College Football Week Five Betting Picks: #21 Mississippi State Bulldogs at #14 Texas A and M Aggies

#14 Mississippi State Bulldogs at #21 Texas A&M Aggies
Kyle Field – College Station, Texas
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: SEC Network
Opening Line: Texas A&M -7
Current Line: Texas A&M -4 (-115)
Opening Total: 56 1/2
Current Total: 63
Opening Money Line: TAMU -265 / MSU +225
Current Money Line: TAMU -190 / MSU +165

Texas A&M is a 4 point favorite at home against Mississippi State.
Texas A&M is a 4 point favorite at home against Mississippi State.

The 3-1 Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to the 4-0 Texas A&M Aggies in a key SEC West battle Saturday. The Bulldogs are 1-1 in the SEC and the Aggies are 1-0. Mississippi State is ranked #21 and Texas A&M is #14 in the polls.

This is the ninth meeting between the teams. Each team has won four games in the series. The Bulldogs won last year in Starkville 48-31. The Aggies had won the previous two meetings since joining the SEC in 2012.

Mississippi State is coached by Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs have a home loss to LSU 24-19. MSU has road wins over Southern Miss 34-16 and last week at Auburn 17-9, plus a home win over Northwestern St 62-13. The Bulldogs were 1.5 point underdogs against Auburn and the total was 58. Mississippi State took a 14-0 lead into halftime. Auburn kicked two field goals of 25 and 30 yards to pull within 14-6. The Bulldogs would kick a field goal to make it 17-6. Auburn kicked another field goal with just over a minute left to pull within 8 but were unable to recover the onside kick. Mississippi State won despite being outgained 389-326. Auburn’s first drive of the game ended with an interception at the MSU 4 and the last drive of the first half ended with a missed 26 yard field goal. The Bulldogs are 3-1 ATS and the total is 1-3 this season.

Texas A&M is coached by Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies have neutral site wins over Arizona State 38-17 in Houston and last week over Arkansas 28-21 in overtime in Arlington. Texas A&M has home wins over Ball State 56-23 and Nevada 44-27. The Aggies were 6 point favorites against Arkansas and the total was 61.5. Texas A&M took a 13-7 lead midway through the third quarter, but Arkansas scored 14 straight points to take a 21-13 lead early in the fourth. The Aggies would tie it up with 2:50 left on a two yard touchdown run by Tra Carson and a successful two point conversion. Texas A&M recovered an Arkansas fumble with just over a minute left at the Razorback 46. However, the Aggies missed a 38 yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime. TAMU scored a touchdown on a 20 yard touchdown pass from Kyle Allen to Christian Kirk. Arkansas was unable to score and Aggies held on for the win. Texas A&M is 3-1 ATS and the total is 2-2 this season.

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Mississippi State is outscoring teams 33-15 this season. The Bulldogs are #16 in points allowed. MSU averages 448 total yards including 304 passing and 145 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are #24 in passing but #100 in rushing out of 128 teams. On defense, MSU is allowing 349 yards per game including 170 passing and 179 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are #24 in pass defense but #82 in rush defense. MSU has forced 3 turnovers but has 5 of their own. The Bulldogs average 39 penalty yards per game and opponents average 51. Mississippi State is 20/49 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 17/64. MSU has forced 12 sacks and has allowed 5 this season. The Bulldogs are 14/15 scoring in the red zone with 12 touchdowns and opponents are 10/14 with 4 touchdowns. MSU has a kick return for a touchdown.

Quarterback Dak Prescott has completed 66.9% of his passes for 1,069 yards with 7 touchdowns and no interceptions, along with 30 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. Back-up Nick Fitzgerald has a passing touchdown and 2 rushing touchdowns. Elijah Staley also has a touchdown pass.

Running back Brandon Holloway has 18 carries for 134 yards, plus 4 catches and a touchdown. Ashton Shumpert has 32 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown, plus 11 catches for 96 yards. Receiver Fred Ross has 22 catches for 219 yards. De’Runnya Wilson has 16 catches for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fred Brown has 10 catches for 173 yards. Donald Gray has 4 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Gus Walley has 15 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Gabe Myles has 5 catches for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus a rushing touchdown.

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Texas A&M is outscoring teams 42-22 this season. The Aggies are #17 in scoring nationally. Texas A&M averages 472 yards per game on offense including 285 passing and 187 rushing. The Aggies are #32 in both total and passing offense. TAMU allows 367 yards per game on defense, including 187 passing and 179 rushing yards. The Aggies have six turnovers and have forced six as well this season. Texas A&M averages 54 penalty yards per game and opponents average 46 per game. The Aggies are 25/57 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 18/63. TAMU has forced 17 sacks and allowed 12 this season. The Aggies are 21/24 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns and opponents are 14/17 with 8 touchdowns. Texas A&M has a pick six and a punt return for a touchdown.

Quarterback Kyle Allen has completed 65.3% of his passes for 952 yards with 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and has also rushed for 71 yards on 28 carries with 2 touchdowns. Kyler Murray has also taken a few snaps. He has thrown for 146 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and has also rushed for 102 yards on 16 carries.

Running back Tra Carson has 69 carries for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Kwame Etwi has 14 carries for 120 yards. Brice Dolezal has 20 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. James White is out with an undisclosed injury.

Receiver Christian Kirk has 24 catches for 442 yards and 4 touchdowns. Josh Reynolds has 11 catches for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns. Damion Ratley has 7 catches for 93 yards. Ricky Seals-Jones has 10 catches for 94 yards. Speedy Noil has 6 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Tabuyo has 4 catches for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Mississippi State is 5-1 ATS on grass, 4-1 in SEC games, and after rushing for less than 100 yards, 10-3 after a cover, 6-2 after scoring less than 20 points, 10-4 against teams with winning records, 7-3 after allowing less than 20 points, 15-7 overall, and 2-5 in October.

Texas A&M is 4-1 ATS overall, 5-12 against teams with winning records, 3-8 on grass, 4-12 in SEC games, 2-7 at home, 1-4 after a cover, 1-5 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 2-10 in October, 1-6 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, and against teams with winning road records.

This is a battle between Texas A&M’s offense and Mississippi State’s defense. I Think the Aggies have a little too much fire power and I like them to win but the Bulldogs keep it close.

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