Free Expert NCAA Football Picks: Auburn Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 10/29/2014
Auburn Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels, Saturday Nov. 1, 7 p.m. ET
It is as if the College Football Playoff starts early. When the first-ever playoff rankings were released on Tuesday, these two teams were both in the Top 4. Given their third and fourth seedings, this could be a preview of the final. It won't be, of course, because the loser of this game is very likely out of contention for the playoff thanks to their two losses. That means that this is essentially an elimination game. This was going to be a very intriguing contest no matter what, but the massive stakes make it all the better.
Auburn at Ole Miss Betting Storylines
Ole Miss not only comes into this one desperate for a win, but their confidence could be fragile as well. After beating Alabama and then making winning look easy the next two weeks against Texas A&M and Tennessee, they ran into a wall at LSU. The Rebels and the Tigers played a game that wouldn't have been loved by fans of offense, and the ending was bizarre. It's the kind of loss that can haunt a team - especially one like Mississippi that doesn't have a long history of dealing with success. Of course, Auburn isn't coming into this one in a great place, either. Last week they got very lucky to escape with a win at home as 18.5-point favorites in an ugly game against South Carolina. The week before they were manhandled by Mississippi State. Neither team comes into such an important game playing quite as well as they would like. The one that can shake that off and focus on what matters better will be the winner.
Ole Miss has been strong defensively all year - their 10.5 points against per game is tops in the country. That creates an interesting showdown with Auburn - a Top 15 scoring offense with more than 39 points per game. Ole Miss hasn't given up 20 points in a game all year - the only team that can say that. Auburn has scored at least 20 every game. The most interesting aspect of the clash, though, is the ground game. Led by the excellent Cameron Artis-Payne, the Tigers have a strong running game. They were at their very best last time out against South Carolina, rushing for 395 yards. Ole Miss, meanwhile, is coming off their worst game of the year against the run - they allowed LSU to rush for 264 yards. That was on 55 carries, so they aren't likely to be tested as much this week. The Rebels are dealing with injuries on defense, though - Denzel Nkemdiche, and two other starters, including his brother Robert, are banged up but expected to play. The battle on the ground will define this game.
For the first time all season, and really since taking over at Ole Miss, head coach Hugh Freeze looked like the whole situation got just a bit too big for him last week. He appeared to second guess himself, slowing down his offense dramatically and relying too heavily on his prized defense to shine. What they had done up until that point in the season had worked very well for the Rebels, but it was as if he chose not to trust it. When a coach changes what has worked, the players notice, and it has an effect on the confidence of his players. The Ole Miss offense limped through the game as a result and didn't come through in the closing seconds when they had the chance to win.
Auburn at Ole Miss NCAA Football Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Ole Miss favored by key number of three - just the typical home-field advantage. About two-thirds of all bets have come in on the Tigers, so the line movement is consistent with expectations. Sharp money is not flexing their muscles in this game yet. The total opened at 48.5, and has moved up to 51 points in early action.
The Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games in November, so they will welcome the new month. The Rebels are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these teams. Four of the last five games have gone "over" the total, as have six of the last seven played in Mississippi.
Auburn Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels Expert Predictions and Picks
This is going to be a close game, and the atmosphere is going to be electric. In the end, though, when giving up less than a field goal I have no choice but to take Auburn. In the last two years they have gained far more experience in big games than Ole Miss has had. They are 8-1 in games with winning margins of eight or fewer points, so they will be comfortable in the trenches here. Auburn is the pick.
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