College Football Picks - LSU Tigers vs Texas AM Aggies

LSU Tigers players

Willie Bee

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 3:45 PM GMT

A couple of coaches hoping to keep their jobs match wits Thanksgiving when the LSU Tigers are road favorites on the NCAA football odds at Texas A&M.

 

Both teams failed to live up to the expectations of being integral parts of the SEC West race, and about the only thing left to decide between the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies is pecking order in the conference for bowl invites. Well, that and which coach might have the best chance of returning to his job next season.

Many of those questions could be answered Thanksgiving evening when ESPN begins its broadcast from Kyle Field at 7:30 PM (ET). The visitors have been pegged with the chalk line, BetOnline carrying the Tigers at -5 which is up a point from the opener. The total has been inching up as well, reaching 44 presently after beginning 42½.

 

Injuries Hampering Both Tigers & Ags

It certainly didn't help that Louisiana State (6-4 straight up, 4-6 against the spread) was without a healthy Leonard Fournette last week vs. Florida in their makeup game. The Tigers were favored by nearly two touchdowns on the NCAA football odds but never could punch the ball into the end zone in the 16-10 setback.

Fournette did manage to play on his sore ankle. but only after begging coach Ed Orgeron in what was probably the running back's final game in front of the Baton Rouge fans. He's doubtful once again this week, along with wideout Travin Dural and backup fullback Bry'Kiethon Mouton. Middle linebacker Kendall Beckwith (knee) will not play.

Texas A&M (8-3 SU, 4-7 ATS) did pick up its eighth win last week, but the 23-10 decision over Texas-San Antonio probably wasn't enough to save Kevin Sumlin's job. It also wasn't nearly enough to cover a 25 point spread. Upsetting LSU might buy Sumlin some time, but only until a bowl victory.

The Aggies once again won't have QB Trevor Knight, done for the year due to a shoulder injury. They'll also be thin at DB where Armani Watts and Priest Willis are listed as questionable.

 Bayou Bengals Aim For 6th-Straight Vs. A&M

Winning the last five meetings has helped LSU build a 31-20-3 lead in a series that dates all the way back to 1899. The 5-game streak for the Tigers includes all four clashes as SEC opponents, each of those finishing 'under' the totals, and the 2011 Cotton Bowl when Texas A&M resided in the Big 12.

It looks as if Mother Nature will give College Station a 24-hour window of fantastic weather for Thanksgiving day, with precip on both sides of the holiday. Both teams should take the field under clear skies with a very light easterly breeze and the thermometer sitting around 70º before clouds begin rolling in and possibly bring rain late in the evening or early morning.

Nothing I've seen in the last month or so from the Aggies would inspire me to play them this week, not even getting the lion's share of a touchdown. Granted, the Tigers are 0-4 against teams currently ranked in the AP top 25 which doesn't exactly instill a ton of confidence. Of the two, it's still an easy decision for my free college football pick.

 

Free NCAAF Pick: LSU -5 Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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