SEC Week 11 College Football Betting Picks: Mississippi State Bulldogs at #15 Texas A&M Aggies

Mississippi State Bulldogs at #15 Texas A&M Aggies
Kyle Field – College Station, Texas

Saturday, November 9, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Texas A&M -19
Current Line: Texas A&M -19
Opening Total: 64
Current Total: 68
Opening Money Line: TAMU -1097 / Mississippi State +717
Current Money Line: TAMU -1100 / Mississippi State +720

Texas A&M is a 19 point favorite at home against Mississippi State.
Texas A&M is a 19 point favorite at home against Mississippi State.

The 7-2 Texas A&M Aggies are 3-2 in the SEC West. The Aggies host the 4-4 Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday. The Bulldogs are 1-3 in the SEC and need to win two more games to be bowl eligible. This is the seventh meeting between Texas A&M and Mississippi State. The series is tied 3-3. The Aggies won last year in Starkville 38-13 in the first game between the teams as SEC foes. The Bulldogs won the only previous meeting in College Station way back in 1913.

Mississippi State is coached by Dan Mullen. The Bulldogs have home wins over Alcorn State 51-7, Troy 62-7, Bowling Green 21-20, and Kentucky 28-22. Mississippi State has losses to Oklahoma State in Houston 21-3, road losses at Auburn 24-20 and last week at South Carolina 34-16 along with a home loss to LSU 59-26. The Bulldogs are 3-5 ATS and the total is also 3-5 this season. MSU was a 13.5 point underdog at South Carolina and the total was 53.

Mississippi State took an early 7-0 against South Carolina on the road. The Gamecocks would score 17 straight to take a 10 point lead. The Bulldogs added a field goal just before halftime to make it 17-10 going into the locker room. South Carolina went on another 17-0 scoring run to take a 34-10 lead into the fourth. Mississippi State would add a late touchdown but missed the two point conversion to make the final 34-16. The Bulldogs had 385 total yards including 235 passing and 150 rushing. South Carolina had 307 total yards including 160 rushing yards. MSU had 5 turnovers and South Carolina had none.

Mississippi State is outscoring teams 28-24 this season. The Bulldogs are averaging 447.1 total yards including 248.6 passing and 198.5 rushing yards. MSU is 57th or better in all three categories. On defense, the Bulldogs are allowing 352.4 total yards including 204.4 passing and 148 rushing yards per game. MSU is #24 in total defense and #21 against the pass. The Bulldogs are -1 in turnovers with 10 takeaways. Mississippi State averages 48 penalty yards per game and opponents average 40. The Bulldogs are 54/130 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 41/121. MSU has forced 10 sacks and allowed 16 this season. The Bulldogs are 27/31 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns and opponents are 21/22 with 16 touchdowns. MSU has returned one interception for a touchdown this season.

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott will be playing with a heavy heart as his mother sadly passed away last Sunday from colon cancer. He returned to practice on Wednesday and will start. Prescott has completed 59.1% of his passes for 1,393 yards with 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He is also the leading rusher with 95 carries, 568 yards and 10 touchdowns, and also has 2 touchdown receptions and 53 yards on his 2 catches of the season. Tyler Russell has played in a few games and has thrown for 391 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception, along with 17 carries for 3 yards.

Running back LaDarius Perkins has 79 carries, 378 yards and a touchdown, along with 17 catches for 159 yards. Josh Robinson has 39 carries, 185 yards and a touchdown, plus 6 catches for 60 yards. Ashton Shumpert has 32 carries, 134 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 2 catches. Derrick Milton has 2 rushing touchdowns, and a touchdown catch. Receiver Jameon Lewis has 37 catches, 491 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 13 carries, 117 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Lewis also has 2 touchdown passes to Prescott. Robert Johnson has 23 catches for 262 yards. Malcolm Johnson, De’Runnya Wilson and Joe Morrow will also get some catches. Tight ends Brandon Hill and Gus Walley are both listed as doubtful or out for undisclosed reasons. Four defensive players are listed as doubtful for undisclosed reasons.

