The Texas A&M Aggies and the Alabama Crimson Tide began their 2020 college football betting action last Saturday. This was a different season opener for the teams – not just because their openers occurred in late September, compared to the originally expected Sept. 5 start date, but also because their seasons consist entirely of 10-game conference schedules. There are no warmup games against smaller schools from the Sun Belt Conference or Conference USA. A&M and Alabama had to go straight into SEC play. Reviewing how each team fared in its SEC opener provides a backdrop for Saturday’s game in Tuscaloosa and the subsequent college football odds.
Texas A&M Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide
NCAAF Odds: Alabama -17
Location: Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Start Time: 3:35 pm. ET
Head to Head
Alabama and Texas A&M are meeting for the 13th time. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series, 10-2, and won last year’s meeting, 47-28, on Oct. 12, in College Station. Alabama has won the last seven contests.
Alabama is the sports betting favorite to win the SEC this year, as is often the case. Yet, Alabama did not win the SEC last year and therefore faces a certain amount of questions about its ability to bounce back. In Week 1, everything looked fine for the Tide, who romped past Missouri. Alabama got the ball to receiver Jaylen Waddle, who dominated. Waddle, who is expected to be a top-20 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, elevated his stock with a fat statistical line: eight catches, 134 yards, two touchdowns. He is going to be extremely hard for A&M to handle. He is Alabama’s best offensive player.
The Alabama defense was solid. The Tide allowed just six points in the first three quarters and helped Bama gain a 35-6 lead. Only when backups entered the game in the fourth quarter did Missouri finally hit the end zone. The Tigers’ 13 points in the fourth quarter shouldn’t concern Alabama fans. That was garbage time. Alabama was crushed by injuries to its defense last year. With a healthy unit, this past Saturday should be much more representative of what we are going to see from the Tide in 2020.
Texas A&M beat Vanderbilt thanks to a defense, which limited the Commodores to 255 yards and forced two turnovers. A&M did everything on defense it reasonably could have been asked. However, the offense was bad, and that shouldn’t happen with an upperclassman at quarterback. Kellen Mond has spent multiple seasons at the helm of Jimbo Fisher’s offense. He ought to be a lot better than he is. Yet, in Week 1, he was just 17-of-28 for a modest 189 yards. Texas A&M scored 17 points but allowed two points on a safety, for a net output of 15 points. That will not cut it against better SEC opponents. Mond has a lot of work to do.
The Alabama defense is in excellent form. It should be able to contain Mond and the A&M offense. Alabama’s offense might meet a challenge in the form of the Aggies’ defense, but Waddle is going to make a few high-impact plays, and that should be enough for Alabama to win the game outright. The game probably won’t be a blowout, though, so take the Aggies with the points in the sportsbook.
Prediction: Alabama 31, Texas A&M 17