Texas A&M at Alabama Odds
The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide host the 15th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies Saturday in a battle of SEC heavyweights. Oddsmakers have listed Alabama as a 13.5-point favorite.
Why Alabama Covers
The Crimson Tide improved to 9-0 with last week’s thrilling 21-17 victory at LSU. These nine wins have come by an average of 29.3 points and all but one have come by 19 points or more.
Alabama’s six conference victories have come by an average of 28.2 points. Its four home wins have come by an average of 29.5 points and each came by at least 19 points.
The Crimson Tide are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight conference games while the Aggies are 3-10-1 against the spread in their last 14 conference games. It is also worth noting that the Aggies are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games versus teams that have a winning record and 16-37-1 against the spread in their last 54 road games versus a team with a winning mark at home.
Alabama has an elite defense. It ranks No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense with 9.1 points allowed per game and No. 2 in total defense with 228.9 yards allowed per game. The Tide rank second against the run (66.3 ypg allowed) and eighth against the pass (162.6 ypg allowed).
The Texas A&M defense is good but not great. It ranks 28th in scoring defense with 21.0 points allowed per game and 48th in total defense with 377.1 yards allowed per game. It has been solid against the run but poor against the pass.
The Aggies rank 32nd in run defense (132.1 ypg allowed) but 73rd in pass defense (245.0 ypg allowed).
Why Texas A&M Covers
The Aggies are 7-2, and their two losses have come to Florida and LSU by three and five points, respectively. If they can play with LSU, they can play with Alabama.
Texas A&M is 5-0 when playing away from home this season. It has won these games by an average of 23.4 points. It crushed Mississippi State 38-13 on the road last week. Alabama only defeated the Bulldogs 38-7 at home. This game and the LSU game suggest the Aggies are worthy of more respect than their getting from the books.
The Crimson Tide are just 1-3 against the spread in their home games this season.
Alabama is the best defensive team in the country, but it hasn’t seen an offense as good as the one it will see Saturday. Texas A&M ranks fourth in the nation in scoring with 44.7 points per game and fifth in total offense with 559.6 yards per game.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel is a nightmare for defenses because of his dual-threat ability. He has completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 2,527 yards with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also rushed for 922 yards and 15 scores on 6.7 yards per carry.
The Tide allowed LSU’s Zach Mettenberger to complete 24 of 35 throws for 298 yards and a touchdown last weekend Mettenberger has been no Manziel this season.
The fact Texas A&M racked up 693 yards in its last game puts it in a positive wagering situation. The Aggies are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.