No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Saturday, September 24th,, 9:00PM (EST)
Where: AT&T Stadium Dallas, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ARK +6/A&M -6
Over/Under Total: TBA
The Southwest Classic will renew its rivalry this Saturday when the no. 10 Texas A&M Aggies meet the no. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks inside AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Both the Aggies and the Razorbacks have had great starts to the season. Texas A&M opened the season with an upset over no. 16 UCLA and scored another solid victory last week with a 29-16 win over Auburn. Meanwhile, Arkansas is currently 3-0 on the season with a respectable victory over no. 15 TCU just two weeks ago. With both Ole Miss and LSU fading, the winner of this Saturday’s meeting could emerge as the biggest contender to Alabama in the SEC.
I personally thought Texas A&M’s victory on the road over Auburn last week was just as impressive if not more impressive than their opener against UCLA. The Aggies went into Jordan-Hare Stadium against a desperate Auburn team and played great football. Quarterback Trevor Knight still struggled at times but he did not commit any turnovers. He ended the night by completing 20 of 40 passing for 247 yards and a touchdown. Freshman running back Trayveon Williams gave the offense a big boost with an 89 yard touchdown run that was kind of the back breaker in the 4th quarter. More importantly the Aggies defense did a great job of minimizing Auburn’s big play and scoring opportunities.
Just like their counterpart this weekend, Texas A&M is playing very well on both sides of the football and just like Arkansas they are not making many mistakes. The Razorbacks have also shown a lot of promising signs on offense. Quarterback Austin Allen has completed 67% passing for 655 yards with 7 scores and 2 picks through the first 3 games. Running back Rawleigh Williams III has been solid averaging 5 yards per carry. Additionally, they have got solid work from their senior wide outs in Keon Hatcher and Drew Morgan. Since a rather sluggish performance in the opener, the offense has compiled over 400 total yards in each of the last two outings and I expect them to continue to get better.
So what does all that mean for this week’s game between Texas A&M and Arkansas? Well I am expecting a lot of offense. No disrespect to either defense because they have played well at times but I expect this to be an offensive battle. Can Trevor Knight make the throws down the field? Can Arkansas run the ball effectively throughout the game? I think those are the keys to both offenses this Saturday.
The Aggies have had the upper hand in this rivalry with 4 straight victories over the Razorbacks and they are 6 point favorites to make that 5 in a row. However, Arkansas has been the trendy team going back to last season as they have now won 9 of their last 10 games. From a betting standpoint, it would be hard to go against the Razorbacks. They have covered the spread in 6 of their last 8 games against SEC foes and they are a perfect 5-0 in their last 5 games as an underdog. I know this is technically a neutral site contest but you could also throw in the fact that they are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games.
I am not one to typically get caught up in trends but that is pretty impressive work by Arkansas especially when the odds are against them. If they can find a way to beat Texas A&M this week, they are going to really get some national attention. From what I have been able to see, Arkansas’s defense is bit more solid than the Aggies. However, Texas A&M does a great job of spreading the ball around and Coach Sumlin does a good job of coming up with ways to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. Therefore, this should be an intriguing battle that will produce an SEC West dark horse when it concludes.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this is one of the tougher games to predict this weekend. I like the Aggies -6 as I think they are the better team but Arkansas gives everyone problems. If I had to make a pick, it would be Texas A&M -6 but only a small play.
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