Texas A&M is coached by Kevin Sumlin, who is reported to be the top choice to become the head coach at USC. The only losses for the Aggies this season came at home to Alabama 49-42 and Auburn 45-41. Texas A&M has home wins over Rice 52-31, Sam Houston 65-28, SMU 42-13, Vanderbilt 56-24, and last week against UTEP 57-7. The Aggies also have road wins at Arkansas 45-33 and Ole Miss 41-38. Texas A&M is 5-4 ATS and the total is 7-2 this season. The Aggies were 47.5 point favorites against UTEP and the total was 78.5.

After Texas A&M scored a first quarter safety on a blocked punt, UTEP took a 7-2 lead. The Aggies would score 55 unanswered points for the rest of the game though to crush the overmatched Miners 57-7. UTEP had 198 total ayrds and 10 first downs. The Aggies had 564 total yards including 330 passing and 234 rushing yards. UTEP had four turnovers and A&M had one.

Texas A&M is outscoring teams 49-30 this season. The Aggies are #4 nationally in scoring but #80 in points allowed. Texas A&M is averaging 582.6 total yards including 371.8 passing and 210.8 rushing yards. The Aggies are #3 in total offense, #6 in passing and #25 in rushing. On defense, TAMU is allowing 443.1 yards per game, including 242.2 passing and 200.9 rushing. The Aggies are 82nd or worse in all three categories out of 125 FBS teams. A&M is +4 in turnovers with 19 takeaways. The Aggies average 52 penalty yards per game and opponents average 51. Texas A&M is 65/119 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 55/141. The Aggies have forced 16 sacks and allowed 14. TAMU is 50/61 scoring in the red zone with 44 touchdowns and opponents are 26/31 with 23 touchdowns. The Aggies have 3 pick sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown and have allowed one pick six.

Controversial and polarizing quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman last year as a redshirt freshman and is one of the contenders again this year. Manziel is likely to declare for the NFL draft after the season so this could be his last home game. Manziel left the Auburn game with an injured shoulder but returned and has started the last two games. Johnny Football has completed 72.5% of his passes for 2,867 yards with 26 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 96 carries, 564 yards and 8 touchdowns. Back-up Matt Joeckel has thrown for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kenny Hill has thrown for 183 yards and a touchdown, and also has 37 rushing yards.

Running back Ben Malena has 89 carries, 456 yards and 8 touchdowns along with 15 catches 140 yards and a touchdown. Trey Williams has 39 carries, 297 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 7 catches for 42 yards. Tra Carson has 52 carries for 269 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 2 catches. Carson is doubtful Saturday with a concussion. Brandon Williams has 37 carries for 206 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Mike Evans has 52 catches for 1,147 yards and 12 touchdowns. Malcome Kennedy has 47 catches for 510 yards and 5 touchdowns. Derel Walker has 31 catches for 437 yards and 2 touchdowns. Travis Labhart has 27 catches for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns. Sabian Homes and LaQuvionte Gonzalez will also get some catches. Four defensive players are listed as questionable to out Saturday.

Mississippi State is 3-7 ATS against teams with winning records, 1-4 after failing to cover, in SEC games, and in November, 1-5 against teams with winning home records, 1-6 in road games, 0-4 overall, and on grass.

Texas A&M is 4-0 ATS after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 5-1 at home and on grass, 4-1 after a cover, and in November, 10-3 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 9-3 after passing for more than 280 yards, 6-2 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 3-7-1 after allowing 275 total yards or less, and 3-8 after allowing less than 20 points.

There is no question Texas A&M will dominate this game on offense even against a good Mississippi State defense. The Aggie defense though is not good though to say the least. The Aggies have given up less than 24 points to only SMU and UTEP. I think the Texas A&M defense will allow the Bulldogs to stay within striking distance of the cover.

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