Even though the Alabama Crimson Tide won the national championship last season, they did have a blemish on their record, that loss was dealt to them at the hands of the Mississippi Rebels, who came into Tuscaloosa behind a brash young quarterback named Chad Kelly and came away with a 43-37 victory. Now Ole Miss has the chance to play host to the defending national champions, who are thirsting for revenge. This game begins at 3:30 PM ET at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, MS, and BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to watch the game live on CBS and place wagers on it, using the considerable facilities provided by Live Betting Ultra.
Kelly is the nephew of Jim Kelly, who made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He was voted the SEC Newcomer of the Year, and is a surefire NFL prospect. He showed a lot of poise against Alabama last season, but it is obligatory for us to point out that the Tide had to go with Connor Bateman as the starting quarterback in that one. Jake Coker took over for the rest of the season, and Alabama delivered Nick Saban national title #4.
Interestingly enough, the last three national crowns Saban has won have come with first-year quarterbacks at the helm, and he’ll try to do it again this season with Jalen Hurts, who won the job over a couple of other contestants, including Bateman. Alabama had a bit of a breather against Western Kentucky last week, but they began their season in resounding fashion with a 52-6 win over USC, and they are currently the top-rated team in the nation in both major polls.
In the NCAA football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Alabama is the road favorite:
For Mississippi, it looked like child’s play in the first half against Florida State, as they got off to a huge lead against the team that was supposed to be a national championship contender. Kelly looked almost infallible, as he was getting rid of the ball quickly and had receivers wide open over the middle. But Florida State scored before the half and absolutely crushed them in the second half, rallying for a 45-34 victory, and they almost made it look like Ole Miss gave up. Obviously if you can put up 34 points against a team like FSU, there are going to be some bright spots, and it certainly was encouraging that after losing Laquan Treadwell to the first round of the NFL draft, they were able to get a big game out of tight end Evan Engram, who had nine catches for 121 yards.
BetAnySports patrons may be interested to know that not only has Mississippi covered its last four as a home underdog, they are 9-3 ATS in their last dozen games at home, and have also covered five of their last seven home games against this Alabama program. But it is going to take more than just statistical trends to bring this Rebel team to a cover, much less a straight- up victory.
Alabama does not necessarily need a quarterback to carry them, and Hurts, you must remember, is a freshman. Last week he started against Western Kentucky, and the Crimson Tide, coming off the romp over the Trojans, was understandably a little flat in the 38-10 triumph. Hurts completed 23 of his 36 passes for 287 yards in what has to be considered the classic “sandwich” game. Yes, there is payback on this team’s mind, but important thing to remember is that Ole Miss has recruited with the best of them the last few years. Coach Hugh Freeze sent three players into the first round of the NFL draft, and he had a host of blue-chippers to replace them. Alabama generally has more trouble with the dual threat quarterbacks, and even though Kelly plays in what must be considered more or less a pro-style offense, he can pull the ball down and run with it. Last year he threw for 341 yards against Alabama with three touchdown passes, and was totally unintimidated in the hostile atmosphere. Make no mistake about it; covering this double-digit number on the road is not an easy assignment for the national champions.
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