The game of the week in the SEC might be the showdown between the no. 13 Auburn Tigers and the no. 14 Texas A&M Aggies. In an unusual trend, the road team has won eight of nine games between these two teams since Texas A&M joined the SEC. That may or may not be good news for the Aggies, who are 4.5-point home favorites this week with the over/under set at 49 points.
Texas A&M needs to win this game to have any hope of winning the SEC West. The Aggies have an upset win over Alabama, although they also have two conference losses from earlier in the season. That means Texas A&M needs to win out and hope that Alabama loses in order to win the SEC West.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are still in control of their own destiny since they have one loss and still play Alabama later this month. Auburn had a couple of unconvincing wins early in the season, as well as a lopsided loss to Georgia. But they’ve come on strong lately with consecutive wins over Arkansas and Ole Miss.
The strength of the Auburn offense is surely in the backfield with the tandem of Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. However, their fate often comes down to quarterback Bo Nix, who can be great but can also be frustratingly inconsistent. That being said, Nix has played two of his best games in wins over Arkansas and Ole Miss and is surely trending in the right direction.
The Auburn defense has also been an underrated part of the team’s success all season. The Tigers have been consistently good at stopping the run this year, putting the rest of the defense in a position to succeed as well. They are allowing just under 20 points per game and just held a potent Ole Miss offense 19 points under its season average.
The scouting report for Texas A&M is similar to Auburn, as the Aggies are at their best when they’re running the ball. Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane have formed a dynamic backfield tandem, with both averaging over six yards per carry.
The problem is that quarterback Zach Calzada has regressed since playing the game of his life in the win over Alabama.
Much like Auburn, Texas A&M’s strength is also on the defensive side of the ball. The Aggies have talent at all three levels and a scoring defense that’s top-5 nationally. Only two of A&M’s eight opponents have scored more than 20 points against them, with Alabama being the only team to manage more than 26 points against the Aggies.
Keeping Up with Tradition
As has become a tradition in this matchup, the value is with the road team. Granted, the Aggies are probably a little better defensively and perhaps have a better rushing attack. However, Nix is finally playing at a high level, giving Auburn an advantage at quarterback and making them a good pick to beat the 4.5-point spread.
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