UCLA Bruins vs. Texas A&M Aggies Betting Preview
Where: Kyle Field, College Station
When: Saturday, September 3, 3:30 PM ET
Line: UCLA (+3) vs. Texas A&M (-3); total: 53.5 – view all NCAA Football odds and lines
TV Broadcast: CBS
Writer’s Pick: UCLA
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Betting on the UCLA Bruins (+4.5)
Rosen finished his true freshman season in 2015 with 3,670 passing yards and 23 touchdowns and while he threw 11 interceptions, he should be a much more polished passer following a season of experience under center.
Despite the departure of Paul Perkins, UCLA’s backfield has the opportunity to make serious dent on Texas A&M’s defense. Note that the Aggies had the second worst run defense in the SEC last season with 213.7 rushing yards allowed per contest. With Perkins gone, Soso Jamabo and Nate Starks should have increased roles in the run game. The duo had 723 rushing yards and nine rushing scores in 2015.
The real key for the Bruins against Texas A&M might be their secondary. Taking away the Aggies’ passing game and letting them rely more on their thin backfield is something UCLA’s secondary is ready to help happen. All secondary starters return for the Bruins, who topped the Pac-12 last season with just 203.2 passing yards allowed per game.
Betting on the Texas A&M Aggies (-4.5)
Count head coach Kevin Sumlin as among the college coaches on the hot seat this year. He can lower its temperature a bit, however, by guiding the Aggies to a win over big-time program UCLA in the opener.
The Aggies have a new quarterback in graduate transfer Trevor Knight to handle the passing attack. He arrives at College Station not lacking a talented set of receivers with wideouts Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds ready to exploit weak secondary units. The problem, however, is that UCLA’s cornerbacks are anything but bums so there’ll be pressure on Knight to be more accurate and on the offensive line to be stiffer.
In three seasons in an Oklahoma Sooners uniform, Knight collected 3,424 passing yards and 25 passing TDs to go with 19 interceptions. He also rushed for 853 yards and eight scores.
As for their defense, the Aggies have shown last season that they could take care of opposing passing attacks, limiting foes to only 166.3 passing yards per game—second fewest in the SEC. Texas A&M’s best player is on defense in defensive end Myles Garrett, who could easily had been a first rounder in the recent NFL Draft. Garrett has the speed and strength to put constant pressure on Rosen.
Texas A&M is 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games as the favorite.
UCLA wins and covers.
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