- Texas A&M returns to action at 14.5-point favorites at home against LSU On Saturday (ESPN, 7 p.m. EST)
- The Tigers will lean on true freshman quarterback TJ Finley against a tough Aggies defense
- Read below for odds, analysis, and a pick on the game
Following its loss to Alabama in Texas A&M’s second game played this season, the Aggies ripped off four consecutive wins. Then, after A&M’s most recent win against South Carolina, the rug was pulled out from underneath head coach Jimbo Fisher as the team had to take a break due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Aggies return to action this week at home against LSU, who trounced them last year, 50-7, as part of the Tigers’ championship season. The expectation is a little bit different for this one, and A&M is a 14.5-point favorite over its conference rival in this year’s matchup.
LSU vs #5 Texas A&M Week 13 Odds
|LSU Tigers||+14.5 (-108)||+440||O 63.5 (-110)|
|Texas A&M Aggies||-14.5 (-112)||-650||U 63.5 (-110)|
Odds taken from FanDuel on Nov. 26
Motivations Abound for A&M
The Aggies come into the game as the fifth-ranked team in the country, and this is their last home game of the season. Players like defensive back Leon O’Neal and quarterback Kellen Mond are sure to remember last year’s embarrassment and will want more than anything to take one back against LSU here. Fisher has a funny link to LSU in that his name is floated every time there is scrutiny on the coaching staff in Baton Rouge.
It ALL starts up front. @Coach_Henson x #MaroonGoons | #GigEm pic.twitter.com/G1kZtPHCTB
— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) November 26, 2020
Whatever the path is that would put A&M in the College Football Playoff, any scenario has to include A&M winning out – and winning with margin. The line has already moved as much as four points for the Aggies on some books, but they have failed to cover as a double-digit favorite this season.
However, two of the three times A&M has played in a game that has gone over the 63.5-point threshold, as is the number in this one, those results have come at Kyle Field.
Speed Bumps for LSU
The Tigers’ starting quarterback this season, Myles Brennan, has been out for the last three games after sustaining an abdominal injury with no clear timetable on if or when he’ll return. In his place has been true freshman quarterback TJ Finley, who has completed 65-percent of his passes for 679 yards.
The youngster won’t have his full compliment of receivers available this week, with Racey McMath out of the lineup due to an undisclosed injury. McMath’s replacement, Trey Palmer, is also banged-up for a passing attack that has already been slowed by the transition at quarterback. Terrace Marshall is a special talent at wide receiver, but since making the switch to Finley, his production has been limited.
Texas A&M has had one of the best rush defenses in the country this season and LSU’s ground attack is in the bottom-third, nationally. The Tigers have a veteran offensive line that have helped the Tigers rank among the top teams this season in plays ran per game, but their efficiency has been inconsistent.
A&M is going to come out fired up for this one – especially after missing the last two weeks – and the Aggies have the players to control the tempo of this game. Finley hasn’t been bad, but one of his better performances came in his first start against a broken South Carolina team.
Even though the Kyle Field night game atmosphere won’t be as daunting as usual, betting on a freshman QB that probably won’t get a ton of help from his running backs doesn’t seem like a great formula.
LSU has been one of the worst teams defending the pass this season, and Texas A&M has the best third down offense in the country. The Tigers aren’t going to have much room for error, as A&M will likely look to just snuff them out with possession and solid defense.