SEC Turkey Day Betting Picks: LSU Tigers at Texas A & M Aggies

LSU Tigers at Texas A&M Aggies
Kyle Field – College Station, Texas
Thursday, November 27, 2014, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: LSU -2 1/2
Current Line: LSU -3 (-120)
Opening Total: 51
Current Total: 52
Opening Money Line: LSU -160 / Texas A&M +135
Current Money Line: LSU -165 / Texas A&M +140

LSU is a 3 point favorite on the road at Texas A&M Thursday night.
LSU is a 3 point favorite on the road at Texas A&M Thursday night.

The 7-4 LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies are both 3-4 in the SEC West. Both teams have had somewhat disappointing seasons as they had dreams of making the college football playoff at the beginning of the season. The two teams close out the regular season Thanksgiving night in College Station. There isn’t much on the other than bragging rights and perhaps improving their bowl destination.

LSU leads the series 29-20-3 against Texas A&M in a series that dates back to 1899. The Tigers have won 3 straight games in the series including 34-10 last year in Baton Rouge. Texas A&M hasn’t beaten LSU since 1995.

LSU is coached by Les Miles. LSU has lost two straight games for only the second time in Miles’ tenure as coach. The Tigers haven’t lost 3 straight games since 1999. LSU has home losses to Mississippi State 34-29 and Alabama 20-13 in overtime, along with road losses at Auburn 41-7 and two weeks ago at Arkansas 17-0. LSU has a win over Wisconsin 28-24 in Houston, home wins over Sam Houston State 56-0, UL-Monroe 31-0, New Mexico State 63-7, Kentucky 41-3 and Ole Miss 10-7, plus a road win at Florida 30-27. The Tigers are 7-4 ATS and the total is 4-7 this season. LSU was a 1 point underdog against Arkansas and the total was 45.

Texas A&M is coached by Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies started off the season 5-0 but have gone 2-4 since then. TAMU has road losses at Mississippi State 48-31 and Alabama 59-0, along with home losses to Ole Miss 35-20 and two weeks ago against Missouri 34-27. The Aggies have road wins at South Carolina 52-28, SMU 58-6, Arkansas 35-28 in overtime in Arlington, Texas, and at Auburn 41-38, along with home wins over Lamar 73-3, Rice 38-10, and UL-Monroe 21-16. Texas A&M is 4-7 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season. The Aggies were 3.5 point favorites against Missouri and the total was 55.5.

LSU is outscoring teams 28-16 this season. The Tigers are #5 in points allowed nationally. LSU is averaging 374 yards per game on offense including 169 passing and 205 rushing yards. The Tigers are #112 nationally in passing and #34 in rushing out of 128 teams. On defense, LSU is allowing 313 yards per game including 164 passing and 149 rushing yards. The Tigers are #12 in total defense and #6 in pass defense nationally. LSU is +3 in turnovers with 18 takeaways. The Tigers are averaging 46 penalty yards per game and opponents average 43 per game. LSU is 67/166 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 62/182. The Tigers have forced 17 sacks and allowed 22 this season. LSU is 32/39 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns and opponents are 20/26 with 13 touchdowns. The Tigers have three defensive/special teams touchdowns and have allowed one this season.

LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings has completed 47.9% of his passes for 1,353 yards with 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, plus 86 carries for 165 yards. Brandon Harris has also taken some snaps at quarterback this season. He has passed for 452 yards with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and also has 26 catches for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Running back Leonard Fournette has 157 carries for 745 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 127 yards. Terrence McGee has 88 carries for 471 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 157 yards. Kenny Hilliard has 87 carries for 431 yards and 6  touchdowns, along with 4 catches. Darrel Williams has 61 carries for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 63 yards. Receiver Travin Dural has 35 catches for 747 yards and 7 touchdowns. Malachi Dupre has 13 catches for 277 yards and 5 touchdowns. Trey Quinn and John Diarse will also get some targets. Five defensive players are questionable or out Thursday.

Texas A&M is outscoring teams 36-28 this season. The Aggies are #23 nationally in scoring. Texas A&M is averaging 469 yards per game on offense including 321 passing and 148 rushing yards. The Aggies are #26 in total offense and #10 in passing. On defense, TAMU is allowing 445 yards per game including 236 passing and 209 rushing yards. The Aggies are #104 nationally in total defense and #106 in rush defense. Texas A&M is -6 in turnovers with 11 takeaways. The Aggies average 49 penalty yards per game and opponents average 45. TAMU is 73/169 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 80/186. The Aggies have forced 32 sacks and allowed 23 this season. Texas A&M is 37/43 scoring in the red zone with 30 touchdowns and opponents are 30/33 with 21 touchdowns. The Aggies have one defensive touchdown and have allowed two this season.

Texas A&M benched quarterback Kenny Hill after a three game losing streak culminating with the rout by Alabama. Kyle Allen has started the last 3 games. Allen has completed 60.8% of his passes for 884 yards with 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Hill has  thrown for 2,649 yards with 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions along with 52 carries for 156 yards.

Running back Tra Carson has 91 carries for 431 yards and 5 touchdowns along with six catches. Trey Williams has 66 carries for 412 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 12 catches. Brandon Williams has 79 carries for 356 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 8 catches. James White has 22 carries for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 3 catches.

Receiver Josh Reynolds has 45 catches for 746 yards and 12 touchdowns. Malcome Kennedy has 45 catches for 526 yards and 4 touchdowns. Speedy Noil has 40 catches for 513 yards and 4 touchdowns. Edward Pope has 29 catches for 443 yards and 4 touchdowns. Ricky Seals-Jones has 47 catches for 443 yards and 4 touchdowns. Five defensive players are questionable or out.

LSU is 4-0 ATS after rushing for less than 100 yards, 5-2 after a straight up loss and after a bye week, 7-3 on grass, 3-7 after scoring less than 20 points, 4-10-1 after failing to cover, 3-10 after allowing less than 20 points, 1-4 in road games, 1-6 in November, and 1-7 after gaining less than 275 total yards. The Tigers are 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings against the Aggies and were favored in each of those contests.

Texas A&M is 9-23 ATS against teams  with winning records, 3-9 in Thursday games, 1-4 after failing to cover, 1-5 in SEC games and November, 1-6 against teams with winning road records, overall and on grass, 0-5 after a straight up loss, and at home, 0-4 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, and 0-8 after a bye week.

Texas A&M struggles to stop anyone, but LSU isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. I think the Aggies win at home in front of a frenzied 12th Man crowd.

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