Texas A&M vs. Tennessee kicks off this Saturday at 3:30pm EST in Knoxville Tennessee as a home game for the Volunteers. Texas A&M is currently a +4 underdog and +150 on the moneyline while the total is set at 55.5. Read on for more Texas A&M vs. Tennessee best bets and predictions as the Aggies look to bounce back in an effort to cover the spread.
Texas A&M Vs. Tennessee Prediction & Best Bet
If there has been a common theme this season, it’s that bad coaching is running more rampant than ever. The Aggies just installed another chapter into the book of what not to do late in the game inside the 20, opting into a field goal down nine instead of going for it. Jimbo then one upped himself by kicking an onside instead of booting it deep with stoppage time left, missing out on the benefit of a field cut in half should they have forced the Tide into a punt.
Bad coaching decisions aside, this Aggies team is still chalk full of talent and more than capable of keeping the score tight against the fraudulent Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee has benefitted from a very easy schedule, flexing their muscles over the bottom dwellers of the SEC. Realistic expectations kicked in when they faced their first true defense against the Florida Gators, a game they lost 29-16.
Joe Milton and the Tennessee offense now have to find answers against an Aggies defense that ranks eighth in the nation in Def Success Rate, seventh in Def Points per Opportunity, and third in Havoc. While defending Explosiveness has been an issue for Texas A&M, Tennessee has proven to be no threat with generating the big play as they rank 111th in that department.
Not only does Tennessee have to crack this stout defense, but they have to do it in a one-dimensional fashion as Joe Milton has plummeted the Vol’s passing metrics while under center. Tennessee currently ranks 78th in Pass PPA, 63rd in Pass Success Rate, and 125th in Pass Explosiveness. Relying on the run simply won’t be enough for the Vols to find success in moving the ball down the field, now seriously prone to early outs and giving the Aggies offense more opportunities to put up points on the board.
Speaking of the Aggies offense, expect a bounce back performance against a Vols team whose defensive metrics may be skewed to their low level of quality opponent. Ticking their metrics a few points back swing the advantage in the Aggies favor, especially through the air where Texas A&M ranks above average in advanced metrics.
Texas A&M Vs. Tennessee Prediction & Best Bet: Texas A&M +3.5
Texas A&M Vs. Tennessee Betting Odds
In what may be one of the bigger over reactions of the slate, oddsmakers opened the spread in Tennessee’s favor by setting them as a -4 favorite. Bettors believe this was still reopened too high, betting the Aggies down to as low as +3 in some shops. Reputable power raters have the Aggies as a short favorite in this contest, giving value to Texas A&M down to a PK. I’d personally play this no lower than +3, getting the added security of a key football number.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 57.5. Bettors believe points will be scored at a slower pace than the number implies, backing the under down to as low as 55.5 as of writing. This comes as no surprise as the Aggies are well equipped to halt the Tennessee offense while they drain the clock towards the unders favor when they have the ball.
Texas A&M Vs. Tennessee Key Matchups
Can the Aggies defense halt the Vols ground game?
Tennessee Ground Game Vs. Aggies Front Seven
While the Vols pass attack has failed to show any signs of consistency, their ground game has served far more successfully in terms of advanced metrics. Their trio of running backs have accumulated ranks of fifth in Rush PPA, 17th in Rush Success, and 43rd in Rush Explosiveness.
Highest graded Running Back in the SEC:
🔶 Jaylen Wright: 87.2 pic.twitter.com/MNYTIi5P3O
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 6, 2023
This makes for an incredible matchup as the Aggies rush defense is one of the best in the nation, matching the Vols metrics with their own ranks of ninth in Def Rush PPA, 10th in Def Rush Success Rate, and 24th in Def Rush Explosiveness. With no threat of Milton shredding them with his arm, the Aggies can afford to stack the box in an effort to completely shut down the Vols ground game.