Top-25 action continues with a Saturday night (9:00pm ET) non-conference match up at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, LA between the 21st ranked Texas A&M Aggies (4-1) of the SEC and the 24th ranked and undefeated Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech (5-0) out of the West Athletic Conference. Texas A&M has a 3-2 record ATS this season, winning three straight games ATS before barely escaping in a 30-27 win at Ole Miss last week as a 12 point favorite. Louisiana Tech is 3-1-1 ATS this season, pushing last week in a 58-31 win over UNLV as a 27 point favorite. The Bulldogs have wins on the road against major conference foes Virginia (44-38) in week 5, and Illinois (52-24) in week 4.
The Texas A&M offense has been explosive this season with dual-threat quarterback Johnny Manziel (1,285 yard passing, 495 yards rushing) keeping defenses off balance with his running and passing ability. The Aggies rank 8th in scoring offense with 44.6 points per contest and 12th in total offense with 516.8 yards per game. The defense has also been outstanding for A&M, ranking 14th in scoring defense with 14.8 PPG allowed against a tough early schedule and 47th in total defense with 363.6 YPG allowed.
Louisiana Tech has been even more prolific on offense than A&M so far this season, ranking 3rd in scoring offenses with 53.2 PPG and 11th in total offense with 523.4 YPG. Quarterback Colby Cameron is one of the most efficient passers in the country, posting a 68% completion percentage with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions on the year. The Bulldogs running game has also been strong, averaging 234 YPG(15th nationally). Defensively Louisiana Tech has struggled, ranking 109th in scoring defense with 35.8 PPG allowed, and 123rd in total defense with 531 YPG allowed.
Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Texas A&M Aggies -7.5
@ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs +7.5
Over 79.5 (-110)
Under 79.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech Pick:
Texas A&M has a 4-1 record ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 road games. The Bulldogs are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games on grass, 18-6 ATS in their last 24 games against winning teams and 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games overall. The under is 5-1 in A&M’s last 6 games overall, 5-1 in their last 6 road games and 4-1 in their last 5 games against winning teams. The over is 5-0 in La. Tech’s last 5 games overall, 6-1 in their last 7 home games and 6-2 in their last 8 games on grass. In head-to-head play, the Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings and the favorite is 4-0 ATS in those last 4 meetings. The two teams last met in 2010 when A&M dominated in a 48-16 win in College Station as a 17.5 point favorite.
These two squads are among the top scoring teams in the country, and with Louisiana Tech also possessing one of the worst defensive units in the country there should be no shortage of points on Saturday night. A&M is solid defensively, but the Aggies have not faced an above-average offense all year with their SEC schedule to date (Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss) featuring the some of the worst offenses in the country. Look for them to be tested on the road by a Bulldog group that has gotten used to beating up on power conference teams this season and will not be intimidated by A&M. This game could be a shootout, and the Bulldogs could very well pull it out at home. The smart call here is to take the over in this game though.
PICK = Over 79.5