Play Bama's Spread as the Solid College Football Pick vs. Texas A&M

Willie Bee

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 8:11 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 8:11 PM GMT

It's time for Texas A&M to prove it is a contender and not a pretender when the Aggies host the Alabama Crimson Tide as underdogs on the college football odds.

Don't cry for Texas A&M now that the Aggies no longer have their longtime nemesis Texas on the slate. They're quickly building two new Southeastern Conference rivalries that are just as nasty, and one of those teams is coming to Kyle Field this Saturday.

Texas A&M welcomes Alabama to College Station for a 3:30 PM (ET) matchup with the Crimson Tide. CBS is sending its A-team for the broadcast, meaning ol' Verne Lundquist will soon be filling your ears -- test the mute button now -- for the huge battle that has conference and national implications. The teams are ranked 9-10 alternately in the latest conventional polls, and it's Alabama drawing the initial chalk for the game at -4 after opening a half lower on the college football odds.

The total might be the toughest play on the board this week. It's holding in the low-50s after the last two meetings closed in the low-60s. 5Dimes is presently running it at 52½ and priced evenly high/low.

Saturday marks just the eighth time the schools have met, the first four of those coming on neutral fields, twice in the Cotton Bowl (1941, 1968). Alabama has won five of the seven played so far, two of three as conference foes. The first two SEC clashes were close matches with the Aggies covering both.

It was no contest last year in Tuscaloosa where the Tide put a 59-0 whipping on the Aggies. Alabama's suffocating defense combined with a balanced offense putting up 500+ yards helped Nick Saban's side cover as 11½ point chalk, A&M's goose egg keeping the game 'under' the closing 62½ total.

 

'Bama & Ags First Of 2 Big Week 7 SEC Collisions
It's the playoffs in the SEC every week, and this tilt between Alabama-Texas A&M is one of two huge games on both the conference and national front. Florida, looking every bit like the best the SEC East has to offer, is at West leader LSU in an evening broadcast on ESPN.

Alabama (5-1 straight up, 2-4 against the spread) flexed its defensive muscles last week against Arkansas, which is saying something for a team that has flexed its defensive muscles all but once in six games. The Crimson Tide limited the Hogs to 220 total yards, below their 264.5 YPG average on the season, and they've given up 24 points total since dropping that 43-27 decision at home to Ole Miss and get to go home for two against Tennessee and LSU, a week off between the games.

Texas A&M (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) has enjoyed a week off but it still appears that wasn't long enough for wide receiver Speedy Noil to recover from his "soft tissue injury," whatever the hell that means. Freshman Christian Kirk has been Kyle Allen's favorite receiver anyway, a big duo in the Aggies' 20th-ranked offense (482.3 ypg).

 

Who Wins When Immovable Object Meets Unstoppable Force?
So, it's a little more complicated than that, but the real battle Saturday is on the line of scrimmage when A&M has the football.

Alabama is so, so tough against the run, and has proven equally effective against the pass the past three weeks. The Aggies have to at least be able to grind out 3-4 yards a carry with consistency to pull off the outright upset, playing mistake-free football along the way. Texas A&M has to take shots downfield to make that happen, so Allen's success will depend on those first five guys in front of him.

We're having something of a warm early-fall here in Texas, thermometers still climbing into the low-90s a lot of places though dropping off anywhere from the 50s to the 70s depending where you go. It's supposed to be a little cooler Saturday in Brazos County, kickoff coming around 86º, no clouds and only a light NE breeze.

College football bettors will want to double-check that before laying down their hard-earned cabbage, but as for my college football pick, I'm riding the Crimson Tide up to -5 Saturday afternoon at Kyle Field.

College Football Pick: Alabama -4 at 5Dimes

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