SEC Betting Preview: #10 Alabama Crimson Tide at #9 Texas A and M Aggies

#10 Alabama Crimson Tide at #9 Texas A&M Aggies
Kyle Field – College Station, Texas
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Alabama -4
Current Line: Alabama -4 (-115)
Opening Total: 47
Current Total: 53 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -180 / Texas A&M +160
Current Money Line: Alabama -190 / Texas A&M +165

Alabama is a road favorite against Texas A&M in a battle of top ten SEC contenders.
Alabama is a road favorite against Texas A&M in a battle of top ten SEC contenders.

The 5-0 Texas A&M Aggies host the 5-1 Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday in a key SEC West contest. The Aggies are 2-0 in the division behind 3-0 LSU. Alabama is tied with Ole Miss at 2-1. Both Alabama and Texas A&M are ranked in the top ten.

Alabama leads the series 5-2 against Texas A&M including 2-0 in College Station. The Crimson Tide crushed the Aggies last year 59-0 in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama is coached by Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide have a home loss to Ole Miss 43-37. Alabama has a win over Wisconsin 35-17 in Arlington, Texas, a road win at Georgia 38-10 and home wins over Middle Tennessee 37-10, UL-Monroe 34-0, and last week against Arkansas 27-14. Alabama was a 15 point favorite against Arkansas and the total was 48. The Razorbacks took a 7-3 lead into halftime, but Alabama scored 24 straight points to take a 27-7 lead with 2:44 left. Arkansas scored a late touchdown to make the final margin 13 points. Alabama held Arkansas to 220 yards and 9 first downs. The Crimson Tide are 2-4 ATS and the total is 2-4 this season.

Texas A&M is coached by Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies have neutral site wins over Arizona State 38-17 in Houston and Arkansas 28-21 in Arlington, plus home wins over Ball State 56-23, Nevada 44-27 and two weeks ago against Mississippi State 30-17. Texas A&M has yet to leave the state of Texas and will not do so until next week at Ole Miss. The Aggies were 4 point favorites against Mississippi State and the total was 62.5. Texas A&M jumped out to a 14-3 lead after the first, and would lead 24-10 at halftime. The Aggies could only manage 2 second half field goals but it was enough to hold off the Bulldogs. The Teams combined for over 900 total yards but it didn’t really translate to points on the board. MSU had the only 2 turnovers of the game. TAMU is 4-1 ATS and the total is 2-3 this season.

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Alabama is outscoring teams 35-16 this season. Alabama is #15 in points allowed and #39 in scoring.  The Crimson Tide average 436 yards per game on offense including 247 passing and 189 rushing yards. Alabama is #48 or better in all three categories. On defense, Alabama is allowing 265 yards per game including 187 passing and 77 rushing yards. Alabama is #6 in total defense and #4 in rush defense. The Crimson Tide have forced 12 turnovers and have 12 of their own. Alabama averages 61 penalty yards per game and opponents average 65. Alabama is 34/98 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 30/108. The Crimson Tide have forced 16 sacks and allowed 7 this season. Alabama is 23/26 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns and opponents are 11/13 with 6 touchdowns.

Quarterback Jake Coker has thrown for 1,238 yards with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 90 rushing yards on 28 carries and 2 touchdowns. Cooper Bateman has thrown for 244 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Running back Derrick Henry has 120 carries for 665 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus 7 catches for 51 yards. He has a rushing touchdown in 11 straight games dating back to last season. Kenyan Drake has 50 carries for 244 yards and a touchdown, along with 13 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown. Damien Harris has 31 carries for 105 yards.

Receiver Calvin Ridley has 31 catches for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns.  ArDarius Stewart has 25 catches for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns. O.J. Howard has 16 catches for 200 yards. Calvin Ridley has 31 catches for 385 yards and 3 touchdowns. Richard Mullaney has 19 catches for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Robert Foster has 10 catches for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns, but is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Raheem Falkins is questionable for undisclosed reasons.

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Texas A&M is outscoring teams 39-21 this season. The Aggies are #15 in scoring and #39 in points allowed nationally. Texas A&M averages 480 yards per game on offense including 292 passing and 188 rushing. The Aggies are #23 or better in both total and passing offense. TAMU allows 375 yards per game on defense, including 192 passing and 183 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 42 per game. The Aggies are 36/79 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 23/79. TAMU has forced 19 sacks and allowed 13 this season. The Aggies are 25/29 scoring in the red zone with 17 touchdowns and opponents are 16/20 with 9 touchdowns. Texas A&M has a pick six and a punt return for a touchdown.

Quarterback Kyle Allen has completed 64% of his passes for 1,274 yards with 13 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and has also rushed for 136 yards on 40 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 95 carries for 430 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 100 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 32 catches for 519 yards and 4 touchdowns. Josh Reynolds has 18 catches for 383 yards and 3 touchdowns. Damion Ratley has 9 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Ricky Seals-Jones has 15 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. Speedy Noil has 6 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable for undisclosed reasons. Jeremy Tabuyo has 4 catches for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Alabama is 13-5 in October, 1-4 after a straight up win, after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, overall, on grass and after allowing less than 20 points.

Texas A&M is 5-1 overall, 4-1 after gaining 450 total yards or more, 3-7 at home, 5-12 in SEC games, 2-6 against teams with winning road records, 3-10 October and 0-9 after a bye week.

Statistically, these two teams are evenly matched. The Aggies were humiliated last year in Tuscaloosa, but are much better this season. Still, I don’t know if they can beat Alabama even at home. I like the Crimson Tide to win  a close low scoring game.

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