NCAA Basketball Picks: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Missouri Tigers

Texas A&M Aggies at No. 9 Missouri Tigers
Monday, 1/16/12, 5:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Missouri -15.5
Current Betting Line:  Missouri -16
Opening Total:  132
Current Total:  133
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Missouri Tigers senior class is 61-3 inside Mizzou Arena during their careers

Texas A&M snapped a three-game losings streak by picking up a 67-54 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders as 11-point home favorites, while going ‘over’ the total for the first time in five opportunities.  The Aggies knew they would have a tall mountain to climb if they opened Big 12 Conference play with four consecutive losses.  “Couldn’t go 0-4,” commented Aggies senior guard Dash Harris.  “It’s tough being 1-3, but just knowing that we needed this win, pretty much back against the wall.  That’s what we needed.”  Texas A&M is 13-7 ATS on the road the last two-plus years.

The Aggies were extremely balanced in their last contest, as five players scored in double figures.  Texas A&M leads the conference in three defensive categories, which include scoring defense, three-point field goal percentage defense and defensive rebounds percentage.  It’s important to note that the team’s losses this year have come to teams with a combined 80-24 record in games played thru Jan. 14.

Missouri will put its 16-1 record on the line Monday afternoon and will be looking for a similar MLK Day performance that it put on a year ago.  The Tigers handed the Kansas State Wildcats a convincing 75-59 loss in front of a sold-out crowd in that contest.  The team has won two games in a row since suffering its first loss, picking up an 84-73 victory over the Texas Longhorns as 9.5-point home favorites last time out.  Leading scorer Marcus Denmon had 18 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in the game.  Missouri is 4-1 ATS at home this year.

The Tigers are off to their best start since the 1981-82 season and the senior class is a dominating 61-3 inside Mizzou Arena in their careers.  Missouri has won its first 10 games at home this season.  Offensively, the team ranks second nationally in field goal percentage at 51.2 percent, trailing only the Creighton Blue Jays.  Denmon ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring 17.9 points a game and has gotten some help off the bench from junior Mike Dixon.  He is averaging 12.2 points and 2.8 assists as one of the nation’s best options off the bench.

Bettors will likely back the Aggies due to their 7-0 ATS mark as a road underdog of 13 or more points, while the Tigers are 1-10 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

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