No. 3 Alabama looks to be reigning supreme in the SEC West once again this season, but entering Week 11 of the college football season, No. 11 Texas A&M and No. 12 Ole Miss hope to secure second place behind Alabama.
The Aggies have strung together four straight wins, including last week’s win over No. 16 Auburn, to improve their record to 7-2. On the other side, the Rebels have won four out of their last five to secure an identical 7-2 record, with their lone defeat during that five-game stretch coming to Auburn.
Whoever emerges victorious on Saturday between Texas A&M and Ole Miss will make a strong case to move up in the SEC West standings. Continue reading below to see my prediction and best bets for Saturday’s anticipated bout between the two ranked programs.
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Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss Prediction
Jimbo Fisher‘s Texas A&M squad is playing inspired defense this season, limiting opponents to a mere 14.7 points per game, which is second in the nation. They are also holding teams to only 317.8 total yards (16th in the country) and 4.59 yards per play (seventh in the country).
Outside of a shootout with Alabama earlier this season, the Aggies haven’t allowed more than 26 points in a game. On the offensive side of the ball, Texas A&M is led by quarterback, Zach Calzada.
Calzada hasn’t been as efficient as Fisher would like, completing 54.9% of his passes for 1,556 yards, 12 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. While the aerial attack isn’t Texas A&M’s bread and butter, they have a lethal duo of running backs in Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane, who have combined for 1,950 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss leans on their offense, which is orchestrated by Matt Corral under center. Corral, who is a Heisman candidate, is completing 66.8% of his attempts for 2,526 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only two interceptions. He’s also tacked on another 528 yards and 10 touchdowns with his legs this season.
Given Ole Miss’ ability to air it out, Texas A&M will want to control the pace of the game by maintaining time of possession. And with the Aggies having a stout defense, they can contain Corral and the other members of the Rebel offense on Saturday.
While the Ole Miss defense has shown signs of life in recent weeks, it won’t be enough to fend off their conference rivals at home on Saturday.
Prediction: Texas A&M 27, Ole Miss 20
Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss Best Bets
CFB Betting Record: 5-3-0
Best Bet: Texas A&M -2.5 (-110) at Betfred
Wager: 1 Unit
The Aggies would prefer to play a physical style of football on Saturday, where they can control the game on the ground with Spiller and Achane. However, they have shown that they can win shootouts having already beaten Alabama 41-38 earlier this season.
What makes Texas A&M such a dangerous team is their stifling defense. Besides Georgia, there might not be a defense in the nation playing at a more elite level than the Aggies right now.
For Ole Miss, Corral is going to have to play lights out for them to have any chance of avoiding their third loss of the season. It doesn’t help that Dontario Drummond, the leading wide receiver for the Rebels, is questionable for Saturday’s game after missing last week’s contest with a hamstring ailment.
If Drummond is unable to go, Ole Miss will be extremely limited at wide receiver against a defense that is strong against the pass. Regardless of Drummond’s status, Texas A&M has enough on offense and an elite defense that can lead them to a win by at least a field goal.
Texas A&M is 4-1 against the spread in their past five games and are 5-0 ATS as the road team in their past five away games. As for Ole Miss, they’ve gone 2-5 ATS versus teams in the SEC in their past seven conference games, along with a 1-7 record against teams in the SEC West in their past eight meetings.
Best Bet: Under 55.5 (-105) at Betfred
Wager: 1 Unit
Both these squads have had some high-scoring games this season, but this total seems a bit too high. Texas A&M plays at a somewhat slow pace with 2.4 points per drive (50th in the nation), electing to pound the ball whenever they can.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss loves to play at a much faster pace with 3.17 points per drive, good enough for 12th in the country. Even though the Rebels want to play up-tempo, the Aggies have a defense that can keep the game at a speed that prevents plenty of scoring.
Once again, even Ole Miss’ defense has been playing better of late. Also, Texas A&M doesn’t have a passing attack with Calzada that should intimidate anyone’s defense right now. With it being a potential lower-scoring game than expected on Saturday, back the Under of 55.5 points.
When it comes to the total, it has gone Under in all six of their past six matchups. On top of that, even with a fast-paced offense, Ole Miss has hit the Under in five out of their last six outings.