Jimbo Fisher is being paid a lot of money to win games like this one, but it will be a challenge for the Texas AM Aggies to knock off the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on the road. The Tide is rolling having outscored its first three opponents 170-28 after crushing Ole Miss, 62-7, in their SEC opener. The Aggies should feel confident about their chances after nearly beating Clemson a few weeks ago, but stopping the Bama juggernaut in a Week 4 confrontation seems unlikely.
Watch this Week 4 matchup live on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. ET at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Texas AM Aggies +25
Alabama Crimson Tide -25
Over/Under (Check Back Later)
Plenty of early money on the Tide jacked the spread up to Alabama -25 from the opening line of -23.5. Bama blitzed a decent Ole Miss team as a 22.5-point favorite and looks like a wrecking ball. Something will give in this one with both teams 3-0 ATS. Bama has won the last five meetings going 3-2 ATS in that stretch. The total has yet to hit the board.
Matchup to Watch
Jalen Hurts is a good football player and he thrived in the Alabama offense, but there’s a reason why Tua Tagovailoa is the starter. Alabama has scored more than 50 points in each of its three games and leads the nation with an average of 56.7 per game. Tagovailoa hasn’t thrown more than 19 passes in any game, mainly because he hasn’t been around to finish one. He was lifted in the second quarter of the win over Ole Miss after completing 11 of 15 for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Tagovailoa has been behind center for 20 drives and the Tide has scored a touchdown in 14 of them. He’s been responsible for nine scores with eight touchdown passes and one rushing. The Aggies were solid against Northwestern State and UL-Monroe, but they surrendered 413 total yards to Clemson and will attempt to hang with Alabama minus starting linebacker Anthony Hines, who was injured in the Clemson game and ruled out for the season. Hines was a SEC All-Freshman team selection last season after recording three sacks.
Player to Watch
Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond could be the dual-threat that gives Alabama’s defense trouble, much like Johnny Football did a few years back when AM went into Tuscaloosa and pulled out their only win against the Tide since joining the SEC. Mond’s elusiveness helped the Aggies get past Louisiana-Monroe last week and his arm nearly got a win over Clemson in Week 2.
The sophomore threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns on 23 of 40 passing against Clemson. He also ran for 33 yards in that game. Last week against the Warhawks, Mond accounted for three touchdowns, scoring a pair on the ground and throwing for another. He totaled 67 yards on nine carries and completed two-thirds of his pass attempts for 210 yards. Mond has six touchdown passes for the season without an interception and taking care of the football is paramount against the Tide.
60.5 – Extending drives is a major part of controlling the game and giving yourself a chance to score, and the Tide has been one of the best doing that this season. Alabama is one of four FBS teams to convert more than 60 percent of its third down chances, ranking No. 4 with a 60.5 success rate.
A key to beating AM will be Bama’s ability to crack the Aggies third-down defense, which is ranked fourth in stopping teams from extending drives. The Aggies have allowed only seven conversions in 35 third-down chances for a 20 percent conversion rate.
Free ATS Pick
Alabama has been dominant this early season and it doesn’t look like any team can beat them. But that’s why they play the games, right? The Aggies need Mond to play out of his mind to have any chance, and the defense will have to stop Tagovailoa and the Bama offense. It’s not out of the question, but it will be difficult.
The Aggies hung with the Tide last season, falling by eight points as a 25.5-point dog, and their only win came in Tuscaloosa, so they got that going for them. But Bama is too strong and playing at home will be a factor. I like the Aggies to cover the spread, which is up to +25, but the Tide will continue its roll.
College Football Odds: Alabama 38, Texas AM 24
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