No. 5 Texas A&M at Auburn Betting Preview

Saturday, December 5, 2020, Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Alabama, noon. ET

Aggies at Tigers Betting Preview: Aggies (-6), Tigers (+6)

No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies Betting Preview

No. 5 Texas A&M (6-1 6-1 Southeastern Conference) needs a win and a revived offense to stay in the hunt for a spot in January’s College Football Playoff semifinals. The Aggies’ normally high-powered offense was a lot like the weather in last week’s game against LSU — all wet.

Playing for the first time after a two-week layoff because of COVID-19 postponements, the Aggies struggled to produce points against a struggling LSU defense. But the Aggies’ defense picked up the slack and enabled them to get by on something far from their best night, resulting in a 20-7 win.

In addition to winning this week at Auburn , the Aggies also need a team ranked in front of them to lose. The possibility also exists that current No. 4 Ohio State could eliminate itself by not being able to play one of the last two regular-season games, which would leave it below the minimum six-game threshold the Big Ten Conference set to play in its championship game.

If A&M can finish out a 10-game SEC schedule, the committee could look more kindly upon a longer body of work. But coach Jimbo Fisher sees the need for a crisper effort by his offense.

“Way too inconsistent,” he said of the performance against LSU. “We didn’t block well up front. We didn’t protect the quarterback. He took a lot of hits. We still missed some throws we should have made, quite a few throws.

“We didn’t get a rhythm going offensively, but our team found ways to win the game and that is what’s important. Our defense kept raising its game.”

The Aggies gave up just 267 yards against the Tigers and came within 43 seconds of pitching a shutout. The defense permitted LSU to convert just 2 of 16 on third down and even helped out with the scoring when Buddy Johnson returned an interception 15 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. 

Auburn Tigers Betting Preview

Auburn (5-3) saw its hopes of a season-saving win at No. 1 Alabama end fairly quickly last week in a 42-13 loss to the Crimson Tide. It was 21-3 by the middle of the second quarter, and the Tigers never found the end zone until a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bo Nix with 4:39 left in the game.

Nix said the too-little, too-late score gave Auburn something to take out of the one-sided affair, however.

“It shows how we did keep fighting,” he said. “Even though the scoreboard wasn’t in our favor, we continued to try to move the ball and go down and score and we did that. I’m proud of the way our guys fought.”

Nix completed 23 of 38 passes for 227 yards but had two intercepted. The Tigers rushed for only 120 yards.

A fair question might be what’s left for the Tigers to accomplish, given that high preseason expectations will result in no better than a 7-3 record to take to their bowl game.

“We’ve got two games left,” coach Gus Malzahn said. “This is an unusual season. We’ll need to rebound like we did earlier in the season.”

This year also is unique in that the Iron Bowl against Alabama usually caps off the regular season, The Tigers also have a scheduled date with Mississippi State on December 12.

“I think it’s a positive,” Malzahn said. “We are all programmed when the Iron Bowl is over with, you’re thinking about postseason, whatever that means.

“The unique thing this year is obviously we came off of a tough loss, but we have a Top 5 team coming in. We have a chance to redeem ourselves. So that is different and that should be a positive this week compared to normal seasons.”

Aggies at Tigers Betting Pick for December 5, 2020

The series dates back to a 1911 meeting in Dallas, but the two teams have played only nine times since then and are dead even at 5-5 after Auburn’s wins in the last three meetings. The Tigers won 28-20 at Kyle Field last year even though Kellen Mond passed for 335 yards and two touchdowns for the Aggies while Nix threw for just 100 yards and one score.

Aggies at Tigers Betting Pick:

Aggies 24, Tigers 14

Aggies at Tigers Best Bet for December 5, 2020

The Aggies are coming off a strong defensive showing in a 20-7 win over LSU last week while the Tigers struggled on both sides of the ball in a 42-13 loss to Alabama. Nix has been up and down as a passer his sophomore season and has only three touchdown passes over his last five games. A&M’s Mond is coming off a season-low 105 yards passing in the win over LSU.

Aggies at Tigers Best Bet: UNDER 47.5

–Field Level Media