Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss prediction, pick against the spread and latest odds from college football expert Alex Kirshner. How does this SEC showdown play out? Find out here
Alex Kirshner
Mon, November 8, 4:38 AM EST

Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, and Latest Odds

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Ole Miss Rebels

Spread: Texas A&M -2.5

Total: 55.5

Game time: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: ESPN

Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss odds

Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss Prediction

Texas A&M and Ole Miss will go some of the way on Saturday toward sorting out who’s the best team in the SEC West after Alabama, though the sport’s typical toughest division is so clogged-up this year that we won’t know for sure even after this game.

At this point, we have a pretty good idea about A&M’s true identity. The Aggies have one of the great defenses in college football, and their offense goes as far as two elite running backs and a talented but inconsistent offensive line can take them. Backup quarterback Zach Calzada has been starting quarterback Zach Calzada since September, and while he deserves a forever home in the sport’s lore for torching Alabama in an October upset, his broader body of work says he struggles to keep an offense on schedule against an SEC schedule.

Ole Miss is a lot harder to figure out, even as we near mid-November. The Rebels were supposed to be one of the country’s preeminent all-offense, no-defense operations, and that was true to a point. (A 52-51 win over Arkansas in Week 6, which came down to the Hogs missing a two-point conversion, is the classic of this genre.) But the broader picture is more complicated. Ole Miss has played two really good defenses this year, Alabama and Auburn, and had its worst offensive showings in those games, which are also its two losses. Ole Miss scored a combined 41 points in those games on 4.6 and 5.7 yards per play, respectively. And to give them credit, on the other hand, their defense has been solid in every game other than the three I just mentioned in this paragraph. Ole Miss is inconsistent, for both worse and better.

But if we put those puzzle pieces together, it really looks like A&M-Ole Miss should be a lower-scoring game than a mid-50s point total indicates. The Rebels have a great offense, but it’s not great against elite defenses, and the Aggies (fifth in Defensive SP+) certainly have one. Outside of a two-week stretch in October that featured the Aggies getting flummoxed by Mississippi State’s air raid and then getting into a shootout with Bama, this defense has not let offenses catch a breath. Ole Miss’ offense has wilted against defenses of this caliber, and the Aggies will not make it simple for Matt Corral to have the kind of QB run game Ole Miss prefers. QBs ran for 62-plus yards against A&M in three of the Aggies’ first four games. Since then, A&M has pretty much eliminated QB runs, holding the next five QBs on the slate to a combined 91 yards rushing. If you include sacks, as the NCAA does, those QBs have been in negatives.

In the other phase of this game, I would expect Ole Miss’ defense to give Calzada a pretty hard time. The Rebels have been sneaky solid on defense in three of their last four games, which have come against pretty good offenses altogether: Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, and Liberty. Only Auburn had an effective offensive outing, and a Calzada-led A&M is not much scarier than the Malik Willis-led Liberty attack that Ole Miss just held to 14 points in Oxford.

For a nice little bonus, while Ole Miss plays at hyperspeed and runs 77 offensive plays per game, sixth-most in FBS, A&M’s much more deliberate style (66th plays per game, 99th in the country) should somewhat temper the Rebels’ pace and help this game stay under. I expect Ole Miss to score less than usual and play better defense than usual. It all points the same way.

Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss Pick

Alex Kirshner
alex_kirshner
Alex Kirshner covers college football for the Moon Crew newsletter. He is a co-author of The Sinful Seven: Sci-Fi Western Legends of the NCAA, and he lives in Washington, D.C.
0Betslip

Almost there!

We are loading your bets, and they will be here in a second.