Alabama vs. Texas A&M Week 7 College Football Picks
Alabama Crimson Tide at Texas A&M Aggies, Saturday October 12, 3:30 p.m. ET
For Alabama, the Texas A&M Aggies represent both a test that shouldn't be that tough if the Tide are dialed in and by far the toughest game Alabama has played so far. The Tide have been dominant, but they also haven't played anyone. And LSU and Auburn are their only real tests the rest of the way. So, we get a chance to see how this young and inexperienced roster does against a real test. If the Aggies can be that. Alabama needs to win, of course, but what we can learn from the game is a lot more interesting than that. And how the Aggies, who have been vulnerable at times, can rise up to another very tough game after failing in their first two major challenges against Clemson and Auburn.
Alabama at Texas A&M Betting Storylines
The big problem with the Aggies at this point is that they don't do anything particularly well. Or, more fairly, there is nothing that they do that stands out as particularly impressive. Kellen Mond is having a better season than some probably expected - myself included - but he is at the helm of a pass offense that ranks just 25th nationally, and that is despite having played three games against cupcake opponents. Their run game is anemic, and they don't score a ton of points. And now they are facing an Alabama defense that isn't nearly as tough as it has been in recent years but is still athletic enough that it will challenge the Aggies in a real way. The bigger concern is on the defensive side, though, where A&M ranks 20th in points allowed, which is solid, but they still allow a fair number of yards, and those numbers have again been inflated by those weak opponents. Led by all-World phenom Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama offense ranks third nationally in total yards, passing yards, and points scored. It is the most dangerous offense that the Aggies have faced so far - Clemson should be able to match it but has not so far. And there is virtually no reason to believe that the Aggies are going to be more than just a little speed bump for the Tide. Alabama is going to be able to score. And the Aggies are going to be hard pressed to keep up. That's not much of a recipe for success.
If Texas A&M wants to find a way to give themselves a chance here, they should look back at the last game Alabama played. Ole Miss QB John Rhys Plumlee, just a freshman, became only the second QB in 13 years to eclipse 100 rushing yards against Alabama. And the Rebels scored 31 points. It wasn't enough, because their defense was horrific, but it was something. The Tide are vulnerable against the run this year - which we aren't used to - and aren't pressuring opposing QBs like they usually do. Mond isn't massively dangerous with his feet - he has only 110 yards in total this year. But he had the rushing game of his career last year against Alabama, with 98 yards and a touchdown. Riding his legs hard could be an optimal strategy for the Aggies here. At the very least it would open up some passing opportunities - something that the run game has really struggled to do this year so far.
Alabama at Texas A&M Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Alabama favored by 18 points. That has since fallen to 16.5 in early betting action. More than three-quarters of all bets have been on Alabama, so the line movement suggests that some sharp money has been hitting the Aggies. The total opened at 59.5 and has climbed as high as 61.5.
Alabama is 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall and 1-6 ATS in their last seven after a straight up win. The Aggies are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 home games and 13-6 ATS in their last 19 overall but just 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games in October.
Alabama at Texas A&M Predictions and Picks
The Tide are not what we have expected them to be so far. They have not lost, they have not really been challenged, and the offense is really flying - through the air at least. But the defense is limp, the lineup is really young, and they just don't scare you like they have in most years. But this A&M team has already fallen short twice against Top 10 teams this year. And while this isn't the best Alabama team in memory at all, it is better than either Clemson or Auburn were when the Aggies ran into them. This is a lot of points to give up, but I just don't respect these Aggies very much. When one team is clearly superior, I don't know how we avoid just taking them and hoping for the best. I feel all but certain that Alabama will win, so betting that they will win but not quite by enough seems like a fool's errand. Alabama is the pick.
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