Appalachian State played the most entertaining college football game we’ve seen in years. The Mountaineers put up 338 yards of offense and six touchdowns in the fourth quarter, yet lost 63-61 to North Carolina.
Texas A&M played a much less inspired football game, getting off to a slow start against Sam Houston State before ultimately shutting them out 31-0. Jimbo Fisher’s No. 1 overall recruiting class and new quarterback look fine.
However, I’m a little skeptical that Fisher’s Aggies can cover this big spread.
Let’s break it down. Read on for our Appalachian State Mountaineers vs Texas A&M Aggies odds, picks, and predictions.
Appalachian State Mountaineers vs Texas A&M Aggies
Surprisingly, this line opened at TAMU -16.5 and was immediately bet up to -19. I would think the public would jump to bet on App State after that electric game last week where the Mountaineers fell short.
The over has taken the sharp money, with the number creeping up to 54. I actually project this number closer to 50, so I’m seriously considering the under.
Appalachian State Mountaineers vs Texas A&M Aggies Prediction & Pick
The North Carolina defense is bad. But it’s clear the Mountaineers will have the best offense in the Sun Belt. Quarterback Chase Brice returned with two 1000-yard running backs and the best offensive line in the conference.
The only surprising thing about last week’s contest was how ineffective the Mountaineers were on Passing Downs. They failed to convert a single Passing Down in the second and third quarters, and finished at just 33% in the fourth, although they were throwing on every down.
But can the Mountaineers score on Fisher’s defense? The Aggies lost six starters alongside defensive coordinator Mike Elko, so there’s hope. TAMU shut down Sam Houston State, but it’s not worth putting much stock in that.
The Aggies’ offense looked very questionable against an FCS defense. I’m not sure why they aren’t starting Max Jhonson when Haynes King is very young and has made some very questionable throws.
King did finish with 364 yards at 10.8 adjusted yards per attempt, so things are not all bad. He’ll just have to cut back on the turnovers.
But overall, the Aggies finished Week 1 with three drives past the Sam Houston State 40 and a 38% Success Rate on offense. That’s a bad look.
I’m thinking we see some regression from the App State offense going up against an SEC defense. I’m not ready to trust the App State offense, either. UNC’s Drake Maye might be better than any quarterback in College Station.
All-in-all, I’m looking to bet the under. Anything better than 52.5 is a buy from me.
Appalachian State Mountaineers vs Texas A&M Aggies Key Matchups
Key Matchup No. 1: Haynes King vs Max Johnson
I don’t think the quarterback battle is wrapped up. Johnson was great at LSU last season, completing over 60% of his passes for 8.3 adjusted yards per attempt with 27 TDs and just six INTs.
King will have to cut back on the turnovers against talented linebacking and defensive back units. But, again, this is just a Sun Belt defense.
If King struggles, quickly look to see what Johnson does with his opportunities.