The Alabama Crimson Tide are undefeated and unchallenged as the #1 college football team in the land. Or are they? Interestingly enough, they have some ground to make up as they take the field on Saturday for game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, which will begin at 7 PM ET in Starkville. Remember that if you are a VietBetcustomer, you have the opportunity to get reduced juice before the game starts, and then, after the opening kickoff, you can feast on real-time wagering through the facilities provided by Live Betting Ultra.
Alabama (9-0 straight-up, 5-4 against the NCAA football pointspread) has beaten every team in its path this season by double digits, with the exception of Texas A&M. And they are ranked #1 in both major polls. But they aren’t necessarily getting the same kind of respect from the people who vote in the college football playoff rankings, as they are not only NOT the top team, they’re not even the top team in their own conference. Currently the Georgia Bulldogs are #1 on that list. So maybe this is one of those situations were Nick Saban’s team is not only playing for a victory, but also for a little respect. They’ve got the Bulldogs this week, followed by a warm-up game against Mercer, which gets them ready for the Iron Bowl on November 25 against Auburn.
Mississippi State (7-2 straight-up, 6-3 ATS) has been humbled by Georgia (31-3) and Auburn (49-10), but also scored a 37-7 victory over LSU. Last week they were almost undoubtedly looking ahead as they scored an uninspiring 34-23 victory over Massachusetts. There was actually some anxiety here, as UMass took a 20-13 lead into the locker room at halftime, but then the Bulldogs woke up and took over. It was not Nick Fitzgerald’s shining moment; the MSU quarterback went just 14-25 for 139 yards and was intercepted twice. The ground game averaged only 4.2 yards per carry. But we would expect a lot more focused this week for the Crimson Tide. The problem is, the Tide will be focused as well; you can bet on that.
In the NCAA football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Alabama is favored by two touchdowns on the road:
Alabama Crimson Tide -14
Mississippi State Bulldogs +14
Over 51 points -110
Under 51 points -110
After last week’s 24-10 victory (and non-cover) against LSU, Alabama has now given up ten points or less in five of its last six games. So naturally you can imagine that the defensive metrics are outstanding. And they are.
They are fourth best in the nation in Passing Success Rate, and sixth in Rushing Success Rate. In more conventional statistics, they have allowed 75.8 rushing yards per game, which is second-best in the country. And as far as team passing efficiency defense is concerned, they rank ahead of everyone else. They have allowed opponents to convert only 28% of third downs, which is among the top 10 figures in the nation. They have recorded 29 sacks, which puts them in the top ten, and they have turned the ball over only five times. There also ninth in the nation in rushing, and we could go on and on and on.
VietBet patrons also know that they have a fearless leader in Jalen Hurts, who gets it done both ways as a quarterback. However, Mississippi State would like to put itself in position where he has to do it with his arm, because that may be the one area where he is not at his most productive, with just 1406 yards through the air. However, with just one interception in 175 attempts, he is not going to make the kind of mistakes where he beats himself. That’s important to remember.
Hurts also helps (pardon that one) when it comes to rushing the football, as he has 695 yards and 8.3 yards a carry. So MSU’s mission is clear – shut down his most dangerous receiver, Calvin Ridley, who he’s targeted 32% of the time, and keep him contained in the pocket. Easier said than done, obviously.
MSU has one of the more efficient units in the country on both offense and defense. But we just don’t like the optics created by those losses to the two best teams on its schedule. So if you ask us now, we are going to offer a recommendation on ‘Bama, which is less likely to make costly mistakes and more likely to play the “shutdown” game.
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