No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies (8-2 SU, 4-6 ATS) vs. No. 23 LSU Tigers (7-3 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date and Time: Saturday November 23rd, 2013. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TAMU +4/LSU -4
Over/Under Total: 71
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Two SEC titans will collide on the Bayou this Saturday when Johnny Football
leads the no. 12 Texas A&M Aggies into Death Valley in
search of a win over the 23rd ranked LSU Tigers. The Tigers had an extra
week to regroup following their 38-17 loss to Alabama and put some extra
focus on the Aggies this week. LSU has consistently been one of the premier
teams in the SEC under Coach Les Miles. However the Tigers have had a subpar
season at 7-3 SU and 4th in the SEC West. Of course that is still not too
bad considering the SEC West is the strongest division in college football.
Still, Miles and the Tigers will need a victory over Texas A&M in order
to have the opportunity to capture their 4th straight 10 win season and
also improve their postseason bowl destiny.
The Tigers will enter this Saturday as 4 point favorites over the 12th ranked Aggies. If this game was in College Station, I believe the Aggies may be closer to around 7 point favorites considering both team’s performances thus far. Instead the Tigers are the slight favorite, which is justifiable, considering the fact they have been excellent at home in front of their 90,000 plus fans inside Tiger Stadium. Not only has LSU won 27 of their last 28 games at home but they have also won 55 of 62 games at home under current coach Les Miles. Considering the competition, that is truly remarkable when you play the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and others every year.
The key for LSU this Saturday will be finding a way to slow down Johnny Manziel and an elite Aggies offense. LSU typically has one of the best defenses in the nation comparable to the talent Alabama fields each year with 5 star recruits. However, this season has not produced the same results on the defensive side of the ball. In the Tigers’ 3 losses, they have relinquished 33 points, 463 total yards, and nearly 200 yards rushing per game. That is a far cry from the defenses LSU has fielded in recent years and now they will be faced with the daunting challenge of slowing down a Texas A&M offense that is averaging 379 passing yards (6th in FBS) and 49.2 points (5th in FBS) per game.
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Needless to say, book makers appear to suspect a lot of scoring as well considering the total has been posted at 71 making it one of the highest totals of the Miles era. Luckily for LSU, the Aggies defense has been absolutely terrible against the run giving up 210 yards per game (105th in the FBS). Therefore running back Jeremy Hill (964 yards, 13 touchdowns) should be in a position to run wild. If quarterback Zach Mettenberger can add some help in the passing game, LSU should be able to trade blows with the Aggies and perhaps use that home crowd advantage to come up with a few defensive stops.
However, one thing I found very interesting about Texas A&M is that the Aggies along with coach Kevin Sumlin have yet to lose a game on the road going a perfect 9-0 if you include their win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl (neutral field). Remember the Aggies also knocked off Alabama in Tuscaloosa last year and they are perfect in SEC road games, which is fairly remarkable in itself. So you have an Aggies team that does not lose on the road and a Tigers team that does not lose at home. Therefore, one of those trends has to come to an end this Saturday.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this will be a great match-up and I am having a tough time predicting the winner. However, I do believe the total is posted at 71 for a reason. LSU is extremely good in the run game where the Aggies are horrible. Furthermore, Johnny Football will find ways to put plenty of points on the board for the Aggies. I expect the total for this game to be in the 80’s. Therefore take the over 71. Good luck!
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