SEC Betting Picks Week Nine: #20 Texas A&M Aggies at Auburn Tigers

#20 Texas A&M Aggies at Auburn Tigers
Saturday, October 27, 2012, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, Alabama
Opening Line: Texas A&M -9
Current Line: Texas A&M -14 1/2
Opening Total: 53
Current Total: 54
Opening Money Line: TAMU -650
/ Auburn +525
Current Money Line: TAMU -600 / Auburn +475

Texas A&M is a 14 1/2 point favorite on the road at a reeling Auburn team. The Tigers are 1-6 this season.

Though it was only 2 years ago that Auburn finished undefeated and won the BCS national championship, it might as well be 20 for Auburn fans. The Tigers are 1-6 this season with only an overtime win over Louisiana-Monroe. Even worse they are 0-5 in the SEC, and might be even worse than Kentucky who also has one win and 5 SEC losses.

It doesn’t get any easier for Gene Chizik and the Tigers as they host #20 Texas A&M Saturday. It is only the third ever match-up between the schools. Both previous match-ups were in the Cotton Bowl. The Aggies lead the series 2-0, but the last game was in the 1986 Cotton Bowl.

Texas A&M is 5-2 this season and 2-2 in the SEC under first year coach Kevin Sumlin. The only two losses came at home to current top 6 teams Florida 20-17 and LSU 24-19. The Aggies have road wins over SMU 48-3, Ole Miss 30-27, and Lousiana Tech 59-57, along with with home wins over South Carolina St 70-14 and Arkansas 58-10. Texas A&M is 3-4 ATS and the total is 2-4 this season. The Aggies were 3.5 point underdogs and the total was 51.5 against LSU.

Texas A&M is averaging 524.6 yards per game on offense, including 303.3 passing yards and 221.3 rushing yards. The Aggies are outscoring teams 43-22 this season. A&M is in the top 20 nationally in all offensive categories. The Aggies are even in turnovers with 14 on offense. TAMU is averaging 71.1 penalty yards per game, and has allowed 15 sacks. The Aggies are 60/118 on third and fourth down conversions, and 28/32 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns. Texas A&M is allowing 392.7 yards on defense with 254.6 passing yards and  138.1 rushing yards. The Aggies have forced 21 sacks this season and 14 turnovers. Aggie opponents are 43/139 on third and fourth down conversions and 18/23 scoring in the red zone with 13 touchdowns. The Aggies have 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Freshman sensation Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel  is the leading passer and rusher for the Aggies. He has completed 157 of 246 passes (67.4%) for 1,956 yards with 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 108 carries, 703 yards and 10 touchdowns. He could be a dark horse Heisman contender. Running back Ben Malena has 72 carries, 462 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 11 catches, 62 yards and a touchdown. Christine Michael has 49 carries, 196 yards, and 5 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 36 yards. Trey Williams has 26 carries, 107 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 124 yards. Receiver Mike Evans has 42 catches, 625 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Ryan Swope has 30 catches, 380 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Thomas Johnson has 21 catches, 269 yards, and a touchdown. Uzoma Nwachukwu has 13 catches, 203 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kenric McNeal has only 11 catches, but 2 were touchdowns.

We have talked about Auburn’s struggles (to put it mildly) this season. The Tigers beat Louisiana-Monroe at home 31-28 in overtime. Sadly, the only other highlights are narrow losses to ranked teams Clemson 26-19 in Atlanta, and 12-10 at home to LSU. The Tigers also have losses at Mississippi St 28-10, Ole Miss 41-20, and Vanderbilt 17-13 last week, along with a 24-7 home loss to Arkansas. Auburn was actually a 6 point underdog at Vanderbilt last week and the total was 45.5. The Tigers are 2-5 ATS this season and the total is also 2-5.

Auburn is averaging 276.7 yards per game on offense, including 154.4 passing yards and 122.3 rushing yards. The Tigers are being outscored 25-16. Auburn is 100th or worse (out of 124 teams) in total offense, passing, rushing and scoring nationally. Auburn is -10 in turnovers having given up 19 turnovers. The Tigers are 27/94 on third and fourth down conversions, and 14/17 scoring in the red zone with 5 touchdowns. Auburn has allowed 24 sacks through 7 games. On defense, the Tigers are allowing 411.7 total yards, including 217.7 passing yards and 194 rushing yards. Auburn opponents are 44/118 on third and fourth down conversions, and 22/28 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns. The Tigers have forced 13 sacks and 9 turnovers this season.

Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier has completed 56/103  passes (54.4%) for 664 yards with 2 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, and has been sacked 13 times. He is questionable with an arm injury after missing the last two games. If Frazier can’t go, Clint Moseley will start again. He is 38/59 passing for 373 yards with a touchdown and 3 interceptions. He has been sacked 10 times this season.  Running back Tre Mason has 93 carries, 474 yards, and 4 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 60 yards. Ontario McCalebb has 65 carries, 332 yards, and 2 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 40 yards. Receiver Emory Blake has 30 catches, for 425 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen had 15 catches for 139 yards. Quan Bray has 13 catches for 89 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass to Frazier. Auburn has 13 players listed on the injury report, and 10 of them are for undisclosed reasons.

Texas A&M is 7-1-1 ATS after scoring less than 20 points, 5-1 against teams with losing records, 4-1 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, 5-2 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 22-45-1 in road games, 6-13 overall, 5-12 after failing to cover, 1-10-1 in conference games, and 0-5 in October.

Auburn is 5-1 ATS at home against teams with winning road records, 2-5 in SEC games, at home, and against teams with winning records, 3-8 overall, 1-4 after a straight up loss, 2-10 after allowing more than 200 yards rushing, 1-6 on grass, 0-5 after a cover, and 0-4 after scoring and allowing less than 20 points.

I don’t think it matters who starts at quarterback for Auburn, whether  it is Frazier or Moseley. The offense has been terrible under both this season. The defense isn’t much better especially against the run. This line opened at Texas A&M -9 and even moved to -15 1/2 for a time. It moved back down to 14 1/2, and that might seem like a lot with Auburn playing at home. However, the Tigers are not a good team at all. The Aggies should win easily.

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