Missouri at Texas A&M Line
The ninth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (9-2) host the Missouri Tigers Saturday night in SEC action. Oddsmakers have listed Texas A&M as a 22.0-point favorite and have set the total at 61.0.
Why Texas A&M Covers
It has been a tremendous season for the Aggies, who defeated then-No. 1 Alabama 29-24 on the road earlier this month. Their only losses have come by narrow margins to very good Florida and LSU teams. Missouri lost to Alabama 42-10 at home earlier this season so it could certainly suffer a lopsided defeat here.
Led by quarterback Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M offense has been almost unstoppable. It ranks fifth in the country in total offense with 543.7 yards per game and sixth in scoring with 43.5 points per game.
Manziel has completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 3,047 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has also rushed for 1,114 yards and 17 scores while averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
The Missouri offense will have a tough time keeping it up, especially if quarterback James Franklin isn’t able to go. He is listed as questionable for this game after suffering a concussion in last week’s 31-27 loss to Syracuse.
The Tigers rank 101st in the country in total offense with 346.5 yards per game and 82nd in scoring with 25.5 points per game.
Teams headed up by Kevin Sumlin always seem to take care of business against the teams they are supposed to beat. In fact, his teams are 14-4 against the spread all-time when playing against a team that has a losing record. They have defeated these teams by an average score of 51.5 to 22.9. It is also worth noting that his teams are 16-4 against the spread all-time when laying points at home. They have won these games by an average score of 49.6 to 22.0.
Why Missouri Covers
The Tigers blew an opportunity to become bowl eligible by blowing a 17-3 lead and losing to Syracuse last week. Still, I expect no letdown as they go after their sixth win of the season. They have made bowl trips each of the past seven years, and you can bet they don’t want to see this streak brought to an end.
The Missouri offense has struggled to find consistency, but the defense has been solid. It ranks 39th in the nation in total defense with 367.4 yards allowed per game. The Texas A&M defense has been leakier. It ranks 51st in total defense with 382.5 yards allowed per contest.
The Tigers have dominated this series recently. They have won each of the last three meetings and five of the past six. They won last season’s meeting 38-31 at Texas A&M and have won the last three by an average of 14.0 points.
Because Franklin could miss this one, it is important that Corbin Berkstresser has gained some experience this season. He has been up and down with his play, but at least he has seen the field and done some positive things. He shouldn’t be scared of the moment, especially since he’s going up against a defense that has been porous at times. He also has the benefit of handing the ball off to Kendial Lawrence, who has come on strong down the stretch with 414 of his 938 yards coming over the past four games.
The Tigers are 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games following a loss and 9-2 against the number in their last 11 games following a game in which they failed to cover the spread.