It’s a Saturday showdown in the SEC as the Texas A&M Aggies (6-1) are in Auburn for a tussle with the 5-3 Tigers inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn has won three straight in the series, including a 28-20 victory in College Station last September, withstanding a late rally from the Aggies in a matchup where both teams were ranked in the Top 25.

Auburn dropped from the rankings this week (No. 22 last week) while A&M held on to their No. 5 position.

Outside Looking In

Texas A&M is still alive in their quest for a spot in the College Football Playoff, but they’ll need to win their final two games and look for some help elsewhere. Their only loss of the season came to Alabama, providing a roadblock to the SEC Championship.

Another Ohio State cancellation would prevent the Buckeyes from Big Ten Championship eligibility and uncertainty ensuing in that hypothetical. An Alabama loss to LSU this weekend would not keep the Tide from appearing in the conference title game. A&M would need to hope for the committee to drop either Clemson or Notre Dame from the Top 4 after one of those two loses in the ACC Championship.

Most recently, the Aggies stifled LSU last week, forcing three turnovers in a convincing 20-7 victory in which they never trailed. QB Kellen Mond was pedestrian in the win, relying instead on Isaiah Spiller. The SEC’s third-leading rusher went for 141 yards and a score, his second-highest output during a season in which he’s gone over 100 yards on the ground five times.

Ironed Out

The Tigers were on the wrong end of an Iron Bowl rout, falling to Alabama last week, 42-13, despite the absence of Nick Saban, who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. Texas A&M will mark the third top-five team that Auburn faces this season, having failed in their previous two attempts (Georgia and the Crimson Tide).

Before the Bama beatdown, the Tigers had won three consecutive games, averaging more than 37 points per game over Ole Miss, LSU, and Tennessee. Quarterback Bo Nix has thrown for the fifth-most yards in the conference this season, but only boasts a 10:7 Touchdown:Interception ratio on the year.

Betting Line and Pick

The line for this game originally opened with A&M listed as a four-point favorite, but it has since moved to a full touchdown, with an over/under of 48.5. Auburn is undefeated SU at home, posting an impressive 3-1 record ATS at Jordan-Hare. The Aggies are just 3-4 overall ATS and 2-1 on the road to the number.

Texas A&M has much more to play for in this one, and the question will be if the Tigers can get up for it coming off a lopsided loss to their rival. The line movement would indicate early bettors jumped all over the -4, but a Top 5 team only being favored by single-digits is perplexing. And that’s how we come to our selection.

Free Pick: Auburn Tigers (+7).

Posted 
Dec 2, 2020
 in 
College Football
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