The No. 2 ranked Clemson Tigers will get their first legit test of the 2018 season when they visit College Station on Saturday to take on the Texas A&M Aggies. Kickoff is set for 7:00 EST at Kyle Field and will be televised on ESPN.
Oddsmakers currently have the Tigers listed as a 12.5-point road favorite with the total set at 54 points. Click here for a look at our Week 2 betting schedule, which includes game odds and links to our previews.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Predictions: Texas A&M vs Clemson
The Tigers had little problem securing a win at home against Furman. Clemson led 41-0 at the end of 3 quarters and would go on to win 48-7. While it was an impressive showing by the Tigers, they did fail to cover the massive 51-point spread set for that game.
We also got no real answers to the quarterback controversy. Senior Kelly Bryant and highly touted true freshmen Trevor Lawrence basically split the first-team reps. It will be interesting to see how head coach Dabo Swinney continues to split the reps, but for now, expect both to play.
The Aggies also cruised to an easy win against an inferior opponent in Week 1. Texas A&M destroyed Northwestern State 59-7, cashing in a winning ticket for those that backed the Aggies as 46-point favorites. Texas A&M built a 35-0 lead at the half and were up 52-0 at the end of 3 quarters.
It was exactly what fans were hoping to see in the first game under new head coach Jimbo Fisher, who surprised a lot of people when he left Florida State. The Aggies had a quarterback battle of their own between sophomores Kellen Mond and Nick Starkel. Mond won the job and played the entire 1st half, so expect him to be on the field for the majority of this one.
College Football Betting Odds & Free Pick: Clemson -12.5
This probably one I’m going to stay clear of, but if I was forced to play it I would have to side with Clemson. I just don’t think we know enough about Texas A&M right now. This is a team that underachieved under Kevin Sumlin, but there’s no shortage of talent. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jimbo Fisher had them playing better than people expected, but we really won’t know where this team stands until after this game.
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The biggest thing for me is that while the Aggies have a lot of talent and a legit head coach, they are simply not on the same level as this Clemson team. The Tigers have 15 starters coming back, several of which turned down the NFL, and I expect them to come out looking to make a statement in this one.
Note that it’s been a wise move to back Clemson in this spot. The Tigers are 10-2 ATS under Swinney when listed as a road favorite of 7.5 to 14 points. Clemson also owns an impressive 22-12 ATS record in the month of September under Swinney.
The biggest factor in this game for me is the Tigers’ defensive line, which might end up having 4 guys drafted in the first round of next year’s NFL draft. It’s going to be extremely difficult for the Aggies to get anything going on the ground and I just don’t trust Kellen Mond to be able to shoulder the load in the passing game.
On the flip side of this, I think this could be the game where Lawrence really separates himself in the Tigers’ quarterback race. He’s without a doubt the better passer of the two and while he doesn’t provide the dual-threat that Bryant does, I think the offense is better when he’s on the field.
Not to take anything away from Texas A&M’s defense, which I think will be greatly improved in 2018, I just don’t think they can get enough stops to keep this game within two touchdowns. Give me the Tigers -12.5.