College Football Egg Bowl Betting Picks: Ole Miss Rebels at Mississippi State Bulldogs

Ole Miss Rebels at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, Mississippi

Thursday, November 28, 2013, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Ole Miss -3
Current Line: Ole Miss -3
Opening Total: 52 1/2
Current Total: 52
Opening Money Line: Ole Miss -150 / MSU +130
Current Money Line: Ole Miss -150 / MSU +130

Ole Miss is a 3 point road favorite at rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs must win to become bowl eligible.
Ole Miss is a 3 point road favorite at rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs must win to become bowl eligible.

The 7-4 Ole Miss Rebels are 3-4 in the SEC West. They close out the regular season at Egg Bowl rival Mississippi State on Thanksgiving night. The Bulldogs are 5-6 overall and 2-5 in the SEC. While the Rebels are already bowl eligible, the Bulldogs must win Thursday to clinch a bowl berth.

Mississippi leads the series 61-42-6, including 20-13-3 in Starkville. The two teams have played every year since 1901, and since 1927 they have played for the Golden Egg Trophy. The Bulldogs have win 4 of the last 6 in the series, but the Rebels won last year in Oxford 41-24.

Ole Miss is coached by Hugh Freeze. The Rebels have home wins over SE Missouri State 31-13, LSU 27-24, Idaho 59-14, Arkansas 34-24, and Troy 51-21, along with road wins at Vanderbilt 39-35 and Texas 44-23. Ole Miss has road losses at Alabama 25-0 and Auburn 30-22, along with home losses to Texas A&M 41-38 and Missouri 24-10 last week. The Missouri loss snapped a four game winning streak for the Rebels. Alabama, Auburn and Missouri are all currently ranked in the top five of the BCS standings. Mississippi is 6-5 ATS and the total is 6-5 this season. The Rebels were 2.5 point underdogs against Missouri and the total was 58.5.

Missouri took a 17-3 lead at halftime against Ole Miss. The Rebels would pull within 17-10 early in the third, but the Tigers would score another touchdown a few minutes later to make is 24-10. Neither team would score again for the rest of the game. The Rebels drove to the Missouri 13, but turned it over on downs with 8:08 left in the fourth. Missouri drove to the Ole Miss 24 and ran out the clock. The Tigers had 485 total yards including 260 rushing yards. Ole Miss had 378 total yards including 252 passing yards. Each team had one turnover.

Ole Miss is outscoring teams 32-25 this season. The Rebels are averaging 487.5 total yards including 293.3 passing and 194.3 rushing yards. Ole Miss is #19 in total offense, #23 in passing and #38 in rushing nationally out of 125 teams. On defense, the Rebels are allowing 383.8 total yards including 223.5 passing and 160.4 rushing yards. Mississippi is +2 in turnovers with 18 takeaways. The Rebels average  43 penalty yards per game and opponents average 44. Ole Miss is 88/187 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 72/171. The Rebels have forced 17 sacks and allowed 23 this season. Ole Miss is 30/38 scoring in the red zone with 22 touchdowns, and opponents are 36/43 with 28 touchdowns. The Rebels have a punt return and a fumble return both for touchdowns and have allowed a pick six.

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace has completed 64.4% of his passes for 2,908 yards with 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 106 carries, 238 yards and 4 touchdowns. Back-up Barry Brunetti usually takes a few snaps a game. He has completed 58.3% of his passes for 294 yards and 6 touchdowns, and also has 54 carries, 261 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Running back I’Tavius Mathers has 75 carries, 495 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. Jeff Scott has 67 carries, 493 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 16 catches for 107 yards. Scott also has a punt return for a touchdown. Jaylen Walton has 87 catches for 433 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 21 catches  for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Wide receiver Donta Moncrief has 50 catches for 801 yards and 5 touchdowns. Ja-Mes Logan has 40 catches for 532 yards and 3 touchdowns. Laquon Treadwell has 58 catches for 500 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tight end Evan Engram has 20 catches, 265 yards and 3 touchdowns. Vince Sanders and Jordan Holder will also get some catches.

