This one's going to be good. On a "neutral field" in Houston, the Aggies and Sun Devils will do battle in both team's season opener. What kind of college football odds are on offer?
This is expected to be one of the most competitive games of the weekend, and the NCAA football odds back that up. As of now, we see the Aggies favored by just a field goal, with some sportsbooks offering a number of three and a half.
We should be seeing quite a few points put on the board here too, which explains the high total of 70 points. These two offenses are filled with playmakers, so a shootout in the regular season opener for both teams isn't out of the question. Arizona State averaged 36.2 points per game last season (#17 in the country), while Texas A&M wasn't all that far behind at 32.1 PPG (#36).
Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils enjoyed another terrific season in 2014, compiling a 9-3 regular season record and then outlasting Duke in the Sun Bowl to finish 10-3. They notched wins over ranked opponents USC, Stanford, Utah and Notre Dame, while falling to UCLA, Oregon State and rival Arizona in the regular season finale.
Taylor Kelly finished with a 22:5 TD:INT ratio and led the offense well before getting injured last season, but now it's Mike Bercovici's turn to step in and take over. He was very successful when given the chance in 2014, completing 61.8 percent of his passes while throwing three times as many touchdowns (12) as interceptions (four). Now a senior, Bercovici is the unquestioned starter and will be surrounded by a ton of talent.
This offense is really going to revolve around running back D.J. Foster, however. Foster did it all last season, running for 1081 yards and eight touchdowns and catching 62 passes for 688 yards and three more scores. He's going to have another huge year for Arizona State, and it's likely going to start against the Aggies.
Texas A&M Aggies
An 8-5 record (3-5 in the SEC) just wasn't going to cut it last season, not in that murderous row of a conference that the Aggies are part of. They definitely had some good moments, beating the likes of Arkansas, Auburn (on the road) and West Virginia, but they also disappointed quite a bit, most notably against Alabama in an embarrassing 59-0 defeat.
QBs Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen both got significant playing time this season, but it'll be Allen that starts 2015 as the starter over freshman Kyler Murray, who's one of the better quarterback prospects out there. If Allen falters, it wouldn't be that surprising to see Murray get a chance.
Defensively, the Aggies will be led by Myles Garrett, who had 11.5 sacks last season, setting an SEC record. He's got tons of ability, but he and his Texas A&M teammates are going to have their hands full with the explosive Sun Devils.
NCAA Football Pick
This is one of the more interesting college football betting lines out there for opening week. The Sun Devils are the ranked team in this matchup, but it looks like oddsmakers are still thinking the home-field advantage (with A&M being so close to Houston) is going to sway things in their favor.
We're not buying it though. This Arizona State team is looking really strong heading into the season, and we love the thought of getting to back them as underdogs. These Sun Devils are confident and have a lot of their best offensive talent returning, and they're also led by an experienced quarterback who knows the system inside and out.
As for the Aggies, we'd like to see how they hold up early on before trusting them with our college football picks. So, this coming Saturday, we'll add Arizona State at +3 and back the dogs.
College Football Pick: Arizona State Sun Devils +3