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Book it: This week’s free college football pick (A&M at Alabama)

Last week I had Pitt -3 over Louisville, and the Cardinals pushed it with a 23-20 loss.

Now, one word of advice whenever you see a 3-point line: See if you can buy a half point to get it to -2.5 for the favorite or +3.5 for the underdog. So many games are decided by 3, so it can be worth it to give up some vig on that half point to avoid waiting around all day, only to get a push.

This week, Texas A&M is +17.5 at Alabama, and I’m gonna take the Aggies to cover that number.

The last five games in this series have been decided by 19, 22, 8, 19 and 18 points, all won by Bama. And the Tide are going to win Saturday at home.

I just don’t think they win by more than 17 points, against an Aggies team that has recruited well and has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Kellen Mond isn’t a great QB, but he’s faced Alabama several times in his career, so he’ll be somewhat ready for that.

I don’t like picking against Alabama — ever. The Tide just have a way of trouncing everybody. But this won’t be the typical crazy atmosphere at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which will only allow about 20 percent capacity, so that should help A&M a bit.

Prediction: Texas A&M +17.5

Score: Alabama 30, Texas A&M 13

Season record: 1-0-1

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career.

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