Mississippi State is coached by Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs have home wins over Alcorn State 51-7, Troy 62-7, Bowling Green 21-20, and Kentucky 28-22, along with a road win at Arkansas 24-17 in overtime last week in Little Rock. Mississippi State has losses to Oklahoma State in Houston 21-3, road losses at Auburn 24-20, South Carolina 34-16 and Texas A&M 51-41, along with home losses to LSU 59-26 and Alabama 20-7. The Arkansas win snapped a 3 game losing streak for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are 6-5 ATS and the total is 4-7 this season. MSU was a 2.5 point favorite at Arkansas and the total was 50.

Arkansas took an early 10-0 lead against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs would tie it up at 10 before halftime. The Razorbacks took a 17-10 lead late in the third quarter. The Bulldogs tied it up early in the fourth. Late in the fourth, Arkansas fumbles on the MSU 9 and the Bulldogs recovered. On the subsequent drive, the Bulldogs missed a 42 yard field goal with 18 seconds left. The Razorbacks took a knee to send the game into overtime. Arkansas won the toss in overtime and took the ball last. MSU scored on their first play from scrimmage to make it 24-17. The game ended when Arkansas threw an interception. The Bulldogs had 488 total yards including 297 passing and 191 rushing yards. Arkansas had 339 total yards including 225 rushing yards. The Razorbacks had three turnovers and the Bulldogs had two.

Mississippi State is outscoring teams 27-26 this season. The Bulldogs are averaging 438 total yards including 244.3 passing and 193.7 rushing yards. MSU is 53rd or better in all three categories. On defense, the Bulldogs are allowing 370.7 total yards including 216.5 passing and 154.2 rushing yards per game. MSU is #56 or better in all defensive categories. The Bulldogs are +5 in turnovers with 20 takeaways. Mississippi State averages 41 penalty yards per game and opponents average 45. The Bulldogs are 67/173 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 58/161. MSU has forced 14 sacks and allowed 20 this season. The Bulldogs are 34/44 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns and opponents are 31/35 with 24 touchdowns. MSU has returned one interception for a touchdown this season.

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott has missed the last two games with an arm injury and is listed as doubtful Thursday. Prescott has completed 58.4% of his passes for 1,542 yards with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He is also the leading rusher with 111 carries, 722 yards and 10 touchdowns, and also has 2 touchdown receptions and 53 yards on his 2 catches of the season. Tyler Russell took over for Prescott and has thrown for 875 yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 26 carries for 15 yards. He injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter against Arkansas. Freshman Damian Williams came in for Russell, and scored the game winning touchdown in overtime on a 25 yard run. Williams has thrown for 186 yards with an interception along with 21 carries, 72 yards and a touchdown. It is unclear who will start at quarterback against Ole Miss.

Running back LaDarius Perkins has 112 carries, 490 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 24 catches for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns. Josh Robinson has 68 carries, 378 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 11 catches for 112 yards. Ashton Shumpert has 38 carries, 161 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 3 catches. Derrick Milton has 2 rushing touchdowns, and a touchdown catch.

Receiver Jameon Lewis has 49 catches, 635 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 13 carries, 117 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Lewis also has 3 touchdown passes. Robert Johnson has 31 catches for 361 yards. Malcolm Johnson, De’Runnya Wilson and Joe Morrow will also get some catches. Wilson has 3 touchdown catches. Tight ends Brandon Hill and Gus Walley are both listed as doubtful or out for undisclosed reasons. Four defensive players are listed as questionable or out.

Ole Miss is 5-1 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 4-1 after a straight up loss and after failing to cover, 5-2 in Thursday games and against teams with losing records, 7-3 after a double digit home loss, 11-5 after allowing more than 450 total yards, 2-5 after scoring less than 20 points, 2-6 on grass, 4-13 in November, 1-4 against teams with losing home records. The under is 8-3 in the last 11 in this series.

Mississippi State is 6-1 ATS against teams with winning road records, 4-1 after a cover, 5-2 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 2-5 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 1-5 after a straight up win, 1-8 in Thursday games, and 0-4 after passing for more than 280 yards. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five in this series.

With Prescott likely out for the third straight game, either Russell or Williams must step up. If Russell is able he will likely start, but Williams could see action either way. Both teams struggle to score sometimes and have good defenses. This should be a low scoring affair. I like Ole Miss to win on the road and keep their rivals out of a bowl game.

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