Alabama vs. Texas A&M Betting Odds & Pick: Back the Aggies for a Backdoor Cover (Saturday, Oct. 3)
Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Spiller.
- Alabama WR and resident game-breaker Jaylen Waddle came up aces for the Crimson Tide in last season's matchup against Texas A&M.
- Waddle’s return game may have turned the Tide in 2019, but Collin Wilson explains why he’s backing the Aggies for a backdoor cover this time around.
- Find his full game breakdown with updated odds, projections, recommendations and his pick for Saturday's SEC showdown below.
Alabama vs. Texas A&M Betting Odds
|Alabama Odds||-17.5 [BET NOW]|
|Texas A&M Odds||+17.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-900/+610 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||53.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012 and beat Alabama on its first attempt. The Aggies have experienced nothing but defeat to the Crimson Tide since, but 2020 may represent Texas A&M’s best chance at winning the SEC West since its induction into the nation’s toughest conference.
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M’s first SEC game against Vanderbilt raised plenty of eyebrows with the final score. But, the box score tells a different story: Texas A&M averaged 6.8 yards per play but struggled mightily in scoring attempts. The Aggies averaged 2.5 points per trip past the Vanderbilt 40-yard line while limiting the Commodores to 1.3 points per opportunity. Texas A&M did have three explosive drives during their 11 possessions, but the Aggies blanked on points near the goal line.
Aggies defensive coordinator Mike Elko will have his hands full with Alabama this weekend, as the Texas A&M back-seven had just six pass breakups in 31 passing plays against Vanderbilt. Defensive backs Demani Richardson, Keldrick Carper and Leon O’Neal Jr. saw these Crimson Tide receivers last season, so the secondary knows the challenge in store.
Alabama Crimson Tide
If head coach Jimbo Fisher’s goal was to stay vanilla in Week 4, then he sure nailed it. But Fisher wasn’t the only SEC coach to play his cards close to the vest in the conference’s opening week. In fact, if Texas A&M was vanilla, then Nick Saban and and Alabama were tapioca against Missouri.
The Crimson Tide scored just 10 points in the second half against Mizzou. The defense did its part against the Tigers, allowing just one explosive drive out of 10 possessions and zero rushing attempts over 12 yards.
Mac Jones-to-Jaylen Waddle is going to be on the tip of announcers’ tongues on Saturday afternoon. That quarterback-to-wide receiver connection connected eight times on 10 targets for 134 yards and two touchdowns against Mizzou.
The biggest reason for Alabama’s 2019 victory was Jaylen Waddle. The wide receiver had just three receptions for 48 yards, but he also contributed four punt returns for 128 yards. Alabama had an average starting field position of the 47.5-yard line and accumulated over 270 hidden yards. If that is a forecast of moments to come in this game, look no further than Vanderbilt’s 134 hidden yards against Texas A&M in Week 4 for the Aggies’ potential Achilles’ heel.
The Commodores boasted an 13-yard advantage in average starting field position. Vanderbilt’s offensive drives began around the 35-yard line, whereas the Aggies operated from their 22-yard line on average. Most of that disparity came from Harrison Smith booting 246 yards on punts with only two return yards from the Aggies.
Field position will be of the utmost importance in this game, as each offense runs at 28.5 seconds per play or higher.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
Both Mike Elko and Pete Golding will field defenses designed to stop the explosive play. If Texas A&M has any shot of beating Alabama, then it must prevent Waddle from breaking the game open via the return game. Aggies punter Nik Constantinou has just three total punts in his career with an average of 49 yards. With a slower pace and defenses keen on stopping the explosive pass, look for a Texas A&M backdoor cover in a game that might have gaps of scoring.
The Bet: Under 52, Texas A&M +17 or better