College Football Picks: Ole Miss to Cover Large Number vs. Fresno St.

David Lawrence

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:07 PM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 8, 2015 12:07 PM GMT

The Rebels made 1 of the 6 biggest bowl games in NCAAF & are trying to improve upon that achievement. Two teams in different places on the college football betting spectrum will duke it out in Oxford.

Momentum
The Fresno State opener last week against Abilene Christian was not very smooth. Teams who schedule inferior opponents want to be able to win by 40, 50 or more points. Fresno State won by only 21 in a 34-13 game. The offense was extremely sluggish, so the hope on the part of the coaching staff is that a lot of course corrections will be able to occur this week in practice and then show up on the playing field when kickoff time arrives.

Ole Miss practiced – that’s almost literally true – against Tennessee-Martin, winning by a 76-3 score. There is not much to conclude from a game in which a good team stomps on a weak team like that, but Ole Miss did win its game by a bunch, unlike Fresno State. That will undeniably be a discussion topic heading into Saturday.

 

Line Moves
This line is consistently a 28-point line for Ole Miss across the betting board. The Rebels were a tough team in the Southeastern Conference last season, and even though they have a brand-new quarterback, their previous quarterback, Bo Wallace, was not a relentlessly steady player. The Rebels could benefit, but no one knows yet. This is a big line because Fresno State doesn’t appear to be very good. The Bulldogs were not convincing in their season opener, and so bettors are not budging in terms of nudging this line to a lower number, at least not now.

 

Notable Injuries
The Bulldogs knew before going into this game that wide receivers Aaron Peck and Delvon Hardaway were injured – Peck for the season, and Hardaway indefinitely with a knee injury. Running back Chris Moliga is questionable for this game coming out of Fresno State’s season opener. He has an undisclosed condition. Linebacker Michael Lazarus is questionable due to a suspension-related situation.

Ole Miss already knew that offensive lineman Rod Taylor was out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Ole Miss has added a few more players to the injury list after its first game. The Rebels have defensive back C.J. Hampton questionable with an undisclosed condition. Linebacker C.J. Johnson is probable for the game. Standout offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil is questionable due to eligibility-related issues.

 

Handicapping The Game
The Fresno State offense of 2013, with Derek Carr at quarterback and Devante Adams as the number one wide receiver, flashed the NFL-level talent which made the Bulldogs so tough that season, and very nearly carried them to a BCS bowl berth (which would now be the New Year’s Six bowl game rotation). Now, the Bulldogs are really starting over, and against Ole Miss’ defense on the road, that lack of talent is probably going to show up. Take Ole Miss minus the number with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Ole Miss -27.5 at The Greek

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