One of the top games in the SEC this Saturday, and there are several big ones, features an early (12:00pm ET) showdown between the 6th ranked Texas A&M Aggies (5-0) and the 12th ranked Mississippi St. Bulldogs (4-0) from Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field in Starkville, MS. Texas A&M edged SEC rival Arkansas 35-28 in overtime last week, and also won a big conference road game in week 1 over South Carolina in dominant fashion, 52-28. Mississippi St. had a bye last week, but had a huge 34-29 upset win at then-8th ranked LSU in week 4; and has also knocked off Southern Miss (49-0), UAB (47-34) and South Alabama (35-3).
The Aggies rank 2nd among all FBS teams in scoring offense with 51.2 points per game and 3rd in total offense with 594.6 yards per game. Quarterback Kenny Hill has been outstanding this season, beginning with a week 1 performance that saw him throw for a school-record 511 yards against South Carolina. He threw for 386 yards and 4 TDs last week against Arkansas. Wide receivers Malcolme Kennedy (33 receptions, 378 yards), Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones are all dangerous targets for Hill. The Aggies rank 13th among FBS teams in scoring defense with 15 PPG allowed and 54th in total defense with 376.4 YPG allowed.
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Mississippi State ranks 21st nationally in scoring offense with 41.3 PPG and 12th in total offense with 537.5 YPG. Head coach Dan Mullen has a dynamic player under center as well in Dak Prescott, who is dual-threat QB. He has thrown for 11 TDs and also has 3 consecutive 100 yard rushing performances this season. The Bulldogs rank 17th nationally in scoring defense with 16.5 PPG allowed and 73rd in total defense with 401.5 YPG allowed.
Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Texas A&M Aggies +2.5
@Mississippi State Bulldogs -2.5
Over 69.5 (-110)
Under 69.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.ag
Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State Pick:
Texas A&M is seeking its first 6-0 start since 1994, In last season’s meeting, a 51-41 A&M win in College Station, Prescott ran for 154 yards and threw for 2 TDs. The Bulldogs come into this game with a 7-game winning streak with their last loss coming to then-top ranked Alabama last season. The OVER is 4-0 in A&M’s last 4 October games, and Mississippi St. is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 October games.
Texas A&M and Mississippi State both feature high-scoring offenses, with each averaging over 40 points per game so there should be quite a bit of offense on display Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs’ secondary ranks a dismal 124th nationally with 319 YPG allowed through the air, so they will have a tough time stopping Hill and his stable of dangerous receivers. The betting action has been coming in in favor of Mississippi St., likely because the Bulldogs are coming off of a bye week and A&M had a scare last week against Arkansas.
Hill should be able to pick apart the Bulldogs’ weak secondary, and Mullen has stated that he believes his team will have to outscore the Aggies to win this one. A&M is not nearly as porous on defense as they were last season, and they faced a tough running team last week in Arkansas and were able to get the job done late when they had to. The call here is that they will be able to do so again, and that Hill will have a huge day that MSU will not be able to overcome. Take Texas A&M here as the bettors are giving Mississippi State’s bye week and win at LSU too much weight.