Clemson at Texas A&M College Football Picks and Predictions 9/8/2018
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Get todays College Football Odds & Lines on this game
A tumultuous offseason gave way to a dominating start to the college football season for Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies. After a surprising job change – leaving Florida State for College Station – and accusations of NCAA violations, Fisher was off to a rocky start at A&M. But an overwhelming 59-7 opening week win versus Northwestern State helped assuage some of the anxiety and remind Aggies fans why Fisher was brought on in the first place.
But now A&M will step way, way up in class and Fisher will face his first major test. The Clemson Tigers, currently the No. 2 ranked team in college football, will come to town for A&M’s biggest nonconference game of the season.
Clemson will take on Texas A&M at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Kyle Field. The spread on this game has Clemson as a 13-point favorite, which is up from its May open of 11.0. The total is set at 52.5.
According to early figures, Clemson is taking 60 percent of the action on the spread and the total is being bet around 50-50.
Valuable Clemson Tigers Betting Trends
Tigers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
Tigers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. SEC.
Tigers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
Tigers are 7-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Important Texas A&M Aggies Betting Trends
Aggies are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games.
Aggies are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Aggies are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games in September.
Aggies are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 home games.
Aggies are 17-37-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Aggies are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. ACC.
Useful Offensive Statistics
Clemson’s offense has routinely been a juggernaut during the Dabo Swinney era. Last year the Tigers averaged 33.3 points per game and they had no problem hanging 48 points on Furman last weekend in the season opener. Clemson put up 31 points in the first half and then coasted in the second, which is part of the reason they didn’t cover the 50-point spread in their 48-7 victory.
The Tigers still have a bit of a quarterback controversy heading into College Station. Last year’s starter, senior Kelly Bryant, is the frontrunner for the long-term job. But freshman Trevor Lawrence looks like a phenom and is the future. Both quarterbacks played in the opener and both are expected to get snaps against A&M.
The Clemson defense is one of the best in the country. They allowed just 13.6 points per game last season and were in the Top 5 in both passing defense and total defense. The Tigers picked up where they left off last season, surrendering just 46 passing yards to Furman while holding the Paladins to a scant four yards per play. Clemson has four potential first round draft picks along the defensive line in Austin Bryant, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell. Overall the Tigers have eight starters back from last year’s overwhelming group.
Useful Offensive Statistics
Texas A&M rang up the most total yards in the country last week, posting an eye-popping 758 total yards against Northwestern State. The Aggies rushed for 503 yards last weekend – also No. 1 in the country – and that helped A&M post 59 points in the opener. Fisher used three quarterbacks in the opener after a protracted preseason battle between Kellen Mond and Nick Starkel. Mond received the lion’s share of the snaps and was the most effective, going 17-for-25 for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the air while adding a rushing touchdown.
The biggest question about the Aggies coming into the season was on defense. Last year they allowed 30.7 points per game (No. 87) and they were No. 70 or worse in rushing defense, passing defense and total defense. They looked solid against an overmatched Northwestern State team, surrendering just 251 yards. The Aggies front seven dominated and allowed just 21 total rushing yards on 13 rushes (1.6 yards per carry). It is early, but those 21 rush yards allowed were good enough for No. 4 in the nation last week.
Who will win tonight's Tigers/Aggies college football game against the spread?
Robert's Pick: Take the Aggies +13
This is a really tough call. Clemson is still sorting out its quarterback issues. And Texas A&M is no pushover team. They have talent and have recruited well over the last few seasons. The Tigers are going to take A&M’s best punch, as the Aggies will be amped up to host the No. 2 team in the nation. No, the Aggies aren’t going to run for 500 yards on the ground again this week. Clemson will bow its back and force the Aggies to beat them in the air. But the fact is that this is too many points for an ACC team to lay out to an SEC team that is going to play over its head in such a marquee game. Remember: Jimbo Fisher knows all about Clemson. He is used to scouting and facing the Tigers from his time at Florida State and he will have his guys ready.
Two years ago Clemson went to Auburn as a nine-point favorite and escaped with a six-point win. Last year the Tigers lost at Syracuse and escaped North Carolina State with a close road win. Texas A&M only lost to Alabama by eight points at home last year and lost by just 15 at home to Auburn. So Clemson has been overvalued on the road in recent seasons and A&M has played tough in College Station as an underdog. I think Clemson will win this game. But A&M should push them a bit and keep it respectable. Take the points.
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