Texas A&M Looks To Find Room To Run Against Worst Defensive Team in the SEC
For the third straight year, the matchup between South Carolina and Texas A&M will have little bearing on the SEC division races. Texas A&M, coming off a bye, is listed as the favorite according to the South Carolina vs Texas A&M odds heading into the 10th meeting between the teams.
Texas A&M is 2.5 games in back of Alabama in the SEC West Division race and with a loss to the Crimson Tide earlier in the season, it would take a complete meltdown by Alabama for the Aggies to get back into contention for a spot in the SEC championship game. South Carolina is 1-4 in conference play and in sixth place in the SEC East Division standings.
Texas A&M had won the first eight meetings against South Carolina before the Gamecocks won 30-24 in 2022 as a three-point underdog at home.
According to the NCAA football odds, the Aggies are a double-digit favorite against South Carolina for the fifth time. The Aggies won those previous four matchups but covered in just two of them.
Receivers Ahmarean Brown (hamstring), Xavier Legette (upper body) Antwane Wells Jr. (foot), and offensive lineman Vershon Lee are both questionable for South Carolina. Legette leads South Carolina with 38 catches and 736 receiving yards, Brown is tied for fourth on the Gamecocks with 15 catches this season while Wells has three catches in last year’s win.
Texas A&M continues to play without injured quarterback Conner Weigman.
Texas A&M came into the season with +5000 odds to win the national title and those odds have moved to +20000.
Location: Kyle Field, College Station, TX
Line: South Carolina +450; Texas A&M -600
Gamecocks Offering Little Resistance
Not only does South Carolina have the worst defense in the SEC, but among teams from the Power-5 conference only Georgia Tech, Stanford and Colorado give up more yards per game than the 446.7 yards per game surrendered by the Gamecocks.
South Carolina has allowed seven pass plays of at least 40 yards in the first seven games this season after surrendering nine such plays in 13 games last year. Keep that in mind when looking at the South Carolina vs Texas A&M odds.
It doesn’t help that the Gamecocks are last in the SEC in tackles for loss and 12th out of 14 teams in takeaway.
Nine of the top 16 tacklers are either freshmen or sophomores and that inexperience has shown when looking at the NCAA football scores as the Gamecocks have allowed more than 400 yards in all six games versus Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
The total has gone over in seven of South Carolina’s last 10 games.
Aggies Struggling to Get Passing Grades
When Weigman was lost for the season, the feeling was that the Aggies would be fine since Max Johnson had previous starting experience in the SEC when he played at LSU.
It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Johnson has three touchdown passes and four interceptions in the last three games and he completed just 47% of his passes in a mid-October loss to Tennessee.
Part of the problem has been getting the ball into the hands of receiver Ainias Smith.
Among SEC players with at least 25 catches, Smith is fourth in an average of 16.7 yards per reception. However, he had just one catch in the last game for Texas A&M. Looking at the South Carolina vs Texas A&M odds, Smith figures to be more involved this weekend.
The Aggies have covered four of their last five home games.
South Carolina returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and never trailed as the Gamecocks topped Texas A&M for the first time. After allowing 17 points in the first six minutes, Texas A&M pulled within three points on two occasions but couldn’t take the lead despite out-gaining South Carolina by 112 yards.
The game went over the 44.5-point total with 27 seconds left in the third quarter on a TD run by Texas A&M’s Devon Achane.
South Carolina vs Texas A&M Betting Preview
Texas A&M is second in the SEC in total defense when counting only conference games but inconsistent play on offense has the Aggies headed to another disappointing finish in the SEC.
South Carolina is 10th and Texas A&M 13th in the SEC in converting red-zone drives into touchdowns.
Each of the last two games between the Aggies and Gamecocks finished over the total after the previous five matchups all went under the total.
Texas A&M has covered each of the three games this season when listed as the home favorite. South Carolina is just 1-2 against the college football betting lines as the road underdog.
South Carolina has covered in just two of its last eight games played in October.
Texas A&M has not looked like an offensive juggernaut this season. However, the outstanding defense should lead the Aggies to victory.
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