Texas A&M at Mississippi State Odds & Pick: Bet on the Bulldogs to Bounce Back (Saturday, Oct. 17)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Kellen Mond.
- Texas A&M will leave the comforts of College Station for Starkville on Saturday, as the Aggies face the Mike Leach-led Mississippi State Bulldogs.
- The Aggies are coming off a big win over Florida, but Collin Wilson believes the Bulldogs are in a position to bounce back after a rough loss to Kentucky.
- Check out Wilson's full betting analysis with updated odds below.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State Betting Odds
|Texas A&M Odds||-4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Mississippi State Odds||+4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-190/+150 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||56 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4:00 p.m. ET|
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M finished with a 70% postgame win expectancy after beating Florida at the clock. A Malik Davis fumble at midfield set up the game-winning field goal for Jimbo Fisher, but issues persist on defense. The Gators had 10 receptions of 15 yards or more with a 60% success rate in passing plays. Texas A&M now ranks 73rd in Defensive Passing Success Rate with only nine pass breakups through three games.
The offense has stayed consistent with Texas A&M teams of the past — high marks in Success Rate without explosiveness. A top-10 rank in Success Rate will get offenses off the field, but a rank of 64th in rush and 69th in pass explosiveness will hamper the Aggies in situations with a deficit on the board.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
The book is out in the SEC on how to defend the air raid attack from Mike Leach. Both Kentucky and Arkansas have pressured KJ Costello from the edge position while dropping eight defenders. The Stanford transfer had the worst day of his career against the Wildcats, racking up four interceptions.
The box score was not kind to the Bulldogs, who executed just one pass over 15 yards in 72 attempts. There was self-inflicted damage on the Bulldogs’ side, as five trips inside the Wildcats’ 40-yard line resulted in zero points. On a positive note, the offensive line has done a great job in protection, ranking 18th in Sack Rate.
While the offense has all the attention, the defense has quietly kept Mississippi State in the games against Kentucky and Arkansas. The Bulldogs rank sixth in line yards. While controlling the line of scrimmage, the defense has limited explosive passing and ranks top-10 in defensive passing expected points.
Check out our free NCAAF odds page, which automatically surfaces the best line for every game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Defensive coordinator Mike Elko is going to have to tweak the Texas A&M plan to match the scheme Arkansas and Kentucky put in place against Mississippi State. The Aggies run exclusively in the 4-2-5 with different blitz principles than the 3-3-5 that has success against air raid offenses. Three of the top four tacklers on the team are at the linebacker position in Buddy Johnson, Andre White Jr. and Aaron Hansford.
Listed over 240 pounds, those backers are built more to stop the run than defend the pass. Opponents have the most success passing just over the line of scrimmage.
More YACs have been gained between the hashmarks within five yards than anywhere. That is a huge benefit to the Mike Leach passing attack that relies on the underneath route. Mississippi State has gone pass in 78% of 146 plays from 10 personnel. That will minimize the strength of the Aggies’ rush defense.
Check out our new CFB PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.
The common misconception with the air raid is that it’s up-tempo in pace. Leach generally runs plenty of clock, currently averaging 24.9 seconds per play, while Texas A&M goes much slower at 28.8 seconds per play. With both offenses ranked 63rd and 73rd in finishing drives, the under certainly deserves consideration. With our projection at Mississippi State +5, we will happily take the points and look for the Bulldogs to bounce back.
Pick: Mississippi State +6.5