After dropping to eight wins in 2014 because of their Swiss cheese-like defense, the Texas A&M Aggies dedicated their offseason toward shoring up their defense in an effort to get back to being the legitimate national title contender they were in each of the previous two seasons for relief of their College Football betting fans. Conversely, the Arizona State Sun Devils are looking to take the net step in their evolution after reaching the coveted double-digit win mark under head coach Todd Graham in each of the last two seasons. Can the ‘hold it down’ at home and beat a Sun Devils team that has big plans this season or will the Aggies’ defense go belly up again, starting in this opener? Let’s find out!
— ESPN SEC (@ESPN_SEC) September 4, 2015
How To Bet the Sun Devils @ Aggies NCAA Football Odds & Game Info
When: Saturday, September 5, 7:00 PM ET
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
NCAAF Odds: Texas A&M -3
Why Bet on the Arizona State Sun Devils (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS, 7-6 O/U)
Arizona State (10-3 SU, 6-7 ATS, 7-6O/U) won 10 games in 2014 and will look to take the next step toward a berth in the four-team playoff after finishing in the top 25 in each of the last two seasons under head coach Todd Graham. The Sun Devils are led by quarterback Mike Bercovici and he’s looking to have a breakout final season after completing 61.8 percent of his passes and throwing for 1,445 yards in three starts last season. While the strong-armed Bercovici is clearly talented, Arizona State will lean on its rushing attack which features a trio of gifted backs in Demario Richard, Kalen Ballage and Gump Hayes.
Defensively, Arizona State lost a couple of key players in defensive lineman Marcus Hardison and safety Damarious Randall, but have talent to replace the pair, even if it takes some time to develop. The Sun Devils are extremely solid at linebacker and in the secondary with five quality linebackers and returns three starters in the secondary. The Sun Devils do have question marks at wide receiver and offensive tackle, but they should challenge in the competitive Pac-12 in 2015, even if they’re not the favorite.
Why Bet on the Texas A&M Aggies (8-5 SU, 5-8 ATS, 6-7 O/U)
Texas A&M (8-5 SU, 5-8 ATS, 6-7 O/U) has used an exciting, high-powered offense to become a perennial gridiron powerhouse the last few seasons. However, if head coach Kevin Sumlin learned anything from the 2014 season, it’s that the Aggies also need to play some defense. John Chavis was hired away from LSU to become the Aggies’ new defensive coordinator after Texas A&M ranked 102nd in points allowed and gave up a whopping 36.6 points per game in SEC contests last season.
The Aggies do have an elite pass rusher in defensive end Myles Garrett (11.5 sacks) and two other standout defensive linemen in junior end Daeshon Hall and senior tackle Alonzo Williams. Offensively, the Aggies will be led by talented signal-caller Kyle Allen but will need more production out of running backs Tra Carson and Brandon Williams. Allen was the top-rated quarterback in the country coming out of high school and has a ceiling as high as any young signal-caller in the country. “Kyle Allen is the guy right now. I usually go two weeks before the first game before announcing the guy,” Sumlin said. “You can’t end the season as the MVP of the bowl game and not start off No. 1.”
My Expert Game Analysis and Betting Pick:
For this Week 1 showdown, I’m going to urge you to back Texas A&M seeing as how the Aggies have gone 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in September and have seemingly addressed their defensive issues this past offseason. Arizona State has gone 2-5 ATS in their last seven non-conference games and a discouraging 1-6 ATS in their last seven neutral site games.
I like a ‘desperate’ Texas A&M team to get the home win and narrow ATS cover over a very good Arizona State team.
The Pick: Texas A&M 31 Arizona State 27