In a week that features several marquee matchups, there will be a crucial SEC clash between Texas A&M and Auburn taking place early Saturday afternoon. Kickoff at Kyle Field is slated for 11 a.m. CT.
While neither team is ranked entering this matchup, Saturday’s battle serves as an important litmus test for both teams as they try to figure out where they stack up in the SEC hierarchy this year. With Alabama appearing more vulnerable than usual, these two SEC West foes are hoping to get off on the right foot in the conference opener.
Auburn enters this matchup with a 3-0 record but is just 1-2 against the spread and 2-1 to the under on the closing point total. The Tigers’ toughest test came in Week 2 when they escaped with a 14-10 win over California in their lone road game of the season thus far.
Texas A&M, meanwhile, lost its first test when it suffered a 48-33 defeat at Miami in Week 3. Most importantly, that matchup marked the Aggies’ lowest-scoring output of the season thus far. They are averaging 44 points per game through three weeks with Bobby Petrino calling plays after posting just 22.8 points per contest in a losing campaign last year.
From a betting perspective, Texas A&M is 2-1 against the spread and 2-1 to the over on the closing point total. The home team has won and covered the spread in each of the last three head-to-head meetings between Texas A&M and Auburn.
FanDuel is giving the edge to the Aggies in this one, listing Jimbo Fisher’s squad as an 8.5-point home favorite with an over/under of 51.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Texas A&M vs. Auburn
Time/TV: 11 a.m. CT (ESPN)
Point spread (from FanDuel): Texas -29.5
Moneyline: Auburn +265/Texas A&M -335
Analysis: Texas A&M’s stock took a hit after its nonconference loss to Miami, but this team remains an intriguing dark horse in the SEC. To be fair, that loss won’t look so bad when the Hurricanes are competing for a spot in the ACC title game down the road.
This weekend will be a good opportunity for the Aggies to put some of their conference rivals on notice. This offense simply looks different this year, as quarterback Conner Weigman has already thrown for 909 yards and eight touchdowns through three weeks. Receivers Evan Stewart and Ainias Smith have 22 combined catches for 451 yards.
According to collegefootballdata.com, Texas A&M is averaging 4.9 points per opportunity this season, which is more than a full point better than last year’s mark. The Aggies are posting a 39% success rate on passing downs, a metric that was 29% a season ago.
Texas A&M should continue to roll on offense against an Auburn program going through transition. There is probably value in backing the home favorites and the over in this case before the market catches on, especially since the two are related.
Prediction: Texas A&M 35, Auburn 21