The Texas A&M Aggies struggled in their most recent game against the Colorado Buffaloes, with starting quarterback Haynes King getting injured early in the first quarter. Without King, the offense looked bland. However, going up against New Mexico should ease the blow, at least for this week. New Mexico is also 2-0 to start the year but has wins against Houston Baptist and New Mexico State, which is nothing to brag about. Without King out due to a broken leg, can the Aggies do enough on offense to cover such a large number?
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
- Opening Lines: Texas A&M -25.5; O/U 50.5
- Current ATS Line: Texas A&M -28.5
- Current Over/Under: 50.5
- Location: Kyle Field
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021
- Start Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
- Television: SECN
- Last Meeting: Texas A&M defeated New Mexico 55-14 in 2017 for their fourth win in as many games against New Mexico.
New Mexico has looked solid in their first two games of the season. They’re averaging 30.5 points per game and allowing 21 points per game. However, their competition has not been any good. They’ve faced Houston Baptist and New Mexico State and won each game by 10 or fewer points.
Still, New Mexico has allowed just 266 yards per game this season, including 50 yards per game on the ground and just 216 yards in the air. The Lobos have looked solid in coverage and have dominated with their pass rush. However, they’re now going up against a whole different team in Texas A&M.
Texas A&M is ranked fifth in the country for a reason. They didn’t exactly show it on Saturday against Colorado, but this team has talent everywhere. The loss of Haynes King stunned A&M last week, and that’s likely one of the reasons the offense struggled against Colorado. Backup quarterback Zach Calzada threw one touchdown and an interception in his debut for A&M as a replacement for King. Calzada played as a true freshman in 2019, completing 12 passes for 24 yards. He never saw game action in 2020.
The reason why A&M is still 2-0 is that the defense held Colorado to seven points. The coverage has been sensational for A&M, but they’ll have to figure out ways to stop the run. They’ve allowed 198.5 yards per game on the ground along with nearly 300 yards of offense per game. The defense has struggled to tackle a little bit as well.
- Aggies are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games.
- Lobos are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater.
- Under is 4-0 in Aggies last 4 games in September.
*Line movement analysis based on the DonBest Las Vegas betting market ticker*
The spread has shifted from -25.5 to 27.5 in favor of the Texas A&M Aggies. Meanwhile, the total hasn’t changed from 50.5.
We don’t truly know what to expect from Calzada, but a full week of prep with Calzada named the number one quarterback should help. He’s a system guy that has been there since day one behind Kellen Mond. That’s big news for A&M as they wait for King to return from his injury after getting surgery earlier this week.
This will be Calzada’s first career start for A&M. However, he did appear in three games in 2019 due to a few blowouts during the season. It should be noted that Calzada can run a little after rushing for seven carries and 28 yards against Colorado.
The defense will be tight except for the fact that they haven’t been able to stop the run just yet. The good news for Texas A&M is that New Mexico isn’t running the ball all that well this season. They’ve been a much better passing team in their first two weeks of the season.
New Mexico will struggle to find much of a rhythm offensively against a fierce secondary and a pass rush that is way above the average. Trey Wilson, New Mexico’s senior quarterback and leader, has protected the ball throughout his first two games with six touchdowns and no interceptions.
I will never bet against this Texas A&M defense and also expect Calzada to struggle a little bit. Therefore, I’ll ride the under. The Aggies will win this game comfortably, but not by four touchdowns.
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