Texas A&M To Tightly Edge Out UCLA In College Football Season Opener

Texas A&M

Doug Upstone

Thursday, August 25, 2016 7:46 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 7:46 PM UTC

UCLA and Texas A&M collide in a very meaningful confrontation and while it will not determine what kind of season they will have, those betting NCAAF will be watching to see how loser reacts.

UCLA Bruins vs Texas A&M Aggies
Both come into the year off what would be described as disappointing campaigns at 8-5 and each has higher aspirations for 2016. Each head coach has their detractors and it is impossible to say those are incorrect because they have not met market expectations. Unless this is a fantastic football game and ends up having a one-point outcome, the losing head coach will have to explain what went wrong and the wolves will be at the front door immediately.

In looking to make college football picks, here are the necessary factors on both clubs.


Can UCLA Overcome Themselves?
Josh Rosen of social media fame, will try to bring people back around to football. He's hands down the best quarterback in the Pac-12 as just a sophomore, but will be behind an inexperienced offensive line that will need to come together. Other than Darren Andrews, the rest of pass catchers have not caught many balls in games, but it is UCLA and almost always somebody steps up.

After being crushed by defensive injuries, coach Jim Mora likes this group, lead by a secondary, if healthy, is Top 5 in the country. The return of DE Eddie Vanderdoes adds size to the defensive line that was pushed around last season, which was caused by injury and smallish guys. Senior linebackers Deon Hollis and Jayon Brown are talented and freshman Mique Juarez is drawing Myles Jack comparisons at the same age.

The Bruins are favored to win the Pac-12 South but have seldom produced when wearing expectations. UCLA is the better overall squad and is 7-0 ATS recently against the SEC, but a lot of wonderment if they will step on this stage.


Texas A&M Has to Set Fast Tempo
No two about it, after 5-0 start, the wheels did not just come off, Texas A&M was like a car fire and melted away. The lack of quarterback play and how coaching staff handled it, left many wondering about Kevin Sumlin as an offensive guru and his real ability to coach this program.

He got lucky to bring in transfer Trevor Knight from Oklahoma, which solved a very pressing need. With Knight a true dual threat, that should only make receivers Christian Kirk and Ricky Seal-Jones that much more effective.

A new offensive line coach was brought in, designed to add toughness and get the contingent to be better drive blockers in the run game.

The best player on the field will be DE Myles Garrett and if the Aggies' defense forces 3rd and long's, Rosen will be acquainted with the junior often. Defensive coordinator John Chavis has LB Otaro Alaka returning after missing all of last season and safeties Justin Evans and Armani Watts are as good as any tandem in the SEC.

Like UCLA, questions surround this squad who could be 9-3 or 5-7. Answers begin to arrive Saturday afternoon on CBS.


Odds and Outcome
The college football odds at SportBetting have Texas A&M as three-point home favorites with the total of 56. UCLA has the better team and stronger defense, yet anyone betting football would hardly consider them reliable and they are 5-4 ATS as road underdogs recently.

Unfortunately, the same case could be made about the Aggies under Sumlin and they are 9-14 ATS as Kyle Field favorites. Let's lean with Texas A&M, wait to see if we find a something under -3 on the Aggies and strongly think about a UNDER with two defenses who should be disruptive.


Free College Football Picks: Texas A&M Covers and Play Under
Best Lines Offered: at Heritage

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