Two of the top teams in the SEC and the nation meet this Saturday afternoon (12:00pm ET) in College Station, TX when the 6th ranked LSU Tigers (6-1) travel to face the 19th ranked Texas A&M Aggies (5-1) in their first ever meeting as conference rivals. LSU has a 2-5 record ATS this season, and has dropped 4 straight ATS including a 23-21 win last week at home over South Carolina as a 3 point favorite. Texas A&M is 3-3 ATS this season, and has failed to cover their last two games both road wins, a 59-57 shootout win at Louisiana Tech last week as a 9.5 point favorite, and a 30-27 win at Mississippi as a 12 point favorite the previous week.
The Tigers have shown no ability to move the ball through the air this season, ranking 103rd among FBS teams with an average of 188.9 yards per game passing with junior Zach Mettenberger (1,322 yards passing, 59.8 % completion rate) under center. LSU has averaged 32 points per game to rank 50th among FBS teams, and 395.7 yards per game to rank 73rd among FBS teams in total offense. The Tiger defense has once again been outstanding across the board, ranking 8th in scoring defense (14 PPG allowed), 2nd in total defense (219.6 YPG allowed) and 2nd in pass defense (130.3 YPG allowed).
The Aggies have been sparked on offense by their young dual-threat quarterback freshman Johnny Manziel (1,680 yards passing, 14 TDs, 676 yards rushing, 10 TDs rushing). The Aggies rank 5th nationally in scoring offense with 47 PPG and 6th in total offense with 543.7 YPG. The A&M defense ranks 37th with 21.8 PPG allowed, and 73rd in total defense with 405.5 YPG allowed, but their pas defense has been shredded for 280.8 YPG to rank 111th in the nation.
LSU vs. Texas A&M Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
LSU Tigers -3
@ Texas A&M Aggies +3
Over 52.5 (-110)
Under 52.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
LSU vs. Texas A&M Pick:
LSU has a 1-4 record ATS in their last 5 games against winning teams, an 0-4 record ATS in their last 4 conference games and a 6-2 record ATS in their last 8 road games. The Aggies are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 conference games, most of which came as a member of the BIG 12, and 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games against winning teams. The under is 15-6 in LSU’s last 21 games following an ATS loss, and 5-2 in their last 7 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in the previous game. The under is 5-2 in A&M’s last 7 games overall and the over is 7-2 in their last 9 October games. The two teams last met in January of 2011 in the Cotton Bowl, and LSU won 41-24 to cover a 1 point line.
These two teams are polar opposites on offense, with LSU barely able to score enough to win even with maybe the best all-around defense in the country, and Texas A&M winning shootouts with regularity. Defense should determine the tempo of this game however, this week the Aggies are not going up against Louisiana Tech and they will not be able to score at will. LSU has trouble putting up points on anyone, and they will likely run the ball all day to keep Manziel on the sidelines and keep the score down. The under is a safer paly here than the spread because neither team has been good against the spread this season, and this game will likely be close because College Station is a tough environment for any visiting team to come into and dominate. Expect LSU to hold Manziel down in what will certainly be his toughest test to date, and for the total to come in well under 50.
PICK = Under 52.5