Expert NCAA Football Picks: Kentucky at Texas A&M Odds and Predictions
Kentucky Wildcats at Texas A&M Aggies, Saturday Oct. 6, 7 p.m. ET
I don't know about you, but I am really struggling to accept the reality that it is October and Kentucky football is relevant. I don't remember the last time that was the case - probably because it has never happened. But they are, bizarrely, an unbeaten Top 15 team. And while they haven't played the toughest schedule in the country, they haven't beaten up on chumps, either. They won handily at Florida as 13.5-point dogs, beat Mississippi State as 9.5-point dogs, and most recently beat up South Carolina by two touchdowns. They have a very one-dimensional offense and a star on defense, and they are riding it as far as it will take them. And given that they host Georgia and avoid Alabama, Auburn and LSU entirely, it could lead them surprisingly far. Times are exceptionally strange when Kentucky could conceivably be on the way to double-digit wins - a feat they accomplished the last two times in 1977 and 1950.
Kentucky at Texas A&M Betting Storylines
You want a surefire test of whether an offense is one-dimensional? If the top running back on the team has more rushing yards than the top quarterback has passing yards then it certainly is. Junior running sensation Benny Snell Jr., who is one of the more underappreciated backs in the country as he had 32 career rushing touchdowns and more than 2,400 rushing yards coming into this season, has been sensational. He has 664 yards and eight touchdowns already to lead the SEC and is the driving force in a Top 10 run offense. QB Terry Wilson is the team's second-leading rusher with 300 yards, but through the air he is not very strong - he has 595 yards passing through five starts, with a season high of just 163 against Murray State, and he has thrown five picks with just two touchdowns. Add that up and the team has the 118th-ranked passing offense in the country. In other words, they don't have a passing game. You know what they are going to do when they snap the ball, and that is a problem because the Aggies rank tops in the SEC and third nationally with just 80.4 yards per game allowed on the ground. And remember, this is a team that has played Clemson and Alabama already. The Tide are averaging 217 yards per game on the ground but had just 109 against the Aggies. Snell is very good, so Texas A&M won't completely neutralize him, and he has a strong line to run behind, but this is not a great formula for success for the Wildcats.
The Aggies have a very good back of their own in Trayveon Williams, who is second in the SEC in rushing. And they have a much more balanced offense. But they are facing a beast of a defender in linebacker Josh Allen. He is putting up video game numbers, and that has helped this team - the freaking Kentucky Wildcats - post the No. 1 defense in the SEC through five games. Just think about that for a second. But this is the most accomplished offense they have faced so far. The Aggies won't have things easy, but they are going to be able to move the ball and score.
Kentucky at Texas A&M Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Texas A&M favored by 6.5 points, and that has fallen widely to 5.5 in betting action. A strong majority of bets have been on the Aggies, so the movement suggests that sharps believe in the Wildcats much more than the public does. The total opened at 51, and after bouncing around a fair bit has settled for now at 50.5.
Kentucky has covered their last four spreads against teams with winning records. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five conference games and a surprisingly solid 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games. The Aggies are also 4-0 ATS in their last four against teams with winning records and have matching 5-1 ATS records in their last six games overall and games at home.
Kentucky at Texas A&M Predictions and Picks
I love a good story, so I am excited for Kentucky and what they are doing. And I respect Snell and Allen very much. But this just feels like too much for them to handle. The Aggies have played well against a brutal schedule, and they are more talented and dangerous. And they are at home. At more than a touchdown I might reconsider, but when I have to give up less than five points I can't back Cinderella. Texas A&M is the play.
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