Do a Google search for ‘SEC rivalries,’ and you will not find many articles referring to Ole Miss (6-1 SU, 4-2-1 ATS) and Auburn (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS). If it is a rivalry, it is a lopsided one that Auburn has dominated (34-10; Ole Miss vacated a win in 2012). Auburn looks for its sixth-straight win in this series when the teams meet Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Auburn is priced as the short home favorite on oddsboards.
NCAAF · Fri (12/16) @ 11:35am ET
|Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL|
Our Pick: OLEM Ole Miss at 10.5 (-108). Get a a$50 free bet and a $1,000 deposit match when you sign up with DraftKings!
Despite it not being a classic rivalry, the game has major implications in the SEC West standings, as both teams have just one conference loss, same as Alabama.
Ole Miss Rebels
No. 10 Ole Miss brings a Heisman candidate quarterback and one of the most innovative offensive minds at head coach into Auburn on Saturday night. The Rebels have been just what one would think a Lane Kiffin-coached team should be — an offensive powerhouse.
They are generating 541.1 yards of offense a game (third in the country) and doing so with close to an even split between the rushing (263.3 yards/game; third in the country) and passing attack (277.9 yards/game; No. 24). They have done an excellent job of turning those yards into points (41.9 per game; No. 7). Behind QB Matt Corral, this is a well-oiled offensive machine that does not make many mistakes.
Unfortunately, Ole Miss does not play much defense. While the margin of victory has been significant in five of their six wins, the Rebs have allowed teams to generate over 400 yards of offense and 28.3 points a game.
But if the offense can get rolling early and stay on track, their defensive shortcomings may not matter. They’ll just outscore Auburn like they outscore everyone else (except Alabama, of course).
Ole Miss may not be able to rely on outscoring the No. 18 Tigers, though. Auburn does not move the ball or score as well as the Rebels, but the Tigers do something Ole Miss does not — play defense. While the Tigers defense (No. 40 in total yards allowed and No. 29 in scoring) is not the kind that can shut down Corral and the Rebels offense, it may not need to.
Bo Nix has not always been popular amongst fans, but he is playing well this season. He is not the most accurate quarterback. In two of seven games, his completion percentage was above 80, but in the other five, it was under 60. However, he does not turn the ball over (two interceptions) and has a knack for making plays at the right moments.
But the Tigers are not going to turn to Nix to win the game. Instead, they will lean on their running game. With a solid offensive line and two talented running backs in Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, they will try to keep the Ole Miss offense off the field by keeping their offense on it.
Against the Ole Miss run defense (No. 98 in the country), that just might be possible.
Auburn will run the ball and try to keep Ole Miss off the field, but the Rebels have proven they do not need a lot of time to score. So, the question becomes two-fold: Can Auburn take advantage of every scoring opportunity, and can it make sure Ole Miss does not do the same?
Auburn will put up some points, but the Rebels will return the favor (which is why this game could go ‘over’ the high total of 66).
As for a winner, it will likely come down to which team makes fewer mistakes. Neither offense turns the ball over much, nor do the defenses force many. However, Ole Miss is one of the most penalized teams in the conference.
A penalty or two at inopportune times could cost Ole Miss the game, but expect the Rebels to keep it close.