Alabama Mississippi State Odds
The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) travel to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-5, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday, November 16 in SEC West action. The Crimson Tide have won five straight meetings in this series, including last year’s 38-7 home victory as a 22-point favorite.
Kickoff at David Wade Stadium is scheduled for 7:45 EST Saturday night with ESPN providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the lines in Las Vegas, I find Alabama as a 25.5-point favorite at Mississippi State with a total set of 52 points.
Why Alabama Covers
Despite all the national attention, the Crimson Tide continue to be a covering machine. Oddsmakers just cannot seem to set their spreads high enough. They have gone 9-0 straight up and 6-3 against the spread in all games this season. They are winning by an average of 30.3 points per game on the year and have yet to be really tested outside of a road game at Texas A&M. Nick Saban and company are determined to win that third straight BCS Championship and fourth in five years.
Alabama is putting up 40.9 points per game to rank 13th in the country in scoring offense. Once again, the Crimson Tide rank 1st in the country in scoring defense at 10.6 points per game. They have barely given up more points (43) over their past seven games than touchdowns scored (36) by their offense over this same stretch. The fact of the matter is that this is the best team in the country to this point whether you like to believe it or not.
Mississippi State does not have a good win yet this season. Its four wins have all come at home against the likes of Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green and Kentucky. It even struggled to beat both Bowling Green (21-20) and Kentucky (28-22), so this isn’t a very good football team to say the least. In its two toughest games this season, it was blown out at home against LSU (26-59) and at South Carolina (16-34). That’s the same LSU team that Alabama beat 38-17 last weekend.
Plays on favorites of 21.5 to 31 points (ALABAMA) – in conference games, after scoring 35 points or more in a win over a conference rival are 55-14 (79.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. Alabama is 8-0 against the spread as a favorite of 21.5 to 31 points over the last three seasons. It is winning in this spot by an average of 37.1 points per game. The Bulldogs are 7-16 ATS in their last 23 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game.
Why Mississippi State Covers
This is potentially a huge letdown spot for Alabama. It is coming off arguably its biggest win of the season last Saturday in a 38-17 home victory over LSU. That game was much closer than the final score would indicate as it was tied 17-17 in the third quarter before the Crimson Tide pulled away in the fourth. It would be pretty easy for the Crimson Tide to overlook Mississippi State enough to fail to win by 26-plus points, which is what it would take to cover.
There’s no question that Mississippi State has been better than its 4-5 record would indicate. It hung tough against Texas A&M last week on the road, losing by a final of 41-51 as a 19.5-point favorite. In losses to both LSU and South Carolina, those games were much closer than the final scores would indicate, too. It was a 26-31 game in the fourth quarter against LSU before the Bulldogs gave up 28 unanswered points in the final period. Mississippi State also outgained South Carolina 385-307, but it committed five turnovers to lose by a final of 16-34.
Despite the poor record, the Bulldogs know that an upset win over Alabama Saturday would make their season. This has been a pretty closely-contested series over the past decade when you factor in the 25.5-point spread. In fact, Alabama has only beaten Mississippi State by more than 25 points in just two of the last nine meetings in this series. In 2011, Mississippi State lost at home by a final of 7-24 as a 17.5-point underdog.
Looking at the numbers, it’s easy to see that this is a quality team. The Bulldogs rank 36th in the country in total offense at 459.2 yards per game and 38th in total defense at 372.9 yards per game. As you can see, they are outgaining opponents by roughly 86 yards per game on the season. Mississippi State is 5-1 against the spread in its last six home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The home team is 5-1 against the number in the last six meetings in this series.
Mississippi State is 5-1 against the spread in its last six home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The home team is 5-1 against the number in the last six meetings in this series.
My Early Lean: Mississippi State +25.5