College Football Betting - Pick Auburn Over Texas A&M In SEC Matchup

Auburn Tigers player holding the ball while another one seems to be celebrating him

Friday, September 16, 2016 9:04 PM GMT

It's a critical early matchup in the SEC West race when Auburn hosts Texas A&M this Saturday. Find out where we're making our college football pick for the Aggies and Tigers.

 

 

There has been one very noticeable trend when the Texas A&M Aggies and Auburn Tigers get together, and that has been the visiting team winning all four of their encounters since becoming Southeastern Conference rivals.

If that continues this Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium, then we are in for a mild upset. ESPN will televise the matchup from the Auburn campus at 7 PM (ET), and backing the Tigers means giving up 3½ at Heritage, one of the top-rated sports books at SBR.

Saturday night's scoreboard barrier is up to 54½, essentially back to the opening number after dipping as low as 51½ earlier this week.

The team receiving points the last three years have pulled off the upsets each time, Auburn a 7 point underdog on the NCAA football odds last November in College Station where the Tigers registered a 26-10 triumph. Texas A&M won the previous two trips to Auburn, beating the then-No. 3 Tigers two years ago as a 23½ point underdog and routing them two years before that as 14 point chalk.

They only met twice before that, both times in Dallas way back in 1911 and again in 1986 at the 50th Cotton Bowl Classic. The Aggies were underdogs in that game as well but came away with a 36-16 decision over a Tigers squad led by Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson.

 

Aggie Running Game, Run Defense Looking Good In Early Going
The Aggies are embarking on a very, very tough 5-game SEC stretch with this matchup, a span that includes two bye weeks interspersed with battles against three ranked teams (Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama) plus road trips to Auburn and South Carolina. Since bursting onto the SEC scene with a 6-3 conference mark in 2012, Texas A&M has struggled to just an 11-13 league record, but a respectable 9-6 on the road.

Kevin Sumlin's charges tuned up for this one with a 67-0 glorified scrimmage against Prairie View A&M last week, about as one-sided a game as the Aggies have enjoyed under the 5th-year head coach. Oklahoma transfer Trevor Knight threw for 344 yards and three scores and the Texas A&M ground game found little resistance from the Panthers.

That was preceded by a 31-24 overtime decision at home vs. UCLA, the Ags having just enough to beat a -5 spread while the 55 point total pushed. Texas A&M once again moved the ball well on the ground and the defense aided the cause with three picks.

 

Can Tigers Run The Pigskin Against The Aggies?
Auburn's front seven will obviously be tougher do anything against than Prairie View, and even tougher than the stop unit the Bruins put up against the Aggies. The Tigers held their own against Deshaun Watson and Clemson in the season opener, only to fall 19-13 when their own offense was sluggish and shot itself in the foot with three turnovers.

Sean White and the offense came out ready to play a week ago in an easy 51-14 win over Arkansas State. White was 17-for-23 through the air, three of his completions going for scores, and the backfield duo of Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson led the way for the Tigers to amass more than 460 yards on the ground.

A few days ago, it looked like it could rain Saturday afternoon in Auburn, but now that doesn't seem too likely and we're left with some humid, muggy conditions at Jordan-Hare with temps in the low-to-mid 80s at kickoff.

One of A&M's biggest problems the past few years, especially when going up against SEC squads, has been the inability to stop the run. The Aggies did a decent job against Notre Dame's ground game in the opener, and I know the trend between these teams has been to take the visitor, but I'm going the other way with my free college football pick and backing War Eagle.

 

Free College Football Pick: Auburn -3½ -110
Best Line Offered: at Heritage which offers a 50% Cash Bonus
Season: 8-6 (+2.05)

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