SEC Week 11 Overview: Defense Will Dominate as No. 1 Alabama Hosts Mississippi State

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 1:31 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 1:31 PM UTC

Expect another defensive smothering as top-ranked Alabama hosts a No. 18 Mississippi State team unable to produce offensively. Our best bet and analysis on this ranked matchup, and a first look into the opening lines and rest of the SEC Week 11 schedule this way.

SEC Spotlight: No. 18 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama (-26)Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)Free NCAAF Pick: ‘Under’Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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This is arguably the greatest Alabama (9-0 SU, 6-3 ATS) team Nick Saban has ever assembled, which is saying something for a coach that has won five national titles since 2007. The Crimson Tide top the nation with 51.3 points per game and literally rank first or second in every primary offensive or defensive metric in the SEC. They’ve yet to show any chinks in the armor.

Mississippi State (6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS) head coach Jay Moorhead said ahead of the trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium that his squad would have to play a “near perfect game” to compete, and vows to roll out the same attack and approach it does against every opponent. Seriously? Will this be good enough? The Bulldogs post 13.4 points per game in five against SEC rivals. Alabama averages 49.7 in conference. Sigh.

The Crimson Tide defense is too athletic, fast, and physical for the lackluster Mississippi State unit. Consider the Bulldogs lucky if they reach two touchdowns in the matchup. Saban yields 9.3 points per game to conference foes in Tuscaloosa when ranked as the top team in the country. The ‘under’ is 14-6-1 (70 percent) all-time.

Mississippi State will see a good defensive effort keep Alabama grounded in the 30-point range. Its inability to move the ball will result in a combined final score in the 40-point range. Pick ‘under’ 51 for your best bet.

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Around the SEC (All Games Saturday)

Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-12), noon ET, on CBS
Since 2006, the ‘under’ is 21-12-1 (63.6 percent) when Ole Miss (5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS) squares off against an SEC rival coming off a loss, including two this season (Arkansas, Auburn). Texas A&M (5-4 SU, 7-2 ATS) fell to Auburn 28-24 last Saturday.

South Carolina at No. 19 Florida (-7), noon ET, on ESPN
Florida (6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS) has dropped its last four to SEC rivals (LSU, Texas A&M, Kentucky, and Missouri) at The Swamp, despite kicking off the betting favorite in each. South Carolina (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS), meanwhile, has covered the spread as a road dog in every game since 2017.

Vanderbilt at Missouri (-14.5), noon ET, on SEC Network
The ‘under; has cashed in five of seven SEC games Missouri (5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS) QB Drew Lock has kicked off a home favorite. A 47.7 average final score is coming up 11.0 points shy of a 58.8 average total.

No. 12 Kentucky (-3.5) at Tennessee, 3:30 p.m. ET, on SEC Network
This is just the third time in the last 38 meetings Kentucky (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) is favored in its annual series against Tennessee (4-5 SU, 4-5 ATS), and first at Neyland Stadium. The Volunteers are 27-10-1 ATS (73 percent) in this stretch.

Auburn at No. 5 Georgia (-14.5), 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN
The ‘under’ is 20-12-1 (62.5 percent) all-time when head coach Gus Malzahn leads Auburn (6-3 SU, 3-6 ATS) against a ranked opponent. Georgia (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS), meanwhile, allows 15.2 points per game at Sanford Stadium since Kirby Smart took over as coach. Only two visitors have scored greater than 17 points in nine tests.

No. 9 LSU (-13) at Arkansas, 7:30 p.m. ET, on SEC Network
LSU (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) is 13-24-1 ATS (35.1 percent) in its last 36 games following a matchup with Alabama.

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