Amazingly, this matchup probably won’t be the most talked about Game this weekend, even with both teams in the Top 10. For the weekend, there are three Games between teams in the Top 12, which may be the first time ever in the regular season. Alabama, on the road against undefeated Texas A&M, is a -4 point favorite (as of Monday at 5 Dimes Sportsbook).
Despite a big win at Georgia a couple weekends ago, the Crimson Tide are still struggling against the spread with that Bulldog win being their only cover in the last five. Things are a bit different for the Aggies, who are 4-1 ATS on the year and have covered both of their SEC Games.
Alabama had a super slow start last week against Arkansas, scoring just three points in the first half. The Tide eventually went on to win 27-14, but the Razorbacks at least showed some resistance to that usually stout running Game. Bama averaged just 2.9 yards per carry, but they won by stopping Arkansas to 1.8 ypc.
Quarterback Jake Coker has picked up his play the last couple Games and if he can be more consistent, that will take this Bama team to the next level as they already have a dominant running Game. But once again, expect plenty of Derrick Henry (665 yards, 10 TDs) in this matchup
The Aggies, who haven’t played a true road Game yet, haven’t been all that great against the run, which is the first issue here. against the Razorbacks, Texas A&M allowed 232 yards on the ground, and if they put in a similar performance, expected Alabama to exploit that. And while Texas A&M is undefeated, its wins aren’t all that impressive, against a weaker Arkansas and Mississippi State, and an Arizona State team that struggled early on.
With defense still being a question for the Aggies, they’ll need their offense to continue to Scorepoints. Their running Game has been off-and-on, and once again going back to that Arkansas matchup, they struggled to do anything and could face similar problems here. Tra Carson ran for 110 yards against Mississippi State last Game, but this matchup is another story.
To have a chance, this Game falls to quarterback Kyle Allen, which isn’t that bad of a thing. Even though the Crimson Tide can stop the run, their secondary remains a question. Texas A&M is undefeated because of Allen, who’s completing 64% of his passes for 13 TDs and 2 INTs on the year. The WR trio of Christian Kirk (519 yards, 4 TDs), Josh Reynolds (383 yards, 3 TDs) and Ricky Seals-Jones (15 receptions) are tough for anyone to deal with. And because of that passing Game, the Aggies will have a chance, even if it’s slight.
There should be points in this Game, but the Aggies will need their defense to do something to win or at least cover in this one.
The Aggies are 0-9 ATS in their last nine following a bye week, which is a pretty incredible stat, even though they are 5-1 ATS in their last six overall. The Crimson Tide like stepping up in big Games on the road, but don’t have many trends in their favor.
Our Pick – This was a 5 point Game in 2012 and a 7 point Game in 2013. But last year, Alabama blew the doors off of A&M to the tune of 59-0. No question the revenge angle is worth considering here for the Aggies and is why we’re going to go ahead and recommend Texas A&M in the 1st quarter and the 1st half.
Not as confident about the full Game proposition however, so we’ll steer clear.