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This coming weekend, there will be four different college football matchups between ranked teams. Among them is our game, No. 1 Alabama at No. 24 Texas A&M, a battle that could turn out to be the best of the entire slate. They'll play at 3:30 P.M ET on CBS.
The Tide hasn't lost yet this year, but they also haven't had a tough battle on the road. This Saturday will be their first road game of the season against a ranked opponent. Last year, both teams were also ranked for their meeting; the Tide prevailed 45-23 at home over the Aggies.
Texas A&M's record doesn't look great (3-2) but their losses weren't bad. They lost 24-10 on the road against No. 1 Clemson and 24-20 at home against No. 8 Auburn. That's encouraging, yet, the team needs a signature win to validate the season. Going into the battle against 'Bama, the Aggies only have one victory against Power-5 opponents (31-27 against Arkansas).
Tide Trying to Remain UnbeatenThe Alabama Crimson Tide football program entered this season ranked No. 2 but after starting the season 5-0, they've pushed Clemson to the side to take over the top spot. Bama has beaten three Power-5 opponents so far, including a 59-31 shootout victory over Ole Miss two weeks ago. With an extra week of rest, they'll face their stiffest test of the season, No. 25 Texas A&M.
In their most recent game, the Tide faced some much-need adversity. Ole Miss was leading 10-7 after one quarter, an event that hadn't happened all season. Behind quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, they were able to storm back in the second quarter, essentially putting the game away by halftime.
Alabama's formula for winning is different now than it used to be. The Tide count on their offense to outscore opponents instead of grinding out wins in low-scoring games. Bama ranks No. 2 in the nation in points per game (51.8). Their defense is suspect, though, especially against the run. Ole Miss ran for 279 yards against them, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and in two SEC games, they have allowed 58 points. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the event their offense isn't clicking.
Aggies Hunting For UpsetsWhile their 3-2 record doesn't look great, it's as good a 3-2 as you can get when you dig a little deeper. The Aggies' losses have come against stiff competition, yet the team didn't lay down and get blown out. Going into Death Valley, the Aggies scored first against No. 1 Clemson but wound up losing 24-10. Likewise, they lost by one score to No. 8 Auburn at home in Week 4.
Kellen Mond is going to be a problem this year 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/6gr95UGme0— Barstool SEC (@SECBarstool) August 30, 2019
This is a huge game for Texas A&M and they have some real momentum going into it. Texas A&M is coming off a big conference win against Arkansas in a game that took place at AT&T Stadium. Junior quarterback Kellen Mond did a lot of nice things and I'm certain his first Power-5 win of the season will give him confidence going forward. Mond threw three touchdown passes and had a season-high 33 rushing yards.
Against Bama, the Aggies will be lucky enough to have a quarterback who's been there before. This will be Mond's third game vs. Alabama, and the second at home. In his first game vs. Bama at home, he kept the Aggies in the game, losing by just one score. Last year, their defense was shredded by Bama at their place but Mond had a season-best 98 rushing yards.
Texas A&M is:
- 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. teams w/winning road records.
- 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games.
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a SU win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This looks like a great spot for the Aggies. They're tough at home and their fanbase will be going berzerk with Bama coming to town. They've covered 11 of their last 14 home games and it's set up for another cover on Saturday. Against top-tier teams (Clemson & Auburn), the Aggies have allowed 26 points per game, which says a lot because both units are solid and the Clemson game was on the road. On offense, they averaged 15 points per game in those two games but this Bama defense isn't the same as it has been in past years. Texas A&M will score on Saturday, there's no doubt about it, the Tide is an offense-first team now. Luckily, A&M is at home and has the guys to slow them down. The Aggies keep it close here. Book it.
Prediction: Texas A&M +16.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Aggies are going to score several times on Saturday vs. Bama. Their quarterback is experienced and coming off his best game of the season. On the other side, the Aggies have a good defense but Bama's offense is world-class. They can't be shut down completely, only slowed down.
Last year, with similar personnel, Bama won 45-23 at home. With Bama taking a step back on defense, and A&M playing above-average defense this year, one of those touchdowns from last year will go to the Aggies. Bama wins 38-30. A&M and OVER.
Prediction: Over 61