Heavy action has made the Under the right NCAAF pick for Saturday’s SEC matchup between the Auburn Tigers and the Ole Miss Rebels.
Auburn Tigers vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Saturday 24th October 2020 (12:00 p.m. ET) at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Are you not entertained?! The SEC insisted on playing fall football this year, and so they are – with their member teams racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for not following the league’s COVID-19 protocols. However, many of their would-be players opted out this season, and it shows in the quality of the football: The SEC is sixth out of the seven active conferences on the Simple Rating System chart at Sports Reference, behind the Sun Belt Conference of all people. But hey, at least we’re getting some monster scores out of it.
Consider the Ole Miss Rebels, who are in their first year under head coach Lane Kiffin; their offense is incredible, but their defense is awful, as demonstrated during their 63-48 loss to Alabama (–24 away) in Week 6. Naturally, there’s been heavy demand for both Ole Miss and the Over with the Auburn Tigers coming to town this Saturday. Should we jump on board with our Week 8 college football picks?
Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece
It’s way too late for that. Ole Miss (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) may have had some value when they opened at +4 on the NCAAF odds board at BetOnline, but now that they’ve moved to +3? Not so much; Jeff Sagarin projects Auburn (2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS) as 3.03-point favorites using his eigenvector numbers. Although the Tigers dropped out of the AP rankings after last week’s 30-22 loss to South Carolina as 3-point road faves, they’re still No. 14 on the F+ Ratings at Football Outsiders, well ahead of Mississippi at No. 36.
As for the Over, that train left the station even earlier: The total for Saturday’s matchup has skyrocketed from 64.5 to 70.5 points at Heritage. But in this case, we’re happy – at least somewhat – to bet the other side. Sagarin projects these SEC rivals to combine for 68.84 points, so there should be at least a smidge of value taking the Under now. Auburn still play defense for head coach Gus Malzahn, and they’re still running the damn ball a lot, splitting carries between RB Tank Bigsby and QB Bo Nix. That combo has driven the Under to a 3-1 record this year for the Tigers, negating Mississippi’s 3-1 Over record.
This isn’t going to be a Five-Star Lock of the Century, though. Saturday’s weather report for Oxford calls for overcast skies at kick-off with temperatures in the low 60s, with no rain in the forecast until Monday. That’s not going to help our cause. There’s also not that much difference between Sagarin’s projected total and the actual college football odds. And we always have to keep those crazy FBS overtime rules in mind. Consider holding off until closer to game time for a higher total, trusting the betting public to keep pounding the Over, then size your bet accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.