Last Updated Nov 25, 2022, 11:14 AM
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels Picks, Predictions, Odds
Sports Betting Expert
The Ole Miss Rebels will look to win their third straight Egg Bowl against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Thanksgiving night. This rivalry has given us a lot of excitement over the last few years, and two of the most entertaining head coaches in the sport will be on the sidelines in Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach. The biggest game in the Magnolia State will take place on Thursday, November 24, 2022, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels Betting Prediction
One of the big stories coming into this game is whether or not this will be Lane Kiffin's last Egg Bowl. Kiffin came to Ole Miss in 2020 following a successful rehab stint at Florida Atlantic after he got Nick Saban to modernize his offense at Alabama. He is once again one of the hottest names in coaching nearly a decade after flaming out at USC, and there have been reports tying him to the Auburn job. Kiffin has poured water on those reports on social media, but it's no secret that he may be ready to move on from his current post. That could happen as soon as Black Friday, and that's something to keep in mind when handicapping the Egg Bowl.
Score Prediction: Ole Miss 27, Mississippi State 24
Best Bet: Under 61.5
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels Betting Odds
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels Betting Resources
Mississippi State Bulldogs Betting Analysis
This is Will Rogers' third season in Mike Leach's offense. Rogers knows what Leach expects from him at this point, but he hasn't been as efficient at the helm as he was last year. He is completing 68.1% of his passes for 3,474 yards (6.6 YPA) with 32 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rogers is not a mobile threat, so that makes it easier for defensive coordinators to gameplan against him.
Unlike previous years, Leach has a somewhat respectable ground game this season. Jo'Quavious Marks and Dillon Johnson are both averaging over 5.0 YPC, and they have combined to run for 871 yards and 11 touchdowns. Both Marks and Johnson are consistent targets out of the backfield too with both players recording 40 receptions in Leach's Air Raid offense. Nine players have at least 20 receptions for Mississippi State as this offense doesn't target one receiver in particular but instead looks to find mismatches against defenses.
Mississippi State is much better than expected on defense. The Bulldogs rank 34th in Defensive SP+, as they have done a solid job stopping opposing quarterbacks. Cornerback Emmanuel Forbes has been outstanding with six interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, so all-conference honors are in line for him. Tyrus Wheat looks like a potential pro too, so it won't be easy for Ole Miss' offense to move the football.
Ole Miss Rebels Betting Analysis
The Rebels have lost three of their last four games after winning seven straight tilts to start the season. They were somewhat fortunate to beat Texas A&M too, as the Aggies were in the middle of an epic collapse.
USC transfer Jaxson Dart has had a lot of success in Kiffin's system, leading to Ole Miss being ranked 14th in Offensive SP+. Dart is completing 60.4% of his passes for 2,363 yards (8.4 YPA) with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is a mobile threat too, averaging 5.2 YPC, and that has made this ground game a big threat. However, Ole Miss hasn't scored more than 31 points in a game since October 15 as defenses have adapted to this system somewhat.
Ole Miss has the second-best ground game in the nation. The Rebels are averaging 5.7 YPC and 282.8 YPG on the ground. Quinshon Judkins has been one of the top running backs in the conference with 1,385 yards and 16 touchdowns, and backup Zach Evans has been even more efficient with 899 yards (6.9 YPC) and eight touchdowns. Jonathan Mingo is averaging 18.7 YPR as the top target in the passing game, while Malik Heath is averaging 16.0 YPR as the other deep option.
This defense isn't that great though. Ole Miss ranks 55th in Defensive SP+, and the Rebels have had a tough time forcing turnovers. Opponents have been able to run on this front seven this season, but the Rebels have been able to stop Leach's offense in each of the last two Egg Bowl games. The Rebels are able to get pressure and disrupt passing lanes, so don't expect this game to be a shootout.