No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1 SU, 1-4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date and Time: Saturday October 18th, 2014. 3:30PM EST
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: A&M +11.5/ALA -11.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
Bet your Aggies/Crimson Tide pick at an online sportsbook where your credit card WILL work for depositing and where you get a generous 50% signup bonus: Bovada Sportsbook.
Another huge matchup in the SEC West awaits this Saturday as the no. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide meet the visiting no. 21 Texas A&M Aggies inside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. A few weeks ago this anticipated matchup appeared as it may feature a couple of undefeated heavyweights. However the rise of the Mississippi teams in the West derailed those plans. Ole Miss and Mississippi State have handed the Aggies two straight losses in the last two weeks. The Rebels also handed Alabama their lone loss of the season two weeks ago with ESPN College GameDay on hand. Now the only two teams that are left unbeaten in the West are the two teams from the state of Mississippi which nobody expected at the onset of the season. This week both the Aggies and the Crimson Tide try in contention for an SEC Championship as the race in the SEC West heats up.
After two straight losses, the Aggies desperately need to rebound in a big way this week. Texas A&M was blown out by Mississippi State and they were never close in last weeks 35-20 loss to Ole Miss. The offense has continued to post big numbers statistically. However turnovers and defensive problems have plagued the team in recent weeks. The Aggies struggled with defensive issues throughout 2013 and had silenced those concerns through the first few games. However, the defense has relinquished roughly 900 yards and 83 points just in the last two weeks. Opposing offenses have been able to run the football with ease and the defense has been unable to get off the field. In fact, the Aggies inability to stop the run is the main reason they are double digit underdogs this week at Alabama despite the Crimson Tides own struggles in recent weeks.
STOP LAYING -110 ODDS ON GAMES! START LAYING ONLY -105 (WHICH WILL SAVE YOU HUGE MOMEY) AT 5DIMES!
Still, the threat A&M possesses on offense gives them a chance this Saturday especially considering Alabama is having troubles putting points on the scoreboard. Aggies quarterback Kenny Hill is still on track for a monstrous 2014 campaign. Kenny Trill has completed 66.8% passing for 2,511 yards with 23 touchdowns and 7 picks thus far this season. Texas A&M has tons of talent on the outside led by sophomore wide receiver Josh Reynolds who leads the team with 8 touchdown grabs. The Aggies actually have 5 different receivers with at least 350 yards receiving thus far this season and they should present a tough match for Alabamas defense just as West Virginia did earlier this year when they nearly upset the Crimson Tide.
Last week Alabama held off Arkansas in a 14-13 victory to rebound from their loss to Ole Miss. Coach Nick Saban received some criticism for his teams bounce back performance. However give credit to Arkansas who has played everyone extremely tough this season and controlled the clock against the Crimson Tide. For Alabama to shake off another near upset loss, the Crimson Tide will look to return to their strong rushing attack on offense. The Crimson Tide has favored the pass a lot more this season under new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and quarterback Blake Sims.
However the recipe for a strong running game is a must this week against a Texas A&M defense that has shown very little capability of stopping the run. Tailbacks T.J Yeldon and Derrick Henry should get plenty of carries this week to set the tone on offense. Yeldon and Henry have combined for 844 yards on the ground this season with two touchdowns each. Expect Alabama to look to control the clock this week and keep the Aggies offense off the field. After all the best way to stop the Aggies high power offense is to keep them off the field. Additionally if Alabama can get their ground game rolling, it will help open up the passing attack and get star wide out Amari Cooper involved down the field.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I picked Arkansas to cover the number last week as I felt their rushing game would frustrate the Crimson Tide. This week it is time to back Alabama again as they should be poised to give A&M more than they can handle. The Aggies have been punished on the ground in recent weeks and now they will get another extremely tough challenge with Alabamas running backs and talented offensive front. I believe Alabama controls this game by controlling the trenches. Take Alabama -11.5