College Basketball Odds & Picks for Texas A&M vs. Auburn: Aggies to Keep it Close?
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Jabari Smith.
- After losing its first conference game and only its second game the season, Auburn takes on Texas A&M in a bounce-back game.
- The Tigers will be looking to Jabari Smith to guide them back into the win column.
- Keg breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.
Texas A&M vs. Auburn Odds
|Texas A&M Odds|
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
After 19 wins in a row, the Auburn streak finally ended in Fayetteville on Tuesday. The Tigers suffered their first SEC loss of the season, falling to Arkansas in an 80-76 overtime thriller.
So, where does Auburn go from here? How does it respond to losing a game, something it hasn’t done in 79 days.
Well, for starters, the Tigers will prepare to host the Texas A&M Aggies at noon on Saturday. The Aggies know about as much about bouncing back from a loss as Auburn but for very different reasons — Texas A&M hasn’t won a game in nearly a month.
It suffered its seventh loss in a row on Tuesday as it fell to LSU, 76-68, which was also its fourth home loss of the losing streak. Prior to a Kentucky defeat, the first loss it suffered in this streak, it hadn’t lost a home game all year.
Auburn’s first loss in over two months was a result of a problem that’s given it issues all season: fouling. Auburn racked up 28 fouls against the Hogs and put them on the line 32 times. Arkansas stayed effective at the charity stripe, hitting 81.2% of its attempts. And while Auburn itself had 17 opportunities, it failed to capitalize by shooting just 47.1% from the line.
There are few teams in the country as desperate for a win as Texas A&M, but will it find success against the No. 1 team in the nation?
The Aggies opened as a 13.5-point underdog to the Tigers — the biggest underdog line for Texas A&M since March 2021 when it was a 14.5-point dog to Arkansas. A&M lost by just seven that game, Can it cover again?
A&M has lost seven in a row. But this team is not as bad as its record states. It’s played in close games the whole way during this stretch. This Aggies team went to overtime against Arkansas just as Auburn did.
No team has beaten A&M by more than 11 during this stretch, but it just can’t finish in crunch time.
The Aggies are a streaking offense. When they’re hot, they can beat teams like Ole Miss by 16. But when they’re cold, they go cold as ice, like when they put up only 66 points against Missouri.
On the season, A&M is averaging 72.3 points per game while just two Aggies are scoring in double digits. Quenton Jackson leads the team, averaging 13 per contest, while Henry Coleman has added 11 per game.
A&M isn’t a bad shooting team — it’s the other factors that have hindered its offense. It ranks 232nd in adjusted tempo, per KenPom, which has limited its shot attempts.
The Aggies have also been prone to turnovers, giving the ball up an average of 13.3 times per game. Along with that, teams are averaging 7.6 steals against A&M, and when the Aggies do get to the basket, they are getting blocked. Opponents average 4.3 swats per contest against A&M.
Finally, Arkansas’ performance from the free-throw line that eventually led to Auburn’s first SEC loss of the year likely won’t be duplicated by the Aggies. A&M is the second-worst free-throw shooting team in the conference, hitting just 65.6% of attempts.
On the defensive end, A&M can create turnovers of its own, as it ranks sixth in Division I in defensive turnover percentage. It’s also the second-best team in the nation in steal percentage. Creating turnovers will be imperative if the Aggies want to slow down the 10th-best scoring offense in college basketball.
We don’t need to dig deep on Auburn. We’ve seen the highlights and know it’s still the No. 1 team in the country. But what we don’t know is how it will respond to a loss.
Auburn boasts one of the most dynamic offenses in the country with some of the best scorers in college basketball in Jabari Smith, Wendell Green, and K.D. Johnson.
However, its leading scorer, Smith, has struggled as of late. He’s shooting just 45% from the floor in four of his last five games.
In its last three games, Auburn has made just 24.1% of shots from outside the perimeter. But around the basket, it will continue to be dominant. The Tigers average 40.6 rebounds per game compared to A&M’s 34.9. If they’re going to cover a 13-point spread, they’ll need to prevent turnovers and dominate the boards.
The Auburn defense has been great, holding teams to 67 points a game and limiting them to 38.8% from the floor. But again, the Tigers haven’t been as effective as of late. In their last three games, opponents have averaged 77.7 points per game.
The Auburn defense will have success against A&M — I have no doubt about that. The only question is, will it be enough to cover the number?
Texas A&M vs. Auburn Betting Pick
A&M has been an underdog of 10 or more points just one other time this season — against Tennessee on Feb. 1. It did cover, but just barely, losing by 10 as an 11-point underdog.
However, dating back to 2005, A&M has been great as an underdog of 10 or more points, covering the spread 65% of the time.
Texas A&M is dying for a win, and it may not pick one up on the road against Auburn, which will absolutely be looking to bounce back after a rough loss.
But I think the Aggies will fight hard enough to keep this one closer than 13. I would back A&M down to +11.5.