The Texas A&M Aggies will look to win their eighth consecutive game on Saturday afternoon when they visit the Missouri Tigers at Mizzou Arena. Texas A&M has been a surprise this season at 14-2 (3-0 SEC) after picking up a 67-51 win over the Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday to cover as a 5.5-point home favorite. Missouri needs to bounce back after getting destroyed 87-43 by the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday as a 14-point road underdog to continue a tough season at 7-8 (1-2 SEC).
This is a tight matchup historically with Texas A&M holding a 21-19 advantage, but Missouri easily won the lone meeting last season 68-52 in College Station.
Aggies keep rolling, remain unbeaten in SEC playFew expected Texas A&M to do much this season, but the Aggies are creeping into bubble discussion with a seven-game winning streak, with three of those including Tuesday's romp over Ole Miss coming to start the SEC slate. It was a fairly competitive game with neither team getting much separation until the 16:00 mark of the second half, when Texas A&M unleashed a 19-3 run to take control with the defensive clamping down.
📽️ 𝐑𝐮𝐧 𝐈𝐭 𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤: 𝐖𝟏𝟒 pic.twitter.com/NMe7Ng2TtP— Texas A&M Basketball (@aggiembk) January 13, 2022
Henry Coleman III led the Aggies with 18 points and six rebounds on an efficient 9/10 shooting from the floor wit Tyrece Radford added 12 points and six rebounds. The Aggies dominated statistically all around with a mark of 55.8% from the field while holding Ole Miss to 34.6%.
“In the second half we were much more engaged, and played with a lot more energy,” head coach Buzz Williams said to the Houston Chronicle.
Texas A&M is slightly up against the spread at 8-7, and has covered in each of its last two games including a big win over Arkansas as a slight underdog. Overs are a strong 10-5 for the Aggies, although the game against Ole Miss went under the betting total to snap a run of seven overs in the previous eight games.
The Aggies have been solid offensively with an average of 76.6 points per game on shooting splits of 45.9% from two and 38.1% from three, the latter of which ranks 28th in college basketball. Texas A&M is inside the top 50 nationally in scoring defense allowing 62.8 points per game, with opponents shooting 45.9% from two and 32.1% from deep.
Despite only coming off the bench this year, Quenton Jackson leads the Aggies in scoring at 13.2 points per game. Coleman III adds 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game on 62.4% shooting from the floor, while Wyoming transfer Marcus Williams gives his new team 10.2 points, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals per contest.
Senior forward Jalen Johnson, a transfer from Louisiana who averaged 15.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season, will miss the entire year with a torn ACL.
Missouri can't build on upset, blown out by ArkansasThere was some brief hope that Missouri might be getting things turned around after upsetting No. 24 Alabama last weekend, but that didn't last long as the Tigers were run off the court at Arkansas on Wednesday. Missouri never led in the game as Arkansas started the night on an incredible 30-5 run in just over 10 minutes, and things didn't get any better in the second half as the Razorbacks kept extending the lead all the way to the final whistle.
31st career double-digit game for Javon Pickett. pic.twitter.com/wwZdgsBHa3— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) January 13, 2022
Javon Pickett led the Tigers with 12 points, while Jarron Coleman had 11 points and three assists. It was one of the worst imaginable performances for the Tigers offense, which shot 29.2% from the floor including 2/16 from three with 16 turnovers.
We've got to continue to go into every game how we went into the last one," Pickett said to the Columbia Daily Tribune. "We've got to put this one behind us. But we've still got to learn from this, though. We know it's not going to be easy going on the road in the SEC. When we play at home, we do a pretty good job. But when we're on the road, we've got to continue to play and have that momentum with each other."
The Tigers are down against the spread at 5-9 and have failed to cover in and three of their last four games, although the one win was the massive upset of Alabama as a 14.5-point favorite. Overs are 8-6 for the Tigers, with two of their last three games going under the betting total.
It hasn't been pretty for Missouri on either side of the ball, with the offense putting up 66.7 points per game on ugly shooting splits of 48.7% from two and 24.7% from three, the latter of which is the second-worst mark in the entire nation. Missouri's defense has only been slightly better, allowing 72.8 points per game with opponents shooting 51.1% from two and 37.2% from deep.
Kobe Brown is at least having a terrific season with 14.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game on 50.6% shooting from the floor. Green Bay transfer Amari Davis adds 9.6 points per game, while Coleman provides his new team with 9.5 points and 2.9 assists per game after transferring in from Ball State.
After having multiple players miss time earlier due to COVID protocol, Missouri expects to have everyone available for Saturday.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Texas A&M doesn't have any wins that jump off the page yet, but just keeps taking care of business at 14-2 overall and looks capable of playing itself onto the bubble based on what we've seen through three SEC games. That will be enough here with the Tigers generally struggling badly on both sides of the ball, as their upset of Alabama last weekend looks like a total fluke at this point.
After getting absolutely run off the court by an Arkansas team that Texas A&M recently beat, Missouri now ranks 310th or worse in effective field goal percentage on both sides of the ball. Compare that to the well-rounded Aggies, who have played solid defense all-around at 51st in KenPom efficiency and have a 53.7 team effective field goal percentage to rank in the top 50 nationally on the other end.
Just to make matters worse, Missouri will give up too many extra possessions here as it ranks sub-300 in turnover rate, while Texas A&M forces takeaways on 25.5% of opposing possessions to rank 11th in college basketball. The Aggies have already proven they can handle bottom-tier SEC opponents, and that will continue here as Missouri doesn't look like it will get things turned around anytime soon.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Aggies have been on fire to start SEC play, leading the conference with a 61.1 effective field goal percentage while scoring 80 plus points against opponents like Georgia and Arkansas. This has been one of the hottest perimeter shooting teams in college basketball all season with three different rotation players at over 41% from three, a good sign against a Missouri defense is 317th in three-point field goal percentage against.
Missouri's only good news right now is Brown is looking like a star, shooting 58.7% from two and 77.3% from the free-throw line on a healthy volume of attempts, and his offensive rebounding ability will challenge an Aggies defense that is 292nd on the glass. Look for the Aggies to stay hot against a porous Missouri defense, and with the game operating at around an average pace the Tigers will contribute just enough to an over.