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Alabama Favored by 17 Over Texas A&M at College Station; Tide Are 62.5% ATS After a Bye Week Since 2014

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Football

Oct 10, 2019 · 9:47 PM PDT

Tua Tagovailoa dropping back to pass.
Tua Tagovailoa leads #1 Alabama against #24 Texas A&M in Week 7. Photo from @BamaOnline247. (Twitter.)
  • The Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas A&M Aggies square off Saturday (3:30 PM ET, Oct. 12)
  • The Crimson Tide opened as 18-point favorites but that line has been down to Alabama-17
  • What’s the best bet against the spread for ALA vs TAM?

The number-one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) roll into College Station to face the Texas A&M Aggies (3-2) this Saturday (3:30 PM ET, Oct. 12) in one of Week 7’s premier matchups. The 24th-ranked Aggies will be the toughest test the Tide have faced all season, but that didn’t stop sportsbooks from making Bama a gigantic road favorite.

Alabama vs Texas A&M Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide -1000 -17.0 (-110) Over 61.0 (-110)
#24 Texas A&M Aggies +600 +17.0 (-110) Under 61.0 (-110)

*All odds taken 10/10/19.

The  Alabama vs Texas A&M odds actually opened at Alabama -18, but that number has moved towards the home underdog over the last few days. The Tide have won the last six meetings between the two programs by an average of 22.2 points, including a 45-23 victory a season ago.

Both programs enter this contest off a bye, which has historically been very kind to Bama. The Crimson Tide have covered 58% of their games in the Nick Saban era following an extra week’s rest, and that number jumps to 62.5% when only looking at the last five seasons.

Can A&M Contain Bama’s Explosive Attack?

The Aggies boast the SEC’s fourth-ranked defense, and have performed well against both the run and the pass. They’re allowing just 108 yards per game on the ground and 191 through the air. They’ve given up only five touchdown passes all season, while recording six interceptions. They held then-#1 Clemson to its second-lowest point total of the season.

Alabama, though, is a different beast. They’re averaging over 51 points per game and nearly 600 yards of offense. Tua Tagovailoa is playing at an incredibly high level, and leads the FBS in touchdown passes and QB rating. Bama is converting 90% of their red zone trips into touchdowns and their +185 point differential leads the SEC.

A&M didn’t offer much resistance against Tagovailoa and the Tide a season ago, as the Heisman front-runner torched them for 387 yards and four scores through the air. The Aggies lost seven players from last year’s squad to the NFL and feature a conference-low six seniors.

Expect Alabama to put up points early and often against this young defense and force A&M into a one-dimensional offensive approach.

Bama Will Eliminate the Run

The Aggies cannot afford to rely on starting QB Kellen Mond if they want to keep this game close. A&M is 11-2 when Mond attempts fewer than 40 passes and 1-4 when he goes over that number. They want to run the ball, the problem is they’re not very good at it.

The Aggies have been held below 60 yards on the ground in each of their two games against quality competition and leading rusher Isaiah Spiller has been stuffed on 34% of his runs.

Bama is holding opposing backfields to 3.7 yards per carry.

Bama is holding opposing backfields to 3.7 yards per carry, and their offense is so good that Mond is going to have to throw to keep up. Unfortunately for Aggies fans, Mond has just a a 15% explosive pass rate and is averaging less than 7 yards per attempt (6.5), which will make it extremely difficult to match the Tide score for score.

Roll Tide

Alabama is a far superior team and should probably be laying more than 17 points on the road. They’ve won every game by at least 24 points this season and have the shortest National Championship odds for good reason.

They’re one of only three teams in all of college football with an offensive and defensive efficiency grade above 85.0, and they haven’t lost a regular-season game in almost two calendar years.

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