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College football expert Ian Cameron breaks down this weekend's No 1 Alabama vs. No. 12 Ole Miss SEC showdown. He gives his prediction and picks for this matchup.

Alabama vs. Ole Miss Prediction and Picks: Against the Spread, Total, and Latest Odds

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels

Point Spread: Alabama -14.5 (-105)

Total: 79.5

Game Time: Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, CBS

Alabama vs. Ole Miss Prediction

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Many people had this SEC West game circled before the season, with Alabama being the defending national champs and expected to contend for another title. Ole Miss was expected to improve and be one of the top teams in the SEC this season behind an explosive, quick-strike offense. Many people have waited for the matchup that is finally here as the Rebels head to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide on Saturday in a battle of early-season undefeated squads.

The Ole Miss offense is a juggernaut led by quarterback Matt Corral, running back Jerrion Ealy, and a bevy of talented wide receivers, including Dontario Drummond and Jonathan Mingo, who have a combined 35 receptions. They are averaging a whopping 635 total yards on offense which is tops in the country, and they have scored 43 and 61 points in their two games against FBS opponents this season, Louisville and Tulane outgaining them by a combined 616 yards.

Alabama was expected to have one of the best defenses in the country and lots of returning production on that side of the football. Still, the Crimson Tide struggled against by far the best team they’ve played so far, the Florida Gators. Alabama’s defense allowed 440 total yards. They were particularly carved upon the ground as the Gators accumulated 246 rushing yards at a 5.7 yards per rush clip and barely escaped with a 31-29 win as two-touchdown favorites on the road. Alabama struggled with the Rebels offense last season, surrendering 48 points and 647 total yards last year in a wild 63-48 win. Ole Miss benefits from having a bye week before this game, and I fully expect head coach Lane Kiffin to have some tricks and wrinkles installed in the playbook to try and take this Alabama defense by surprise. 

On the flip side, the Ole Miss struggled last season, and they appear to be improved this season, but how much improved they are on that side of the football will become clearer in this matchup against a very dangerous Alabama offense. Alabama has not seen the type of decline in the offense that some people feared coming in following the departures of NFL-bound talent like quarterback Mac Jones and wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, among others. Still, first-year starting quarterback Bryce Young has not shown any incapability of continuing the recent pattern of highly productive Alabama offenses. The Tide have scored 44 against Miami, 31 against Florida, and 63 against Southern Miss in three FBS games this season. Young already has 1,124 passing yards, a 72.1% completion rate, and a sparkling 15-1 TD-INT ratio.

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Alabama has played only one high-quality opponent this season when they faced Florida. They were in a battle throughout to get out of Gainesville with the victory. I think the Crimson Tide will be in for a supreme challenge here in this game despite playing at home against an Ole Miss squad with the offense to put serious pressure on an Alabama defense that did struggle in that game against Florida. Suppose Florida can move the football the way they did against Alabama. In that case, Ole Miss is more than capable of having their high-powered offense do some more damage against Alabama as well, especially with the element of Ole Miss having a bye week before this game to really perfect their offensive game plan.

I think this is too many points being offered with an Ole Miss team that is 6-2 ATS in their last eight visits to Alabama and 5-0 ATS in their previous five games as a road underdog. The last two regular-season meetings between Ole Miss and Alabama had 90, and 111 total points scored. Yes, this total opened at 74.5, and it has been bet up to 79.5, and it’s an extremely high total. A 42-38, 45-38, or 45-42 type of final score still cashes Over tickets for bettors in this game, and I think that is a reasonable expectation of what to expect in this game which has extreme shootout potential. I’m on the underdog Ole Miss and the Over in this game.

Alabama vs. Ole Miss Picks

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