Orange Bowl: Texas A&M Vs North Carolina Betting Odds, Picks & Lines
After narrowly missing the cut for the College Football betting Playoffs, Texas A&M (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS) will try to still finish this campaign on a high when they face North Carolina (8-3 SU, 5-6 ATS) in the Orange Bowl on Saturday. The game at the Hard Rock Stadium will be the last one in the New Year’s Six bowl lineup and could easily end up being the most exciting. Both teams are entering the matchup in a good form after impressively closing the regular season.
Orange Bowl: Texas A&M Vs North Carolina Betting Line Movement
When the matchup was announced, college footballl betting bookmakers favored Texas A&M’s by -5.5 points. Between then and now, news from the North Carolina camp about some of the key players opting out shifted the line further in the Aggies’ favor, and the spread is now at -7.5. The total also saw a significant change, opening at 69 and dropping to 65.5, where it stands at the moment.
Notes On Texas A&M
The question remains if the Aggies ever had a realistic chance of entering the playoffs, but they certainly feel that’s the case. Jimbo Fisher will surely lean into this as he motivates the players for Saturday, although history teaches us that the teams ranking No5 and narrowly missing the playoffs often underperform in the subsequent bowl games as they see them as nothing more than consolation prizes. Fisher is in his third season with the Aggies and the program has seen a steady improvement during his tenure. This season, they lost only once, to No1 ranked Alabama, but won 7 straight games since then including a 41-38 victory over then-No 4 Florida that started the streak.
Texas A&M won most of their games this season by controlling the tempo, dominating the clock, and grinding out the drives. They are a rather experienced and well-balanced team led by reliable fourth-year QB Kellen Mond who may not be as flashy as some other SEC QBs but gets the job done. This season, he threw for 2.050 yards and 19 TDs with only 3 interceptions. Isiah Spiller spearheaded the running attack with 986 yards, but there’s also plenty of RB depth behind him. On the other side of the ball, Aggies feature the defense that led the SEC in total yards allowed and ranked third in the nation against the run.
Notes On The North Carolina
It’s been two seasons since head coach Mack Brown returned to North Carolina, and his team is obviously heading in the right direction. This season they lost only 3 times improving on the 7-6 record from last year. They finished the year destroying the Miami Hurricanes with monster performances from their two top running backs Michael Carter and Javonte Williams who combined for 554 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. However, on Saturday the Tar Heels will be without both of them as they decided to opt out and prepare for the draft. The bad news for Mack Brown doesn’t end here, star WR Dyami Brown and leading tackler LB Chaz Surratt also decided to sit out the final game of the season.
This news means that, on Saturday, UNC will feature no running back with more than 12 carries for this season and we can expect them to focus on the passing game. No Dyami Brown in the lineup will put the spotlight on the second leading receiver Dazz Newsome who should be the top target for QB Sam Howell. The talented sophomore quarterback, who many see as the first pick in the 2022 draft, will have a chance to prove his credentials on the biggest stage. Howell is having an impressive season and has already thrown for 27 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions.
Orange Bowl:Betting Pick: Texas A&M -7.5
While North Carolina should be able to play a competitive College Football betting game on Saturday, the absence of several key players will eventually prove to be too much to overcome against the experienced and well-coached Aggies.