- Alabama A&M looks to win its third game of the spring as a 3.5-point favorite against Alabama State in Birmingham on Saturday night (ESPNU, 7:30 p.m. EST)
- Bulldogs quarterback Aqeel Glass is coming off of a career performance against Jackson State, but Alabama State QB Ryan Nettles is coming off his best showing of the spring season
- Read below for odds, breakdown and a pick of the game
Alabama A&M and Alabama State have both had challenges playing out their spring FCS schedule this season, but they’re set to square-off on Saturday in the Magic City Classic.
Following a thrilling 52-43 win over Jackson State on April 10, Alabama A&M heads to Birmingham as 3.5-point favorites this Saturday. The Hornets are coming off of a 42-17 win of their own against Mississippi Valley State, and a win this week could push them ahead of A&M in the SWAC East standings.
Alabama A&M vs Alabama State Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Alabama A&M||-3.5 (-110)||-192||O 50.5 (-108)|
|Alabama State||+3.5 (-110)||+152||U 50.5 (-112)|
Odds as of April 14th
A&M’s Offense Humming
Alabama A&M senior quarterback Aqeel Glass has thrown for 712 yards and 10 touchdown passes in two games. More than half of those numbers came last week against Jackson State, when he had 440 yards and six scores.
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) April 10, 2021
Glass isn’t going to have it as easy this weekend, in more games played this season than A&M, Alabama State has proven to be the tougher defensive side. The A&M offense averages an impressive 7.04 yards per play, but Alabama State has been right outside the top ten FCS defenses in yards allowed per play at 4.18.
Alabama State has one of the toughest pass defenses in the nation, but Glass is the most efficient FCS passer through his two games played. The Bulldogs passing attack has the second-highest yards per completion, at just under 17. Sophomore receiver Odieu Hilaire has been Glass’ top target, and has 183 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Can Alabama State Keep Up?
In order for the Hornets to stand a chance in this one, redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Nettles is going to need to replicate his performance from last week. He finished with 305 yards and three touchdowns through the air in the win against Mississippi Valley State.
Alabama State has been better about getting after the quarterback this season than A&M, but Nettles has shown he can make big plays with his legs when things break down. In addition to his passing yards last week, he ran for 83 yards and a touchdown.
The Hornets haven’t been a great third down offense this spring, but the Bulldogs haven’t been the sharpest third down defense, either. Nettles should find a couple of opportunities throughout the game to pop off a couple of long gainers on the ground. Two weeks ago, in a disappointing loss to South Carolina State, Nettles only finished with 235 yards of total offense with two interceptions and his team’s lone touchdown.
Take the Bulldogs in Birmingham
The sample size is smaller with A&M this spring, but there is no denying how strong of an offense the Bulldogs have. Defensively, their numbers don’t look overly impressive, but their offense scores so much and so quickly that opponents have been getting plenty of possessions to try and catch up.
Nettles has been up-and-down, but is clearly an athletic player that can make defenses pay when he finds a little bit of running room. Alabama State showed against Mississippi Valley State that its offense is capable of creating several big plays of their own, and these teams should at least flirt with going over the 50.5-point total.
A&M’s offensive line is built for its high-flying offense and has only allowed one sack in two games. The Bulldogs have scored on every possession they’ve have in the red zone this spring, while the Hornets have left empty-handed in nearly a quarter of their chances. Alabama State has been a good defensive side on third downs, but A&M might not need to convert too many if it can pick up the kind of chunk yards it has in its first two games.
- The Pick: Alabama A&M -3.5 (-110)
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