Alabama vs. Mississippi State Total & Spread Pick

October 16, 7:00 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
ALA -17/MSST +17

Prior to last week's road trip to College Station, Alabama had won 100 consecutive games over unranked teams, which dates back to the 2007 season. Needless to say, nobody reasonably predicted Alabama would fail to survive their road trip to Texas A&M as 18 point favorites. Instead, the previously top-ranked team in the country struggled significantly on the defensive side of the football and could not hold off the Aggies in a 41-38 stunning loss. The defeat sent shockwaves throughout the college football landscape as Nick Saban's dynasty in Tuscaloosa looked mortal for the first time in ages. On Saturday, Alabama will have a chance to regroup when they go into Starkville for a showdown with the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium.

The Bulldogs are 3-2 SU (2-3 ATS) on the season, with a pair of close losses to Memphis and Florida by just 5 points combined. However, the Bulldogs did accomplish something Alabama just failed to accomplish. Just two weeks ago, the Bulldogs pulled out a 26-22 victory over Texas A&M in College Station. Mississippi State most recently had a bye week which means that should come into Saturday night's showdown with Alabama refreshed. So far this season, the Bulldogs have thrown the ball well with QB Will Rogers. The sophomore quarterback has thrown for 1,862 yards with 14 touchdowns and just two INTs through five games this season. Rogers is on track to shatter Mississippi State's single-season passing record, and that same passing attack will take aim at an Alabama defense coming off their worst performance in recent memory. Therefore, could this be another opportunity to fade the big favorite in Alabama?

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Betting Analysis

The one thing bettors should consider going into Saturday's SEC West showdown is that we have almost never seen Alabama underperform in back-to-back weeks under Head Coach Nick Saban. Just because Texas A&M was able to move the football with seeming ease, that does not mean anything is guaranteed for the Bulldogs' efforts on Saturday. With that said, there are two main factors that I believe cannot be ignored. Possibly the biggest factor is that QB Will Rogers is a legitimately good quarterback. He is not one of those guys with padded stats or in a system offense. He can make all the throws on the field and spread the ball around.

The second major point that I would mention is that Alabama's pass defense is not nearly as good as people may expect. Statistically, Alabama ranks 34th in the country against the pass allowing 195 yards per game. However, Alabama has not faced many teams that throw the football well. Last week's meeting with Texas A&M was Alabama's biggest test to date, and they allowed a very average quarterback in Zach Calzada to throw for three touchdowns and 285 yards through the air. I'm sure people will point to Alabama's win over Ole Miss and QB Matt Corral as a counterargument. However, I thought the Rebels' game plan against Alabama was horrendous as they attempted to run the football and fell behind 28-0 before even testing the Crimson Tide defense.

One thing is for sure, and that is the Bulldogs will not come out with a run-heavy approach. Bulldogs Head Coach Mike Leach is a notorious pass-oriented play-caller which is proven by the fact Mississippi State has attempted just 93 rushes on the entire season. Expect Mississippi State to come out slinging from the opening snap, and if they can get some protection, QB Will Rogers will have success. Alabama has plenty of weapons on the offensive side of the football that is worrisome, but Mississippi State's defense has improved with almost every performance this season. With an extra week of preparation, I am expecting the Bulldogs to take another step forward, and I think their style of play will give Alabama problems.

Jay's Free Alabama at Mississippi State Predictions 10/16/21

I like the Bulldogs and the points here. I would also encourage bettors to look at the over 58.5 as I believe both offenses will create some fireworks!

Free Pick: 
Take Mississippi State +17