March 9, 2016
Ole Miss and Texas A&M will do their annual thing this Saturday at 6 p.m. CT in Oxford, and according to sports books monitored by Oddsshark, the Rebs are favored slightly at -3. The over/under currently sits at 69.5 total points, and most bettors think this game will achieve the over and that A&M will not only cover but win it outright. Those numbers are all sure to move this way or that as the week progresses.
Ole Miss currently ranks No. 51 overall in Bill C.’s advanced stats profiles enumeration, while the Aggies sit not far behind at No. 57. These teams are closely matched on paper, sure, but they practice fairly different styles of play on either side of the ball, with starkly different levels of success therein.
Now, about that over/under. Bill C. is predicting a score of 34.0-30.2, advantage Ole Miss. That seems keeping in line with Vegas and bettors’ feelings. However, Ole Miss’ defense is currently surrendering nearly 45 points per game, excluding garbage time, and there’s where bettors see the over prevailing on Saturday. A&M is scoring at a rate of 40.1 points per game — good for No. 40 in the S&P+ — while the Rebs are handing in 42.4 per outing.
Where the real difference will undoubtedly be felt is when the Rebs have the ball. The Aggies are allowing 34.4 points per game, 11 fewer than Ole Miss. That’s the wrinkle and difference maker in trying to predict the outcome here, because one essentially must ask the question: Can the Rebel offense maintain its eight-point production advantage over the Aggies’ defensive output? STAY AWAY.
How to watch:
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
When: 6 p.m. CT
Online streaming: WatchESPN
So, let’s take as given that this betting line is essentially a push. Ole Miss gains a three-point advantage because that’s the traditional upward betting thrust that home teams receive in college football. These posts aren’t betting guides — they are in this circumstance — so much as explainers of “Why the hell is Ole Miss favored against an SEC West opponent?” and the like.
Things will undoubtedly get interesting in a hell of a hurry on Saturday night.