Texas A&M remains undefeated in 2014 with a perfect 5-0 record, but the Aggies should be concerned about their performance on the road over the last few years. Texas A&M is 13-30 ATS as a road underdog, 16-38-1 ATS on the road versus teams with a winning record and 13-32 ATS on the road versus teams with a win percentage of .751 or greater. In contrast, Mississippi State takes the field as one of the most underrated and undervalued teams in college football this season. Indeed, the Bulldogs are a profitable 8-1 ATS in their last nine games, including 5-0 ATS versus conference opponents, 6-1 ATS versus teams with a winning record and 13-3 ATS at home versus .501 or greater opposition.
Mississippi State continues to fly under-the-radar despite going 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS this season, including an impressive 34-29 road win over LSU as seven-point underdogs. The Bulldogs are averaging 41.2 points per game on 5.6 yards per rush play, 9.4 yards per pass play and 7.0 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow just 4.5 yards per rush attempt, 6.6 yards per pass attempt and 5.3 yards per play. Starting quarterback Dak Prescott was the team’s leading rusher last season (829 yards at 6.2 yards per carry; 13 touchdowns) and has looked extremely comfortable under head coach Dan Mullen’s offense through the first five weeks of the 2014 campaign. Overall, Mississippi State is 1.1 yards per rush play, 2.8 yards per pass play and 1.7 yards per play better than average offensively this season.
While Texas A&M is limiting opponents to a mere 15.0 points per game, the Aggies have been mediocre from the line of scrimmage. Specifically, the Aggies are allowing 3.8 yards per rush play, 6.3 yards per pass play and 5.0 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 4.1 yards per rush attempt, 5.9 yards per pass attempt and 4.9 yards per play. Overall, Texas A&M is 0.3 yards per rush play better than average defensively, but 0.4 yards per pass play and 0.1 yards per play worse than average. Based on the performance of these teams to date, the Aggies possess a significant advantage offensively against Texas A&M’s stop unit.
Mississippi State Offense vs. Texas A&M Defense:
- +0.8 yards per rush play advantage
- +3.2 yards per pass play advantage
- +1.8 yards per play advantage overall
Mississippi State also possesses a very good defense that does not give up big plays as teams are averaging just 34.3 yards per point against the Bulldogs. Overall, Mississippi State is 1.7 yards per rush play and 0.3 yards per play better than average defensively, while being mediocre against the pass. Texas A&M will have little to no success on the ground as the Aggies are 0.6 yards per rush play better than average, which is not good enough to move the chains against a Mississippi State front seven that is 1.7 yards per play better than average against the run. However, Texas A&M will have success through the air as they are 1.1 yards per pass play better than average, which is certainly good enough against an average Mississippi State secondary.
Finally, Mississippi State applies to a very good 49-11-1 ATS home momentum situation of mine that is predicated upon the Bulldogs’ upset win over LSU. That angle improves to a perfect 7-0 ATS if our ‘play on’ team is coming off a bye week and is matched up against an opponent without rest. With Texas A&M standing at 2-7 ATS in its last nine October games and 3-7 ATS in its last ten games following a win, take the Bulldogs and invest with confidence.