A pair of ranked SEC teams square off Saturday night in College Station where the Texas A&M Aggies are favored on the college football odds against Mississippi State.
Here we are heading into October, and the Texas A&M Aggies still haven't left the Lone Star State, and they won't for another three weeks.
That doesn't mean life has been easy at home in the Southeastern Conference, however, and the Aggies will try and break their Kyle Field jinx while staying undefeated in the standings when they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday evening. Kickoff in College Station is 7:30 PM (ET) with the SEC Network broadcasting this battle of ranked squads from the West Division of the conference.
The College Football Odds have been dancing between -6½ and -7½ since they were first introduced, settling in on Texas A&M -7 by Tuesday morning, 5Dimes offering even money for bettors laying the points. Scoreboard gamblers are looking at 59 for the total.
This series dates all the way back to 1912 with the schools meeting five times from then until 2000, one long 63-year break in there. The Aggies lead 5-3 over the entire history, and have won two of three since the teams started playing as conference foes in 2012. Mississippi State picked up its first conference win over A&M last year in Starkville where Dak Prescott put on an amazing individual performance in the 48-31 decision.
The Rebels easily covered the 3 point home spread, their second consecutive spread beater in the series. It was also the 2nd-straight 'over' in the rivalry as the clubs have combined to average 85.5 points per game the last two seasons.
'Dogs Off Mile Upset At Auburn
Mississippi State (3-1 straight up, 3-1 against the spread) avoided a second early conference setback with a 17-9 win at Auburn this last week. The game closed as a pick 'em at some online sportsbooks, the NCAA football odds giving the Bulldogs a point at other shops. Prescott threw a couple of early touchdown passes to give Mississippi State a 14-0 halftime lead, then turned it over to his defense to make that stand up.
Defense definitely has been the name of the game for Dan Mullen's lads, and that has translated into three 'under' winners for college football bettors in the early going. The unit bent a bit in allowing the Tigers nearly 400 yards of offense, more than half of it on the ground, but Bulldog defenders didn't break and stiffened on third-down plays plus four key stops of Auburn in the red zone.
The Bulldogs are currently 16th in the nation surrendering less than 15 points per game, and 26th allowing just over 170 yards a contest through the air. They've had to do that while being on the field most of their first four games, State's offense 126th in time of possession at less than 23½ minutes.
Can Aggies Contain Prescott?
Texas A&M (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) needed overtime to beat Arkansas last weekend in Arlington, the game played in a somewhat empty Cowboys Stadium that was barely two-thirds full. The Aggies knotted the contest late in regulation on a touchdown run by Tra Carson and 2-point conversion, then had an opportunity to win it with a field goal on the final play only to see Taylor Bertolet's 40-yard field goal attempt go wide right.
Kyle Allen had an efficient evening thrown for more than 350 yards on 21-of-28 passing, two of his completions going for scores to freshman wideout Christian Kirk, the second proving to be the game-winner in OT. The Razorbacks bottled up A&M's ground game all while running pretty much at will against the Aggie defense. The stop unit in College Station is improved over a year ago, but still proving susceptible to the run with the Aggies 82nd in the country giving up nearly 180 yards per game.
Mississippi State ran for nearly 300 yards against the Aggies last year, Prescott crossing the goal line three times on the ground, and it will be up to Texas A&M's defense to keep Prescott in the pocket so he doesn't beat them with scrambles or rollouts. There's nothing in the forecast to think we'll have anything but good weather for the contest, meaning a fast track at Kyle Field. I'm getting behind Prescott and the Bulldogs to continue A&M's woes at home with a free college football pick on the visitors.
College Football Pick: Mississippi State +7 (-110) at 5Dimes