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The No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies welcome the No. 10 Alabama Crimson Tide to College Station for a key SEC West showdown on Saturday, October 17. The Crimson Tide have won the last two meetings, including a 59-0 home win over the Aggies last season.

Texas A&M (5-0, 2-0 SEC) had a bye last week following its 30-17 win over Mississippi State as 4-point favorites. The Aggies racked up 516 total yards in the win, including 322 and two touchdowns from quarterback Kyle Allen.

Alabama (5-1, 2-1 SEC) has now reeled off three straight victories after its 27-14 home win over Arkansas last week. The Crimson Tide scored 24 points after intermission to pull away. Jake Coker had 262 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the win.

Kickoff inside Kyle Field is scheduled for 3:30 EST Saturday afternoon with CBS providing the television coverage. If you are looking to wager on this game, you’ll find Alabama as a 4-point favorite at Texas A&M and a total set of 52 points.

My Early Lean: Texas A&M +4

This is a very tough spot for Alabama. It is coming off two straight physical games against Georgia and Arkansas the last two weeks. It needed to overcome a 7-3 deficit against Arkansas with 24 points in the second half to win 27-14. Those are two power running teams who wear down opposing defenses, and this Alabama defense certainly has to be feeling a little exhaustion, especially since it hasn’t had a bye week yet this season.

Texas A&M is in a great spot. It is coming off a bye week following its 30-17 win over Mississippi State back on October 3, so it will be fresh and ready to go in this one. The Aggies will also be extra motivated after getting embarrassed by the Crimson Tide last year. They lost 59-0 in Tuscaloosa and were clearly in the midst of a down year last season. But Kevin Sumlin has proven he has a winning formula to hang with Alabama, and this year he has the horses to do so.

Texas A&M is in a great spot. It is coming off a bye week following its 30-17 win over Mississippi State back on October 3, so it will be fresh and ready to go in this one.

Remember, back in 2012, Texas A&M upset Alabama 29-24 on the road as 13.5-point underdogs in that game. It was also coming off a bye week and had Johnny Manziel as its starting quarterback. Manziel nearly pulled the upset again in 2013, losing 42-49 at home to Alabama as 8-point underdogs. The Aggies once again have the kind of offense this season that is going to give the Crimson Tide some trouble.

Texas A&M returned 16 starters this season with eight of those on offense. Sumlin’s offense is putting up 39.2 points and 480.4 yards per game. Kyle Allen is vastly improved as a sophomore after getting his feet wet as a freshman last year. Allen is completing 64.0 percent of his passes for 1,274 yards with 13 touchdowns against only two interceptions.

But the real reason the Aggies have a good chance to pull off the upset is the defense. This is the best defense that Sumlin has had in his four years here, and it’s not really even close. He has recruited tremendously on this side of the ball, and he managed to nab former LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis this offseason. Chavis has made his impact felt already. The Aggies are only giving up 21.0 points, 374.8 yards per game and 5.3 per play against opposing offenses who average 28.2 points, 422 yards per game and 5.9 per play.

Texas A&M is 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS against the best three teams it has faced this year. It beat Arizona State 38-17 on a neutral field as 3-point favorites, topped Arkansas 28-21 on a neutral field as 6-point favorites, and also beat Mississippi State 30-17 at home as 4-point favorites. It racked up 516 total yards on Mississippi State last time out as its offense is really hitting its stride now.

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