There’s revenge in the air as a pair of SEC West rivals meet up in week 4 of the college football season. The #17 Arkansas Razorbacks travel to the Lone Star State when they battle the #10 Texas A&M Aggies Saturday night. The kickoff from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is scheduled for 9 pm ET. National television coverage is provided for the contest by ESPN. The current odds show Texas A&M as a 5.5 point favorite with the over/under set at 49 points.
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M Vegas Betting Preview
After a pair of close wins, Arkansas finally had a laugher as they pulverized Texas State 42-3 at home last week. Texas A&M remained unbeaten by downing Auburn 29-16 on the road last week in their conference opener. This is the 73rd all-time meeting between the programs. Arkansas holds a 41-28-3 advantage but Texas A&M won the last four meetings. That includes the last two in overtime with last year’s 28-21 win coming right here in Arlington. Arkansas’s last win in the series was a 42-38 victory in 2011.
Free Pick and Betting Spread Prediction: Arkansas +5.5
Bret Bielema set the tone for this week when he was asked what Kevin Sumlin should do if the Aggies won in overtime for the third straight year. He said that Sumlin shouldn’t do anything because he might punch him in the face. The Razorbacks average 389 yards of offense and 34.7 points per game. They’ll be tested by a tough Texas A&M defense that is allowing 357.3 yards and 13.3 points a contest. One of the big matchups will be Arkansas left tackle Dan Skipper against Texas A&M stud Myles Garrett. Whoever wins that battle controls the line of scrimmage. That goes a long way to determining who wins.
Austin Allen (53 of 79, 655 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT) has to throw against an Aggies defense that is good against the pass. Opposing teams are completing 50.8 percent of throws for 226.3 yards per game. The Aggies have 11 sacks and four picks as well. Can the Razorbacks protect him well enough to make throws down the field?
Texas A&M has done a lot offensively with Oklahoma transfer Trevor Knight running the show. The Aggies average 530.7 yards and 42.3 points per game so far this season. Texas A&M is almost doing all that in spite of Knight: he’s only hit 52.9 percent of his throws for 830 yards with five touchdowns and two picks. Knight is mobile as evidenced by his 151 yards and three scores, so he can get it done with his legs. The run game averages 6.1 yards per carry and has eight scores. Trayveon Williams (28 carries, 236 yards, TD) and Keith Ford (32 carries, 155 yards, 3 TD) are a solid combination. Arkansas has stifled opposing run games so far. The Razorbacks allow 98.7 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry this year.
The Razorbacks have a solid pass rush, registering 10 sacks so far this year. Knight has gone down just three times as his mobility will be crucial to extending plays and avoiding negative ones. He needs to be more accurate to give guys like Christian Kirk, Ricky Seals-Jones and Josh Reynolds opportunities to make plays. Knight has yet to hit 60 percent of his throws in a game this season: he hit only 50 percent against Auburn last week.
This one is going to be interesting with so many major matchups for both sides. The individual battles are going to be telling. Right now, Allen is the better quarterback equipped to make plays in crunch time. Knight is the better scrambler but can he deliver a ball with pinpoint accuracy when you have to have it? I’m not convinced. Arkansas is playing solid football and owns a win over TCU on the road this season. Take the points and look for the Razorbacks to spring an upset. Make us your one stop when it comes to free college football picks on the net!
Arkansas is 6-1 ATS in their last seven conference games and 5-1 ATS in their last six after a straight up win. Texas A&M is 2-5 ATS in their last seven conference games and 1-5 ATS in their last six against teams with a winning record.
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