Pick with Analysis
The SEC West is a logjam this year and these two teams find themselves right in the middle of it. Both are coming off Conference wins, but like every year in the West, the Schedule isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The home team, Texas A&M opened as a -7.5 point favorite and has since moved to -7 even (at 5 Dimes Sportsbook).
Despite a successful 2014, Mississippi State seems to again be one of the more underrated teams in the conference, or even country. This is the third straight SEC Game in which the Bulldogs have been underdogs to start the year and they are a late blunder away from being undefeated. As a +3 point dog against LSU, they had a solid chance to hit a field goal and win the Game, but some poor clock management led to a missed 52 yard. Once again they were underdogs at Auburn last weekend and won 17-9. Can they start the SEC season with three straight covers?
Texas A&M has the higher ranking, but that doesn’t mean they are the hands down better team. The Aggies eased by Arizona State in the opener and that win has lost relevance with the Sun Devils’ struggles. Even their win against Arkansas isn’t all that great considering how the Razorbacks have played.
Like in previous Mississippi State Games, expect a lot of defense in this one. Instead of the high-scoring team they were a year ago, the Bulldogs have taken a more methodical approach, allowing their defense to dictate Games. However, this matchup will probably be their toughest test of the season thus far as LSU and Auburn both have QB issues.
The Aggies have been just fine offensively led by Kyle Allen, who has gotten the job done completing 65.3% of his passes for 11 TDs and 2 INTs. Throwing to guys like Christian Kirk (442 yards, 4 TDs) and Josh Reynolds (242 yards, 3 TDs), not many secondaries can deal with that tandem. Their running Game is another question and a reason their Game against Arkansas went into overtime last weekend. They could do absolutely nothing on the ground with Tra Carson leading the way with 28 yards on eight carries. There’s no reason to think that will go any better in this Game either.
Because of that, Dak Prescott and Mississippi State should be able to stay around much like Arkansas did. While the Bulldogs haven’t had much success running the ball against SEC teams themselves, Dak Prescott is a playmaker that can keep this team close no matter what’s going on around him. They had just 56 yards on the ground in the win over Auburn, yet Prescott found ways to win with his arm, something that wasn’t often the case in 2014. The receiving group led by Fred Ross and De’Runnya Wilson is just as good and as deep as what A&M has.
The Aggies have a good home-field advantage, but with the way this Mississippi State team plays, the 7.5 points still seems a bit too high. In addition, the Aggies are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven home Games vs. a team with a winning road record.
This was a high-scoring affair a year ago with the Bulldogs winning 48-33, but expect a different contest this time around with Mississippi State aiming to slow down the Game.
Our Pick – We simply can’t pass up the very generOur spot in this one. A&M put up buckets of points against Nevada and Ball State but against Arkansas and Arizona State, a more moderate 28 and 38. Meanwhile, Miss State has given up 9, 13, 21 and 16.
Sure, this is a revenge Game for A&M but we see this as a close Game that comes down to the wire with a straight up Miss State win not out of the question. Miss State +7