No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Saturday October 7th, 2017. 7:15PM (EST)
Where: Kyle Field College Station, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ALA -26.5/A&M +26.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
Last week, for the 2nd straight outing the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide obliterated an SEC opponent. After dismantling Vanderbilt 59-0, the Crimson Tide extracted revenge on Ole Miss with another dominating performance in a 66-3 victory. The Rebels had previously been a thorn in Alabamas side with 2 victories in the last 3 meetings. Instead of any repeat upsets, the Crimson Tide silenced doubters with one of their most convincing performances of the year. This week the top ranked team in college football will travel into College Station for a showdown with the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field.
Quietly the Aggies have put together 4 straight victories and are coming off back to back victories in the SEC. I believe most people wrote off Kevin Sumlin and this Aggies team after their 34 point 2nd half collapse to UCLA in the season opener. At that time, Sumlin looked destined for an early exit but the Aggies have rallied back. Instead of 2nd half blunders, the Aggies have been the predator in recent weeks. They erased a 4th quarter deficit to force overtime against Arkansas in a comeback win. Then last week against South Carolina, the Aggies rallied from 10 points down to beat the Gamecocks in their best defensive effort of the season. The Aggies defense, long considered the Achilles Heel, stifled South Carolina holding the Gamecocks to just 279 yards of total offense in route to the victory.
Now for the Aggies to show they belong with the beast of the West, they need to put together the offensive showing they displayed against Arkansas and perhaps the defensive showing they displayed against the Gamecocks in a unified effort on both sides of the ball. I think it goes without saying that Alabama is playing the best football out of any team in the FBS right now. Some may throw Clemsons name into that conversation but I believe Alabamas current form stands alone after beating the likes of a Vanderbilt team (that just upset Kansas State) and Ole Miss by a combined score of 125-3.
Last week Alabama pummeled the Ole Miss defense by dominating the ground game. Alabama running backs and quarterback Jalen Hurts combined for 365 yards on the ground totaling 5 touchdowns. Hurts also tossed a pair of touchdowns to add insult to injury. The question this week from a matchup perspective is can the Aggies defense stand toe to toe against Alabamas power rushing attack? Well if history plays into the consideration, Sumlins defenses have not had much luck against the Alabama rushing attack. Even since Johnny Football led the Aggies to that big upset win against Alabama back in 2012, the Aggies have given up point totals of 49, 59, 41, and 33 in the 4 games since which have all results in losses. In those 4 meetings, Alabama has averaged over 250 yards of rushing and has been unable to stand strong where it matters most in the trenches.
Therefore, I have serious doubts that Texas A&M can paint a different story this week. Arkansas was able to run all over this Aggies defense exposing their weakness against premier rushing teams. More importantly, I have not been impressed with the play of Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond. Mond has completed just 54% passing on the year with 6 scores and 2 picks. The Aggies will not run over this Alabama defense with their running game and I honestly think the Crimson Tide defense will destroy Mond. If you question my reasoning here, check out Deondre Francois, Kyle Shurmur, and Shea Pattersons stat lines against this Alabama defense. Mond is arguably the worst of the group.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I was wrong on Alabama last week for the first time. I thought the Rebels would stretch the field and Shea Patterson would impress. Apparently I did not give enough credit to Alabamas defense and after watching Texas A&M for the 2nd straight week; I just do not think they have to offense to challenge in this matchup. Take Alabama -26.5. Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% bonus (Deposit $100, get $100 FREE!)at the web’s oldest sportsbook: Intertops!