College Football Picks: Ole Miss vs. Auburn Betting Odds

Willie Bee

Thursday, October 3, 2013 3:17 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 3:17 PM UTC

Let's look at the betting odds for the match-up between the Auburn Tigers and Ole Miss Rebels. Let's find the best value on the lines before making our picks.

The Auburn Tigers spent most of September at home. The Mississippi Rebels spent most of September on the road. That home/away disparity continues Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium where both teams look to bounce back from their only defeats of the 2013 college football betting campaign.

Auburn has a distinct advantage in the series playing on its turf, but it was Ole Miss that went out as 2.5 point chalk. A quick glance at SBR's live college football odds shows that spread remains at most outlets, though a few have bumped it up to a field goal margin. The 7:00 PM (ET) kickoff has seen a 56.5 point total remain stagnant.

It's been a rivalry dominated by the Tigers who have won 27 of 37 meetings overall, and 13 of 15 on this gridiron. The Rebels snapped a 3-game losing skid vs. Auburn last year in Oxford, also their first cover following three successive defeats to the Tigers. The last time Ole Miss pulled off a win at Jordan-Hare was 2003 when a quarterback by the name of Eli Manning helped engineer a 24-20 upset.

Off Loss At 'Bama, Freeze's Troops Prep For Another Road Game

Ole Miss' tough schedule to begin the 2013 season was something mentioned in one of our SEC previews back in July, and the Rebels were weathering it well until running into Alabama on the final Saturday of September. A lot was made about some innocuous comments, my opinion, by Rebels QB Bo Wallace as a big reason behind the Crimson Tide's motivation and ultimate 25-0 whitewashing. I'm not buying that due to the simple fact it was a dynastic Alabama at home against a Mississippi program trying to take the next step up under Hugh Freeze.

It is worth considering how difficult it is for a team to get right back up for a game following its first setback, and that might be especially true for the Rebels since this one is on the road, their fourth away match in the first five. But if Mississippi thinks it's going to get any easier the next two weeks at home, it's not. Texas A&M and LSU come to Oxford back-to-back, making these next three weeks something of a make-or-break stretch for Freeze and his crew.

Mississippi was no doubt helped along by some weaker defenses the first three games, including the season opener at Vanderbilt along with a brilliant performance three weeks ago in Austin against the Longhorns. But I'm still going to credit Alabama's defense and special teams last week as much as I'll lay blame on the Rebels.

Auburn Rested & Ready To Continue Turnaround

Gotta' give Gus Malzahn a War Eagle! shout-out for the job turned in so far as chief cook and bottle washer in the Loveliest Village on the Plains. There's still a long way to go, mind you, especially on defense where the Tigers have given up a ton of yards for winning three of four collisions. A few injuries we'll get to later could leave the stop unit even thinner for this contest.

Along with stopping the Wallace and the Rebels offense, Auburn also has to establish its running game and be turnover free to pull off an outright upset. The Tigers churned up more than 200 yards on the ground against LSU two weeks ago, and it's a deep trio in the backfield led by Tre Mason. Corey Grant and Cameron Arlis-Payne, not to mention QB Nick Marshall, are all running behind a pretty damn good line; Auburn ranks 22nd in the nation averaging 232+ yards per game on the ground.

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Mother Nature, Injuries & Final Thoughts

There is a slight chance of a scattered thunderstorm or two in Auburn on Saturday. The forecast for game time is temps in the low-to-mid 70s and humid, but be sure to confirm that before you make a play on the college football odds.

Both teams are dealing with some injury concerns, and mostly on the defensive side of the ball. The Rebels are listing starting defensive linemen CJ Johnson (ankle) and Robert Nkemdiche (hand) as probable for the clash, each owning four tackles for losses up to now. Auburn has two defensive starters listed as questionable with gimpy ankles, CB Chris Davis and DE Craig Sanders, plus talented true freshman WR Marcus Davis who is also questionable with an ankle injury. Davis is third on the team with 10 receptions.

Does the 2-week layoff hurt or help Auburn? Does Mississippi come in fired up to redeem last week's loss, or downtrodden from life on the road and already thinking about taking on Johnny Football next week? My crystal ball says something of a mix. Auburn for the outright win actually sounds pretty good to me, but perhaps it's safer to take the points anyway. My advice, and free NCAAF pick, is find the Tigers +3. I still think Auburn wins, 28-27.

My pick: Auburn +3 

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