If Matt Corral wants to boost his chances of winning the Heisman Trophy leading his Ole Miss Rebels to a road win over the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday would certainly help. Corral has put up ridiculous numbers leading the undefeated Rebels’ offensive machine.
They lead the country in scoring with nearly 53 points per game while averaging 635 yards per outing. Bama isn’t Tulane, though, and things will be much different for the Rebels in their SEC opener. Alabama hit the board as a two-touchdown favorite for this SEC West showdown.
The Week 5 college football game between the Ole Miss Rebels and Alabama Crimson Tide will take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 2, 2021 and will be televised on CBS.
Mississippi Rebels vs Alabama Crimson Tide Odds
Ole Miss Rebels +14 [BET NOW]
Alabama Crimson Tide -14 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 78 [BET NOW]
The Rebels played well through an unbeaten month of September winning every game by least 19 points with an average margin of 32 points. They went 2-0-1 ATS with easy covers over Louisville and Tulane and had last week off to prepare.
They called off the dogs against Austin Peay pushing the line in a 54-17 win over the Governors. The Rebels have lost five straight in the series, though they are 3-2 ATS in that span. The line hasn’t been this low since 2016 when Ole Miss covered in a 48-43 home setback.
While Ole Miss had last week off to prepare for this monumental showdown, you could say the same for Alabama. The Tide did play a game, but it wasn’t as close as the 63-14 margin over Southern Mississippi. Bama opened as a two-touchdown favorite over the Rebels and have been favored by at least 14 points in every game this season.
They evened their record at 2-2 ATS covering the 45-point closing line last week. Large spreads are nothing new for the Tide, who face a double-digit line for the 12th time in their last 13 games. They closed as a 9.5-point favorite in last season’s national championship game smacking Ohio State 52-24.
Beating Louisville, Austin Peay and Tulane is one thing. Beating the No. 1 ranked team in the country is another. The Rebels put up impressive numbers in those three wins led by Corral, who joined the Heisman conversation by throwing for 997 yards with nine touchdowns while adding another 158 yards and five scores on the ground.
He’s the catalyst for the nation’s best offense that averages 52.7 points and 635.3 yards per game. What’s lost in all the commotion over Corral and the offense is how improved the Rebels are defensively.
There is more reason for optimism. The Rebels played Bama close last season before losing 63-48. The game was actually tied early in the fourth quarter before the Tide scored three touchdowns over the final 10 minutes. Corral had a nice outing throwing for 365 yards and two touchdowns as the teams cashed the OVER for the first time in four meetings.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Coming off their narrow win over Florida and with an eye toward Ole Miss, last week’s encounter with Southern Miss could have been a prime letdown spot. The Tide made sure that didn’t happen by annihilating the Golden Eagles 63-14. And they put to rest any concerns before the seats at Bryant-Denny were warm.
Jameson Williams, the speedy Ohio State transfer, returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a score and the rout was on. And if you thought the loss of several superstars was going to affect the offense, think again.
Bryce Young has put together a solid season and was nearly perfect against So. Miss going 20 of 22 for 313 yards and five touchdowns. Williams had just four touches the entire game but made the most of them by amassing 258 all-purpose yards with three scores. And the offense could be even scarier with the expected return of Brian Robinson Jr., who sat out last week after sustaining an injury in the Florida game.
The defense shutdown the overmatched Golden Eagles last week, but the group looked vulnerable against Florida, especially against the run. The unit allowed 246 rushing yards and must contain the nimble Corral to slow down Ole Miss’ machine. The Tide couldn’t do that last season.
Ole Miss vs Alabama Prediction
The teams can score and they combined for over 100 points in last season’s meeting. Bama used that game to refocus defensively and I’m sure the Tide is going to be amped to show Corral what they can do. They won’t stop him completely, but they will slow him down enough. And the Rebels are also better at stopping opponents so I don’t see a track meet. I will cautiously back the UNDER while taking the visitors and the points.
Our Prediction: Ole Miss Rebels +14 / UNDER 78
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