Two teams going in drastically different directions face off Saturday as Mississippi State (1-3) travels to No. 2 Alabama (5-0). The Bulldogs won their opener before losing three in a row and came off a bye week to face a Crimson Tide team winning by an average of 22 points per game this season.
This primetime game kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on ESPN.
The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series 82-18-3 with 12 straight wins. Last year, they beat the Bulldogs 38-7 on the road and won at home 24-0 in 2018. The last MSU win in the series came in 2007, and the Bulldogs' last win in Tuscaloosa was a 24-16 victory in 2006.
Mississippi State Bulldogs Betting Outlook: QB Dilemma
In betting with us at www.A1PPH.com, you’ve gone 3-1 ATS if you bet against Mike Leach’s squad so far this season. The Air Raid offense is sixth in the country in passing (357.5 yards per game) but 79th in scoring (18.5 points per game) and dead last in rushing (28.5 yards per game). The defense allows 26.8 points per game (38th), though they rank 12th against the run at 103.3 yards per game.
Quarterback K.J. Costello had a 623-yard, five-touchdown breakout game to beat LSU in the opener but has struggled since then. He has 10 interceptions with just six touchdowns while throwing for 1,267 yards on a 66% completion rate.
He was benched against Texas A&M for Will Rogers, who went 15-for-18 for 120 yards and a touchdown.
The running game has been very ineffective this season, with 114 yards on 74 carries in four games for a 1.5 yards per attempt. Jo’quavious Marks leads the team with 89 yards on 22 carries, while Dillon Johnson has the lone rushing touchdown.
Wide receiver Osirus Mitchell has 20 catches for 287 and a team-high two receiving touchdowns. Marks and running back Kylin Hill lead the team with 23 receptions, Hill for 237 yards and a touchdown. Four other players have caught a touchdown pass this season, and overall, eight players have at least 100 yards receiving.
Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Outlook: Full Steam Ahead
Betting with us at www.A1PPH.com, Alabama is 3-2 ATS this season with three straight covers. In beating Tennessee 48-17 on Saturday, the Tide were right at their average of 48.4 points per game that ranks second in the nation. They are third in total offense (566.4 yards per game) and second in passing (397.8 yards per game).
The Tide rank first in the nation in scoring (51 points per game), second in passing yards (385 yards per game) and third in total yards (560.3 yards per game). The defense ranks 44th in points allowed (30.3 points per game), 66th in total yards allowed (473 yards per game) and 70th in passing yards (322.3 yards per game).
Quarterback Mac Jones is among the Heisman favorites with +550 odds, the best of any SEC player and the third-best overall. At Tennessee on Saturday, he was 25-for-31 for 387 yards while rushing for a touchdown. On the season, he has completed 79% of his passes for 1,905 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Senior running back Najee Harris scored three more touchdowns on Saturday while running for 96 yards on 20 carries and catching six balls for 61 yards. Brian Robinson Jr. added a touchdown with 29 yards on four carries. Harris has 595 yards and 14 touchdowns on 103 carries this season, while Robinson has 203 yards and two touchdowns.
Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (25 catches, 557 yards, four TDs) is likely done for the season after a devastating ankle injury on the opening kickoff Saturday. In his place, wide receivers John Metchie III caught seven passes or 151 yards, Devonta Smith had seven catches for 73 yards, and Slade Bolden caught six balls for 94 yards.
On the season, Smith has 45 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns, while Metchie has 21 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide College Football Betting Line
The Tide offense was fantastic against Tennessee even after losing Waddle on the opening kickoff. They have so many weapons, it is hard to see MSU keeping pace with them for long on Saturday. Alabama appears to have fixed its defensive problems and is back to piling up blowout wins.
Free Pick: Alabama -31 (-110)