One game that I’m sure most of you will be watching in some capacity this Saturday is the showdown between the No. 1 ranked Clemson Tigers and the No. 12 ranked Texas A&M Aggies. Kickoff is set for 3:30 EST at Memorial Stadium and will be televised nationally on ABC.
Depending on where you shop you can get 17 or 17.5 on the spread, which is down a bit from the opening line of Clemson -18.5. The total opened at 61 and has been bet up to 64.5 at most books.
Click on the link for a full look at the Week 1 NCAAF lines and for more links to our game previews.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Predictions: Texas A&M vs Clemson
Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies didn’t let their massive Week 2 rematch with the Tigers keep them from taking care of business in Week 1. Texas A&M rolled over Texas State 41-7. It was a bit of an unfortunate non-conver for those that backed the Aggies. Texas A&M led 41-0 before giving up a 27-yard TD pass with a mere 36-seconds left in regulation. The game stayed under the total of 56.5
The Aggies probably could have won by more had they not called off the dogs in the 2nd half. Either way it was a strong first game for junior quarterback Kellen Mond, who threw for 194 yards and 3 scores, while also rushing for 25 yards and a score. While Mond got the passing game rolling, Jashaun Corbin and true freshman Isaiah Spiller each had over 100 yards rushing.
While it’s an impressive win, it’s also one you can’t get too excited about. Texas State is one of the bottom feeders in the Sun Belt (have gone 3-9 or worse in each of the last 4 seasons).
Clemson had to open up the 2019 season against a conference foe, as they hosted Georgia Tech on Thursday. The Tigers were not threatened by the Yellow Jackets, as they cruised to a 52-14 win and cover as a massive 36.5-point favorite. The game also went OVER the posted total of 60.
Maybe the most shocking thing is Clemson put up 52 points and more than 630 yards of total offense with a less than stellar showing from sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He was just 13 of 23 for 168 yards. He did throw for a touchdown and rush for another, but he also had two interceptions.
The star of the game was junior running back Travis Etienne, as he needed just 12 carries to rack up 205 yards and 3 scores on the ground. Clemson as a team rushed for 411 yards.
As for the defense that lost all those NFL Draft picks on the D-line, they held Georgia Tech to just 294 yards and 13 first downs, while forcing the Yellow Jackets into 4 turnovers.
The only meeting in the last 15 years between these two programs came last year in College Station, where No. 2 Clemson narrowly escaped with 28-26 win over then unranked Texas A&M. The Aggies were a failed 2-point conversion away from making it 28-28 with less than 1 minute to play in regulation. It’s worth noting the Aggies, despite losing, had a 501 to 413 edge in total yards and 25-14 advantage in first downs.
College Football Betting Odds & Free Pick: OVER 56.5
I strongly considered taking Texas A&M, as it definitely feels like too many points. However, the public is all over the Aggies and I do my best to stay away from public dogs, especially in big games. If I was going to play this game, I would look to back the OVER at 64.5.
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I just think we are going to see both teams move the football and a lot of that has to do with the talent each team has at the quarterback position, as well as the talent both of these teams lost on the defensive side of the ball.
Every one talks about the defensive linemen that Clemson lost last year, but they only brought back 4 starters on that side of the ball. I also wouldn’t read to much into their strong performance in Week 1. Georgia Tech is a complete mess offensively, as they are trying to transition into a more pro-style attack with a bunch of kids who were recruited to play in the option.
You also have to factor in the great offensive mind of Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher. I’m pretty confident with his ability to have that Aggies offense ready to roll on Saturday.
As for the Clemson offense, for them to put up 52 points with Lawrence not having a great game, speaks volumes to the talent they have on that side of the ball. More times than not, when a great player has a bad game, they make up for it the next time out. I look for Lawrence to have a big day against the Aggies defense, which also lost 7 starters from last year.
Much like Clemson had an easy matchup for their defense in Week 1, so did Texas A&M. Their opponent, Texas State, averaged 19.8 ppg and 330 ypg last year. It was the third straight season the Bobcats averaged fewer than 20.0 ppg and 350 ypg. Give me the OVER 64.5.