When College Football fans take a glance at the weekly schedule, many have a natural tendency to take a look and see what the game of the week is for the SEC. While there are of course no guarantees, there’s a good chance that game will be in the running for tops of the week.
This week is no different. In fact, it may be even more true than normal, as we have what looks to be an incredibly interesting matchup between the #22 Texas A&M Aggies and the number one team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Oddsmakers have Alabama installed as a big favorite, but the Aggies have been far from slouches this year through three games, which includes an incredibly close loss to the #3 Clemson Tigers. Alabama has cruised through its schedule without issue so far, but this looks to be its toughest game to date.
Let’s take a look at what the oddsmakers have to say before we dig in to what shapes up to be an entertaining game.
Texas A&M @ Alabama, 3:30 PM EST, CBS
- Texas A&M +26 (-110)
- Alabama -26 (-110)
- Over 61 (-102)
- Under 61 (-118)
Texas A&M vs. Alabama pick:
The Aggies enter this game with a mark of 2-1, with the lone blemish being the aforementioned 28-26 loss to Clemson. Sandwiched around that were two big victories in which the school was firing on all cylinders. Granted, those two victories were against lesser competition, but the Aggies looked impressive nonetheless.
In Week 1, Texas A&M crushed an overmatched Northwestern State by a score of 59-7. Sophomore signal caller Kellen Mond had a fine day with 184 yards and two scores, but junior RB Trayveon Williams stole the show, running for 240 yards and three TDs.
Fast forward to Week 3, and it was ULM which took a trip to Kyle Field. The War Hawks were promptly taken out to the woodshed, as A&M put together a dominating 48-10 victory. Mond and Williams were solid once again, but their services weren’t needed all that much in the rout.
On the year, the Aggies offense is producing a whopping 596 total yards and 44.3 points per game. Let’s keep in mind that those video game numbers were mainly generated against lesser competition, but the school did generate a healthy amount of passing yards while it was stifled on the ground by Clemson.
On defense, the Aggies have given up an average of 331 yards and 15 points per game. The unit is not generating a ton of pressure in the early part of the season, as it has produced just five sacks while generating only a lone turnover so far.
Through three games, it’s tough to find a weakness for Alabama. Granted, the Crimson Tide hasn’t exactly faced off with a murderer’s row of opponents, but the team is still handling business based on the task at hand. So far, margins of victory have checked in at 37, 50, and 55 points.
Back in Week 1, Alabama took down Louisville by a score of 51-14. That was followed up with a 57-7 thrashing of Arkansas State, and last week’s domination of Ole Miss to the tune of 62-7. While the games haven’t been close, the Crimson Tide offense has been nothing short of crisp and efficient.
The preseason debate over Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts seems to be settled, as the former has been getting more of the work. He looks more than up to the task of handling starting duties on a full time basis, but we’ll consider this situation to be what we would call a good problem to have.
Najee Harris and Damien Harris have been seeing the bulk of the work in the backfield, while Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith both have over 200 yards receiving. Jeudy has already hauled in six touchdowns to boot. Quite simply, the Tide offense is loaded, and there’s nothing to suggest it will be slowing down.
Through three games, Alabama is averaging 545 total yards and 56.7 points per game. The defense is giving up just 302 yards and 9.3 points per game. The unit has also generated nine sacks and six turnovers thus far.
Looking ahead to next week, A&M faces off with Arkansas while Alabama takes on ULL. Both games are scheduled for noon kickoffs. These two squads have met in each of the past six years, and Alabama is 5-1 straight up across that span.
The Crimson Tide are 3-3 against the spread in those tilts, while the Over has come in just twice. All told, Alabama has a five-game winning streak over A&M, including last year’s 27-19 victory, The Crimson Tide was favored by 25.5 points in that one, a game which featured a projected total of 56 points.
This year, the numbers are awfully similar. While there’s no question that Alabama is the top team in the nation, they also haven’t been tested as of yet. That could change this week, as Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher looks to be getting the most out of his squad with three games in the books.
Clemson was a 12.5-point favorite when it visited Kyle Field in Week 2, and it took all that the school had to walk out with a two-point victory. We’re not going to suggest that A&M is ready to play the Crimson Tide that close at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but a spread that’s approaching four touchdowns seems a bit rich.
The Crimson Tide may very well be the juggernaut that it has been playing like through three weeks. However, that also means the school is walking around with a bullseye on its back, and it’s going to bring out the best from many opponents as a result.
We’ll lean towards A&M being one of the schools that brings its A-game to its tilt against Alabama. We fully expect Alabama to win outright, but we’ll take Texas A&M and a boatload of points.