Loading scores...
Odds and Ends

Week 7 College Football Bets: Texas A&M, MSU

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: October 14, 2021, 10:06 am ET

The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. 

 

Texas A&M (-8.5) at Missouri

Wow. What a game last weekend between Texas A&M and Alabama!

The Aggies knocked off the Crimson Tide and now have a massive letdown game ahead of them. Normally, I would be bullish to bet on a road favorite coming off a win of that magnitude, but there are a few things you need to know.

The Aggies are 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven as a road favorite, per NBC's Edge Finder. A&M has won by an average of 15.4 points in those seven games as a road favorite.

The last four wins, all since 2020, have come by 11 or more points.

Texas A&M road favorite L7

 

If you bet with me last week, we cashed North Texas +19 at Missouri, and I anticipated a larger line than the -8.5 opening line for Texas A&M here.

Missouri led 31-7 at half versus North Texas last week before winning 48-35. North Texas had no business putting up 28 points in the second half the way that they did.

The Tigers are 0-9 ATS in the last nine games overall, per NBC's Edge Finder (pictured below). As a home underdog since 2020, Missouri has also allowed 38 or more points in three of four games.

Mizzou L9 ATS

 

Under Jimbo Fisher, the Aggies are 22-4 on the ML (84.6%) when they score first and 21-0 with a first-quarter lead -- pretty impressive numbers. 

Zach Calzada will be the focus for A&M's offense coming off SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his career-high 285 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Missouri is allowing an SEC-worst 37.5 points and 497.7 yards per game.

A quick lead and stellar play from Calzada would provide us confidence for sure and based on how aggressive Texas A&M's defense looked versus Alabama, they should keep Mizzou quarterback Connor Bazelak and crew at bay.

Texas A&M has five interceptions on the year, and Bazelak owns five interceptions to 12 touchdowns through five games. Bazelak has played in 19 collegiate games, and none of them have come against A&M. This will be the first meeting between the two school's since 2014.

In three games against Power-5 opponents this season, Bazelak has five touchdown passes to five interceptions on 91/136 (66.9%) through the air. Those games were against Tennessee (62-24 home loss), Boston College (41-34 OT road loss) and Kentucky (35-28 road loss).

Missouri's four home games have come against North Texas, Tennessee, Southeastern Missouri State and Central Michigan. 

A&M will play its first true road game since Colorado and Arkansas were neutral site games. I have confidence that A&M can score 35-plus points and take the win as they held Arkansas to 20 and Mississippi State to 26.

Missouri allowed Boston College (34), Kentucky (35), North Texas (35) and Tennessee (62) to score 34 or more points. Only Central Michigan (24) and Southeastern Missouri State (28) failed to score 35-plus on Mizzou this year.

I would play the Texas A&M Team Total Over 34.5 for 2 units. I grabbed it at +100 and would play to -130.

Anything past 34.5 is 1.5 unit up to 37.5 (1u). 

I would play the A&M spread to -10 for 1 unit as I expected -10.5.

Pick: Texas A&M Team Total Over 34.5 Points (2u), Texas A&M -8.5 (1u)

 

Editor’s Note: Get an edge with our premium Betting Tools that are packed with live odds, betting trends, predictions, player prop projections, our extensive Edge Finder and much more. And don't forget to use promo code VAUGHN10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!

 

Michigan State (-4.5) at Indiana

Thor Nystrom and I will be a part of a new series called "The Extra Edge," where we provide our favorites look-ahead lines and games.

This was one of them, and as we recorded and posted on Monday, by Tuesday, the line was -4.5, not the -3 we both bet and talked about.

So, I will track at -4.5, but here is why this is still a good bet.

Indiana's quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is questionable for this game and pronounced week-to-week, so Jack Tuttle will probably start. 

Tuttle has tossed 101 career passes for a 57.4 completion percentage, 564 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions in his short career. He has 5.6 yards per pass attempt.

This season, Michigan State held opposing Power-5 quarterbacks to insufficient numbers.

Michigan State has locked down quarterbacks or forced them into turnovers outside of their opening game versus Northwestern. They have improved with every game.

 

Rutgers' Noah Vedral: 208 passing yards and 0 TDs, 0 INTs

Nebraska's Adrian Martinez: 244 passing yards, 0 TDs, 1 INTs

Miami's D'Eriq King: 388 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

Northwestern's Hunter Johnson: 283 passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs

 

Michigan State has won every outing this season by three or more points and five of six contests by 17 or more, per NBC's Edge Finder. The only one-score game was a 23-20 OT victory against Nebraska. 

MSU 2021

 

I like the ground game from running back Kenneth Walker, plus the connection between quarterback Payton Thorne and wide receiver Jalen Nailor. Walker is a Heisman candidate and arguably, the best running back in college football this season.

While the Hoosiers have only allowed 351.6 total yards per game, the Spartans average 420.5 total yards of offense on 269.8 through the air and 217.0 on the ground.

MSU's offense is still undervalued, while the defense has held five out of six opponents to 21 points or fewer.

The Spartans have covered six of the past 10 meetings versus Indiana and won eight of the last 10. However, MSU lost 24-0 at home last year to Indiana. 

I expect Michigan State to pay back Indiana in full AT Indiana. Graph via NBC's Edge Finder.

MSU vs Indiana

 

Last year was also the first time MSU was not the favorite in the past 10 meetings. When the Spartans are the favorite, they are 9-1 on the ML (90%) and 7-3 ATS (70%) in the last 10 against the Hoosiers.

The Spartans have won six of eight trips to Indiana since 2002 and all six wins came by four or more points.

Michigan State's defense will be aggressive against Tuttle early on, who came in during the third quarter against Penn State and struggled to get much of anything going.

Indiana mustered a missed field goal attempt, a punt and an interception in three drives with Tuttle under center.

MSU is playable to -6 as the Spartans should be heavier favorites. 

Pick: Michigan State -4.5 (1.5u)

 

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Vaughn Dalzell

Vaughn Dalzell is a former Division I SID, two-time IUP Alumnus and former contributor for numberFire, FantasyPros and Bet The Prop. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @VmoneySports.