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Betting Preview: Mississippi State Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide

11.11.2010     02:20 PM     Alatex Sports     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Alatex Sports

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Mississippi State at Alabama -12.5 O/U 47.5 
Recommendation: Under 
Saturday, 4:15 pm PT – ESPN2


Who would have ever thought that Alabama and Mississippi State would enter this matchup with identical 7-2 records after nine games? As farfetched as it may have seemed at the beginning of the year, that is the case now. Alabama fell out of the national title race last week with its 24-21 loss at LSU and now we will find out how they respond. This is the first time in over a year that the Tide has played a game without everything on the line in terms of winning a national title. For the most part, they are out of the SEC title race as well with Auburn still undefeated and LSU having one loss and the tie-breaker if something happens to Auburn.

There are a couple of factors that might suggest a good performance from the Crimson Tide. For starters, there is no pressure on them to win and second, they are coming off their worst defensive performance of the year. My concern though is whether or not they respond because they wouldn’t be the first team to come out flat after a devastating loss. The other thing to consider is that with two losses, there is no doubt that Alabama isn’t as good as they were last year or were projected to be this year.

On the other side of the equation, Mississippi State is having a dream year under head coach Dan Mullen. They lack many quality wins but did win at Florida and had a chance to beat Auburn at home in a three-point loss. Still, MSU’s other wins came against Georgia, Kentucky, UAB, Memphis, Houston and Alcorn State. They are a decent running team, but have a non-existent passing game against SEC competition. On defense, they have been above average for the most part and are tough to run against with a 3.96 ypc allowed average. Mullen has done an excellent job in getting the most out of average SEC talent and they have not had any slipups along the way against inferior competition which you have to respect.

It would not surprise me to see a very competitive game this week in Tuscaloosa, and the Bulldogs will have a chance to win if Alabama decides not to show up. The problem I have with taking the Bulldogs is their lack of offense against good defenses. They managed just 14 points against Auburn, 7 at LSU and 10 at Florida. However, they did hold up defensively against all three foes and there is no reason to think they won’t slow down what has been an inefficient Alabama offense. The under looks like a solid play here, as none of Mississippi State’s five league games came close to the total of 47.5 – and four of Alabama’s six league tilts would have been under this total as well.

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Pittsburgh at UConn (Friday) - Fairway Jay 
Iowa at Northwestern - Erin Rynning

Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Mississippi State Bulldogs SEC Brent Crow College Football




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