Ole Miss Rebels vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Picks and Game Preview - 10/02/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 3:30 p.m. ET, Oct. 2, 2021
Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Where to watch: CBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Alabama -14.5; O/U 80; Alabama -650, Ole Miss +460
BetMGM: Alabama -14.5; O/U 79; Alabama -625, Ole Miss +450
Caesars: Alabama -14.5; O/U 79.5; Alabama -650, Ole Miss +450

Season record
No. 12 Ole Miss: 3-0
No. 1 Alabama: 4-0 (1-0 SEC)

Ben Burns had a solid 3-2-1 week in what was an eventful and upset-filled weekend of college football. Ben is back for his Thursday thoughts on Virginia and Miami, but don’t make a move on it until you check in with him. Catch Ben’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Ole Miss - Alabama preview and analysis


Recent form
Ole Miss: won 61-21 vs. Tulane on Sept. 18
Alabama: won 63-14 vs. Southern Miss on Sept. 25

You won't find many times where a No. 12 team in the country is getting two touchdowns, but it only happens when you're facing the Alabama Crimson Tide.

That's no indictment on the Ole Miss Rebels, but man, the fact they're coming into their biggest game of the season against the reigning national champions in Tuscaloosa.

And to think we almost didn't get this storyline-filled matchup had the Tide lost to the Florida Gators two weeks ago. But at least Nick Saban got into his guys' ears and took the frustration out on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Saturday, winning by a comfortable seven touchdowns.

But I’d be remiss if we didn’t touch on the whole dynamic between Saban and former offensive cohort Lane Kiffin facing off. If you’re a fan of the over, this may be one you need to consider. No matter how much of an experienced group Alabama brings, this Ole Miss group is going to bring some serious firepower to the table in Tuscaloosa. And maybe Kiffin knows a thing or two about what Saban’s going to bring. You always wonder in these weird things.

Bryce Young threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns with the only blemish being an interception. Other than that, nothing to complain for the No. 1 team in the country.

Roydell Williams ran for 110 yards and a touchdown, and Jase McClellan ran for 97 yards to remind the country that Alabama still has a running game that can be relied on. Jahleel Billingsley had 105 yards and a touchdown, while Cameron Lafu caught two touchdowns.

I'm still strung on that Florida game just because the level of competition in the SEC has proven to be more deep than in years past. The Georgia Bulldogs are going to be in the running toward the very end; the Arkansas Razorbacks are now in the top-10. There's a lot of crazy things going on down south right now.

But can you imagine, for one second, if Ole Miss walked into Tuscaloosa and won? You realize the chaos we'd have in the SEC? More than what already exists?

Ole Miss' offense will no doubt be Alabama's toughest competition it's faced. Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Corral threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns in the Rebels' 40-point whopping of the Tulane Green Wave three weeks ago. But Corral also accounted for all seven touchdowns ... yes, the man ran for four scores on 68 yards on this night.

Not to mention that Ole Miss even had a running game going with Jerrion Ealy running for 103 yards on just 15 carries. Teams should not be having over 700 yards of total offense, but we've reached that point where such a thing in the SEC is happening.

Welcome to October football.

Prediction


This is obviously one of the games of the weekend, and it's certainly going to be close enough for Ole Miss to cover. It's going to come down to the quarterbacks, and I'm leaning toward Corral. You gravitate more toward the underdogs in college football and once you get that opportunity to see the full body of work, you really believe they can pull it off. That being said, Alabama by 3 because why not?

Betting trends


Ole Miss is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games following a non-conference game.

Alabama is 1-6 ATS in the same scenario following a non-conference game.

Players to watch


Ole Miss: Jonathan Mingo is coming off a game in which he had six receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown to lead the Rebels against Tulane.

Alabama: Bryce Young had two incompletions against Southern Miss -- the interception and one incompletion. If he leads another strong outing in this one, this will further cement the Heisman candidate’s resume.

Statistical leaders


Ole Miss:
Passing: Matt Corral -- 997 yards, 9 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Jerrion Ealy -- 188 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Dontario Drummond -- 339 yards, 4 TD
Defense: Chance Campbell -- 19 tackles, 1 sack

Alabama:
Passing: Bryce Young -- 1,124 yards, 15 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Brian Robinson -- 208 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Jameson Williams -- 299 yards, 3 TD
Defense: Phidarian Mathis -- 2.5 sacks

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Ole Miss - Alabama prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NCAA  projections and previews.

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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