NCAA Football: Tulane Green Wave vs. Ole Miss Rebels Preview, Prediction & Odds - Sept. 18, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8 p.m. ET, Sept. 18, 2021
Venue: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
Where to watch: ESPN2

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Ole Miss -14; O/U 75.5; Moneyline -- Ole Miss -630, Tulane +450
BetMGM: Ole Miss -14; O/U 76; Ole Miss -625, Tulane +450
Caesars: Ole Miss -14; O/U 76.5; Ole Miss -650, Tulane +450

Season record
Tulane: 1-1
No. 17 Ole Miss: 2-0

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Tulane - Ole Miss preview and analysis


Recent form
Tulane: won 69-20 vs. Morgan State on Sept. 11
Ole Miss: won 54-17 vs. Austin Peay on Sept. 11

Not a bad start for Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels.

Despite Kiffin testing positive for COVID prior to Ole Miss’ season opener against the Louisville Cardinals, the Rebels have proven strong through two weeks and find themselves ranked No. 17 in the country.

The Rebels better enjoy these moments of fun while they can, because the ultimate challenge awaits them in two weeks against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. Before that, the Rebels will welcome the Tulane Green Wave to Oxford on Saturday before SEC play begins.

The Rebels are coming off a 37-point win against the Morgan State Bears five days after an impressive 19-point win and cover against the Louisville Cardinals.

It’s been a while since Ole Miss football has put together a string where touchdowns were aplenty and the offense was cooking with gas. But the Rebels have a Heisman candidate quarterback in Matt Corral who could be the best quarterback in the SEC when all is said and done. Corral has 662 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 337.5 yards through the air.

The Ole Miss passing game is what’s going to carry the Rebels through the likes of Alabama and Georgia. It helps to have a duo like Dontario Drummond and Jonathan Mingo combining for 24 receptions, 438 yards and five of Corral’s six touchdowns.

But Ole Miss isn’t hosting a typical Tulane squad that would have rolled over some years ago. This is a Green Wave squad that has proven that Tulane games are no walk in the park. All you have to do is look at how this group has played since being displaced by Hurricane Ida. After nearly pulling off the upset of the year against No. 2 Oklahoma, the Green Wave responded with a 69-20 drubbing of the Austin Peay Governors at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama in their last time out.

Tulane isn’t known just for a strong air attack led by quarterback Michael Pratt. It helps to have Tyrick James, Jaetavian Toles and Shae Wyatt as decent targets, but it goes beyond that. Cameron Carroll and Iverson Celestine are a good 1-2 combo at running back, and even Justin Ibieta is a good package quarterback to throw in certain packages.

Prediction


Ole Miss has won the last nine meetings and leads the overall series 41-28. The expectation is that Ole Miss will win this game, but don’t be surprised to see the Green Wave cover. This isn’t your grandad’s Tulane football team. This will be Ole Miss’ last game before the biggest test of their season. There is definitely a factor of looking ahead, but not too much for the ultimate upset from the underdog. Rebels by 13

Betting trends


Tulane is 14-16 against the spread in its last 30 against SEC opponents.

Ole Miss is 7-3 ATS as a home favorite in its last 10, and 8-2 straight up.

Players to watch


Tulane: There will be a lot of attention on Tyrick James, so this isa prime chance for Jaetavian Toles to make some big plays. He has seven receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown, only 36 yards behind team-high 142 from James.

Ole Miss: On the road in a tough environment, the Ole Miss defense will need to step up. Sam Williams, the Rebels’ top pass rusher, has three sacks this season through two games.

Statistical leaders


Tulane:
Passing: Michael Pratt -- 420 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Iverson Celestine -- 77 yards
Receiving: Tyrick James -- 142 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Keith Cooper Jr. -- 2 sacks

Ole Miss:
Passing: Matt Corral -- 662 yards, 6 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Henry Parrish Jr. -- 110 yards
Receiving: Dontario Drummond -- 284 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Sam Williams -- 3 sacks

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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