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Top-Ranked Alabama Still Has Work To Do Heading In To Date With Ole Miss

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/25/2013 8:04:17 PM

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide is a damn good team. They still have their flaws though, and head coach Nick Saban knows they have to make improvements to reach their lofty goals this online sports betting season. Next up for Alabama is an SEC contest against another undefeated team in the No. 21 Ole Miss Rebels – another 3-0 team. The Tide have done a lot of things right in all three aspects of the game, but will need more out of an inconsistent offensive line and rushing attack in order to truly reach its potential. Alabama is averaging just 120 rushing yards per game, ranking them last in the SEC heading in to this Saturday’s contest.

#21 Ole Miss Rebels @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday September 28, 2013 - 6:30 PM ET
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
College Football Sportsbook Line: Alabama – 15.5

The Tide isn’t invulnerable so long as the ground game struggles with consistency, even with the defense and special teams playing at a high level. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze feels his team can put up some big totals against any opponent it faces, as long as they can protect the football and control the tempo of the game.

College Football Betting Preview: Ole Miss

The Rebels are coming off a bye week and will have had ample time to prepare for their toughest test yet, and their run defense has been one of the best in the SEC. Ole Miss will need to hold up against the run in order to force the Alabama offense to be one-dimensional, and it won’t be easy since the Tide hasn’t been held to fewer than 100-rushing yards in consecutive games since 2005 and will be focused on pounding the rock with more consistency. The Rebels have their own weapon on the ground in senior running back Jeff Scott, who ran for 164 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in a 44-23 win over Texas. Junior quarterback Bo Wallace has thrown for 648 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for over 100 yards and four more scores, and most importantly he has not turned the ball over.

College Football Betting Preview: Alabama

The Alabama defense will look to change that this week as they get after Wallace, and their defense has done an excellent job of making big plays at key points in games this sports betting season. The Tide defense and special teams has accounted for five touchdowns through three games, and is a threat tot take the ball to the house on every touch. The offensive line will benefit from the return of guard Anthony Steen, who was held out of last week’s game to heal and prepare for this contest. Alabama will also have star receiver Amari Cooper back in after he rested last week, and that should help open up space as the passing attack actually stretches the defense and opens up room underneath for running back TJ Yeldon. Senior quarterback AJ McCarron has thrown for 702 yards and six touchdowns, but also has two interceptions through three games and must do a better job protecting the football.

College Football Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Saban’s team hasn’t dominated non-conference opponents, but they have gotten the job done and really stepped up against the rival Aggies when they scored 49 points against Texas A&M at College Station. The Tide have played to their level of competition but still have yet to register a truly complete performance, so don’t be afraid if that comes this week at home with both Steen and Cooper back in the lineup for Alabama. Ole Miss isn’t ready for the brightest SEC spotlight just yet, and they will struggle to keep up with a Tide team that can put up major points in so many different ways.         

College Football Betting Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide – 15.5

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