Week 3 of the college football season is a big one, as the No. 6 ranked Texas A&M Aggies are playing host to the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s unquestionably the most anticipated matchup of the year, as the two best teams in the game’s best conference are set to collide in an epic rematch.
Remember, Johnny Manziel led his Aggies to an incredible win down in Tuscaloosa last season, igniting his eventual Heisman Trophy-winning campaign and handing ‘Bama its only loss during a national title season.
Perhaps the only way there someone could be any more excited about this contest is to have something riding on the outcome. If you are interested, I have you covered.
Keep reading if you want to bet against the spread, try your luck on the total, or just have some fun with props, as there is advice and picks for each type of bet below.
Spread and total courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com, Props courtesy of Bleacher Report.
Spread: Alabama (-8) vs. TEXAS A&M
Although the Tide are travelling to College Station and playing in a hostile environment, they are disciplined and talented enough to walk away with a double-digit victory.
Head coach Nick Saban has been preparing his players for this matchup all offseason long, motivating them by placing A&M logos on the weight stations and showing replays of the 2012 game on every television.
Outside of these mental tactics, Saban will also have his disciplined group playing smart football and avoiding mistakes. These players know that one turnover at the wrong time or boneheaded penalty could cost them a chance at winning a historic third-straight national championship.
The defense will have its hands full trying to contain Johnny Football all afternoon, but should be able to limit him just enough to put the offense in position to win.
As long as the offensive line shows a vast improvement over Week 1’s debacle against Virginia Tech, the Tide will roll to a big win.
Total: Over/Under 61
Lean towards the under, as both defenses are going to step up and make plays throughout the contest.
Alabama used to be an unstoppable force when rushing the ball, but turnover along the O-line had this group looking beatable. Quarterback A.J. McCarron was hurried and sacked a number of times against the Hokies and the Aggies pass rush will likely follow the same blueprint.
On the flip side, ‘Bama’s defenders were absolutely dominant in the opener, with Vinnie Sunseri returning an interception for a touchdown and the rest of the team holding V-Tech quarterback Logan Thomas to just 5-of-26 passing.
It’s going to be an interesting game, one that should fall just below the set total if both defenses play up to their abilities.
Total Offense for Johnny Manziel: Over/Under 325 Yards
Anyone who watched the Tide defense blanket the Hokies’ receivers and harass Thomas into one of his worst performances of his career has to believe that they can play just as well against Manziel.
The reigning Heisman-winner may be a bit more skilled than Thomas, but the sophomore sensation has proven vulnerable in the past. If he is getting frustrated early and can’t make his throws, there is a good chance he starts relying on his legs more than A&M would prefer.
Manziel is a great and elusive rusher, but he’s not going to beat the Tide solely with his feet.
He’ll need to make some big throws and come up with some home run plays through the air to reach this 325-yard number and have a chance at winning, which I don’t think is going to happen.
Total Touchdowns for T.J. Yeldon: Over/Under 1.5 Touchdowns
The poor play of the Alabama offensive line deserves one more mention here, but there’s no way that those five guys can possibly play that bad again.
Which team will win on Saturday?
Because of that, Yeldon should be able to improve upon his 17-rush, 75-yard, one-touchdown performance against Texas A&M. He’s the most dangerous weapon on the Tide’s roster and capable of performing inhuman feats once he has the football in his hands.
The coaching staff realizes that and should be angling to give the 6’2”, 218-pound workhorse of a sophomore as many touches as possible in this SEC battle.
If all goes to plan and he gets a few decent holes opened in front of him, Yeldon will have a minimum of two touchdowns and well over 100 yards.