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Ole Miss 2023 Season Preview & Win Total Prediction 

Mississippi Rebels NCAA college football players
Members of the Mississippi Rebels team cheer against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half at NRG Stadium on December 28 2022 Carmen MandatoGetty ImagesAFP

NCAAF Pick: Mississippi Over 7.5 Wins (-125) at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


Not everyone can be Georgia or Alabama – or Tennessee, or LSU. Those four powerhouses enjoyed tremendous success last year, but they weren’t the only SEC teams who cracked the Top 10 in the rankings: Mississippi made it to No. 7 in Week 7 before finishing the regular season at 8-4 (4-7-1 ATS). 

This is exactly the type of “middle-class” program you want in your college football picks. Granted, Ole Miss had trouble beating the spread in 2022, and they dropped their last three games straight-up before getting wrecked by Texas Tech (+4.5) at the Texas Bowl. But that just lowers the bar for their expectations in 2023. 

Speaking of which, Bet365 has Mississippi’s regular-season win total at just 7.5 as we go to press. Taking the Over seems like the clear choice here, even with the -125 vigorish attached; we think Ole Miss will win eight games again this year, and there’s a good chance they’ll do even better. 


Eight Is Enough

It’s easy to forget how tasty Mississippi was overall last year given their unpalatable finish. According to the F+ Ratings at BCF Toys, Ole Miss was the No. 18 team in the FBS, even if they didn’t crack the AP Top 25 after Week 12. 

That’s still well behind the top SEC contenders, of course. And it looks like we can expect more of the same in 2023, judging by the preseason SP+ numbers at ESPN: 

  1. Georgia 
  2. Alabama 
  3. Tennessee 
  4. LSU
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Mississippi

Good and Bad News

Good news for Ole Miss fans: You don’t have to play Tennessee this year, and you get to face LSU (September 30) and Texas A&M (November 4) at home. The bad news: You’ve got Alabama (September 23) and Georgia (November 11) on the road. 

We’re not so keen on Mississippi’s chances when they visit Auburn (October 21) and Mississippi State (November 23), either. But that still leaves our heroes with four “scheduled” losses compared to eight eminently winnable games. 


Bulldog Mentality

The Mississippi team also has a non-zero chance of pulling off an upset or two this year. This will be the first time they’ve faced Georgia since 2016, and the first since Lane Kiffin took over the coaching reins in 2020. Kiffin was in charge of Tennessee when they beat the Bulldogs (-1 away) 45-19 back in 2009. 

This is a different Georgia team now that they’re the two-time and defending national champions under head coach Kirby Smart, who took over for Mark Richt in 2016. The Bulldogs are 19.5-point home faves on the early NCAAF odds board for their Week 11 matchup. However, Kiffin is both talented and skilled enough to give Ole Miss a puncher’s chance against anyone – even the champs.

Kiffin’s Profile

Kiffin’s profile took a hit when he bolted Tennessee after just one season to fill the vacancy left behind by Pete Carroll at USC; Carroll proved a tough act to follow, and Kiffin had to rebuild his career as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and Florida Atlantic’s head coach before getting another crack at the Power 5. 

You can’t argue with the results. Ole Miss has gone bowling in each of Kiffin’s three years at the helm, powered by his balanced offenses and his acumen at the transfer portal. We’re not saying Kiffin will find a way to beat Georgia this time around, but then again, he might. 


Tiger Tracks

Fortunately for us, Kiffin has several talented options to work with at quarterback. Spencer Sanders (Oklahoma State) and Walker Howard (LSU) are both welcome additions to the depth chart, as are receivers Chris Marshall (Texas A&M) and Tre Harris (Louisiana Tech). 

Kiffin’s teams don’t always hold up at the other end of the field; Mississippi finished No. 44 on last year’s defensive F+ charts. But they should be better up front this year with tackle Joshua Harris coming over from North Carolina State, and CB Zamari Walton (Georgia Tech) is one of several transfers ready to save their much-maligned secondary.

The Pick

These improvements have us feeling so good about Ole Miss, we’ve already penciled them in to beat LSU in Week 5 as early 4.5-point home dogs, especially with Howard making the move to Oxford. 

It won’t be a cakewalk by any means, but if Kiffin and his troops can’t take down the Tigers, they still have multiple opportunities this year to win that eighth game and cash in the Over. 

Bet accordingly. 

NCAAF Pick: Mississippi Over 7.5 Wins (-125) at Bet365


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