LSU Tigers (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (7-4 SU, 4-7 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date and Time: Thursday November 27th, 2014. 7:30PM EST
Where: Kyle Field College Station, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LSU -2/A&M +2
Over/Under Total: 45
Thanksgiving Day football will feature some college football action this Holiday Season when the Texas A&M Aggies host the LSU Tigers at Kyle Field for a regular season finale for both teams. Both the Tigers and the Aggies have struggled as of late. After starting 5-0, the Aggies have lost 5 of their last 7 games during the 2nd half of the season and have gone just 1-4 in SEC competition. LSU has also struggled most recently as well. After their heartbreaking loss to Alabama, the Tigers were shutout most recently against Arkansas in a surprise upset. Now both 7-4 SU teams look to end their seasons with a victory and perhaps improve their postseason bowl venue.
The Tigers will enter Thursdays match-up as a slight 2 point favorite over the Aggies. If you look at LSUs body of work this season, it is pretty obvious that they are a solid football team but have been victim of the brutal SEC West competition. The Tigers have a few big wins to their resume highlighted by the victory over #3 Ole Miss in Baton Rouge. However, LSU has simply fallen to the top teams in the West from Mississippi State, Alabama, and Auburn. The loss to Alabama was definitely the blow that hurt the most. The Tigers were up by a field goal with less than a minute to go in that game and allowed Alabama to drive down the field to kick a field goal to force the game into overtime. After getting beat in overtime, LSU was stunned by Arkansas in a 17-0 shutout the next week in Fayetteville. Therefore it is easy to point at the loss to Alabama as the game that let the wind out of the Tigers sails.
Still, the common denominator this season for LSUs struggles has been the play of the offense primarily in the passing game. The Tigers rank 112th in the FBS averaging just 169 yards per game through the air. Despite a strong rushing stable with Kenny Hilliard and Leonard Fournette, defenses have been able to stack the box and stop the run because the Tigers have not been able to have any success with quarterback Anthony Jennings. As a result, the Tigers offense has not been able to score points which has been the major difference in their tough games this year. Consider this fact, LSU has scored just 30 points combined (7.5ppg) in their last 4 games against their foes from the SEC West.
Obviously it is impossible to win games against good competition without scoring any more points than LSU has during the latter part of the year even when you throw in the Tigers really strong scoring defense into the equation that has given up just 16.4 points per game (4th in FBS). This Thursday LSUs offense will be the point of emphasis again against Texas A&M. The Aggies and Coach Kevin Sumlin are known for being offensive gurus and have sported a strong scoring average of 36 points per game. Quarterback Kenny Hill and the Aggies fast paced passing attack will be an interesting match for LSUs physical defense. The Aggies offense has not posted the high point totals that they did earlier this year and most would expect LSUs defense to limit their success somewhat. However LSU still has to find a way to take advantage of the Aggies subpar defense if they are going to score enough points to pull out this victory.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: LSU has had an extra week off to regroup after the Arkansas loss so I do not expect another letdown performance. Les Miles knows how to get his guys ready for these games and so expect LSU to be ready to play. As long as the Tigers offense avoids the turnovers especially on the short side of the field, I think this is a game they could win and possibly even win big. The Aggies have lost 6 of their last 7 games ATS and that trends continues on Thursday. Take LSU -2!