Two Free College Football Picks for Texas A&M vs. Mississippi St.

Willie Bee

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 1:06 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 1:06 PM UTC

The list of SEC unbeatens will be reduced by one when the Texas Aggies travel to take on Mississippi State this Saturday. Join us for a preview and free college football pick.

For those of you with ADHD or who simply don't have the time right now to read through this entire preview of the matchup between Texas A&M and Mississippi State, let me help you out with a spoiler right off the bat: Both the Aggies and Bulldogs will leave the field with five wins on their 2014 ledgers.

A big Saturday on the college football betting card -- and a HUGE day for the SEC specifically -- gets underway on ESPN at noon (ET) when Texas A&M and Mississippi State kick off their game in Starkville. If you account for home teams always getting at least three points of respect from the oddsmakers, then this clash is virtually a pick 'em with the Bulldogs favored by 2½ presently on the College Football odds board after it was sent out with the Aggies favored at several sports books.

The schools are meeting for just the eighth time in a series that dates back more than 100 years. Texas A&M won the 1912 meeting in Houston, one of two neutral site affairs in the series, and holds a 4-3 all-time edge after winning the two tilts since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012.

Mississippi State backers got the cash last year in the 51-41 collision at College Station thanks to a couple of late scores by the Bulldogs.  Texas A&M was giving up 19 in Johnny Manziel's final game Kyle Field, and the teams combined for 35 points in the final quarter to send the contest past a 68 point total.


Ags Rally To Survive Arkansas Upset Bid
Sharing the 6/7 slots in the polls with its rival a little north along the Brazos River in Waco, Texas A&M has control currently of the tough SEC West Division following last week's 35-28 victory over Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium. Favored by 7½, the Aggies needed a pair of 4th-quarter TDs to knot the game and force overtime.

There were several positives for Kevin Sumlin's squad despite not covering the spread. First, it was a solid effort to rally from a 28-14 deficit entering the final quarter, and Kenny Hill had another fine game at quarterback with four touchdown passes, giving him 17 on the season.  The Aggie defense also rose up when it counted to keep the Razorbacks from the tying score in overtime.

But despite the win and A&M having a slim lead in the SEC West, there is still reason to remain skeptical. For starters, the Aggies' season-opening win at South Carolina is looking less and less impressive right now. We also have to remember that a big chunk of their offense this year has also come against the likes of SMU and Lamar, and while the defense is improved from a year ago, the unit is going to get stern tests with six ranked teams among the final seven foes.


Bulldogs Rested After Big Win At LSU
Dan Mullen and Mississippi State already have one big upset in their pocket after popping LSU in Baton Rouge a couple of weeks back, 34-29. Getting seven points on the road, Dak Prescott led the Bulldogs to a 24-point advantage in the game, just enough to hold off a furious late rally attempt by the Tigers.

Mullen and his staff have had two weeks now to prepare for this matchup, the bye week coming just in time to give senior Ben Beckwith plenty of reps at center after starter Dillon Day was suspended a game for what the SEC called 'unsportsmanlike acts' in Mississippi State's win vs. LSU. Beckwith has started at guard all four games up until this point, and sophomore Jamaal Clayborn will shift into his spot this Saturday for the first start of his career.

The weatherman is promising a gorgeous afternoon at Davis Wade Stadium, a far cry from the conditions the teams played in at the 2000 Independence Bowl. Clear skies and the thermometer climbing into the low-70s are expected, along with a 10-12 mph NW breeze that could have an effect on kicks, especially for the team headed to the north end zone.

Having already given away my free College Football pick on the side, we're also going to play the total in this one, which is set at 67½. My crystal ball keeps showing a final score of 34-28 in the Bulldogs' favor, so the low side of the number is our play.

College Football Pick: Mississippi State -2.5; Under 67.5 at 5Dimes
Season: 26-16-1 (+8.40)

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