008.
Mississippi will be meeting Alabama for the 59th time this afternoon, trailing 47-9-2 in the all-time series, including seven consecutive defeats. “This is one of the best Alabama teams to have been around in awhile,” commented Rebels head coach Houston Nutt. His squad dropped a 23-10 contest at Bryant-Denny Stadium last year, but covered the number as 20-point road underdogs. Mississippi is 5-1 ATS as an underdog of 21.5 to 31 points, while the ‘over’ is 15-12 in the last two-plus seasons.
The Rebels have lost five consecutive games against ranked opponents and will be starting Randall Mackey under center. He passed for 214 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 38-28 win over the Fresno State Bulldogs. Senior running back Brandon Bolden is a major weapon offensively, needing just 85 yards to move into fifth place in the school’s all-time rushing list, coming into Saturday with 2,237 yards. One important factor in this game is an offensive line that has given up just 10 sacks this season going up against a dominating defensive front.
Bettors will likely back the Crimson Tide due to their 5-0 ATS mark as a road favorite of 10.5 or more points, while the Rebels are 1-5 ATS versus SEC foes.
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