USA TODAY Sports

NCAAF line watch: Wait to fade Manziel and Texas A&M

Each week during the college football season, Covers Expert Steve Merril looks at the NCAAF odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+15.5) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish


The spread sits on a dead number, but we’d expect this line to go down closer to the key number of 14 before it would go up to the key number of 17.
 
Notre Dame is going from playing in the National Championship game against Alabama last season to playing a 6-6 SU Rutgers team in the Pinstripe Bowl on December 28th.
 
Not only that, but this game will also be played in the Bronx giving Rutgers the proximity edge as well.
 
This game will be the proverbial “square vs. sharp” play where the public bettors will lay the points while the professional bettors will take the points. Take the big points now before big money knocks this line down.

Spread to wait on

Duke Blue Devils (+12) vs Texas A&M Aggies


The Aggies beat Oklahoma 41-13 in the Cotton Bowl last season.
 
“Johnny Football” was the talk of college football and big things were expected this season. But after a mediocre 8-4 season, Texas A&M finds themselves in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve night against a Duke team that just lost 45-7 in the ACC Championship game.

Everybody saw Duke play a non-competitive game, and with Texas A&M a known commodity with a high-scoring offense, bettors will lay the points in this game.
 
The Aggies’ defense has been atrocious all season. They give up 31.2 points and 466.7 yards of offense per game. They allow 6.0 yards per play, 5.3 yards per rush, and 7.2 yards per pass attempt. Those are some terrible defensive numbers for a double digit favorite.

Early money has already come in on Texas A&M as this game opened at 11.5 with sportsbooks now dealing 12 and even 12.5 at some shops. Duke will be super motivated for this game - their second consecutive bowl appearance after an 18-year drought. The public will back Texas A&M in this game, so if you like Duke it’s probably best to wait for a better number closer to kickoff.

Total to watch

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Arizona State Sun Devils


The Holiday Bowl has a history of high-scoring games with down to the wire finishes.
 
These two teams have potent passing offenses and defenses that leave a lot to be desired. Texas Tech averages 56.9 pass attempts per game (No. 2 in the country) while Arizona State throws the ball 35.8 times per game, good for No.30 in the country.
 
Neither team is good at defending the pass. Texas Tech’s defensive numbers are skewed by early season results against very bad teams. The Red Raiders have given up 48.6 points per game over their last five games. The Sun Devils allow 7.3 yards per pass attempt, a major reason they’ve allowed 92 total points in their last three games.

The first posted total for this game by an offshore sportsbook was 72 total points and it appeared on Monday night. I expect this line to rise higher once more sportsbooks begin releasing an Over/Under line on what should be a high-scoring game.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

            share   SHARE   rss   RSS FEED   email   EMAIL   print   PRINT
Hide All Responses
avatar

Posted by SURFNTURF808
7 months ago

Duke is the play! wait till kickoff and grab a couple extra points. Duke shocks the Aggies, or at least covers. Hard to look good against the top rated team in the nation. They should be very competitive in this one. duke + points
avatar

Posted by Treasman870
7 months ago

It's believable that Duke could keep this game inside 12 points. They are all grown men on the field, and the fact that this is a "scrimmage" for TAM, but a "Super Bowl" equivilant for Duke lends more credibility...
avatar

Posted by fan1ranger
7 months ago

Trust me people,Duke are a better team then people may think. They can put plenty of points on the board,and with A&M having no interest of playing in this Bowl game in addition to their poor defense,expect Duke to win this game outright.
avatar

Posted by heatthreepeat
7 months ago

It would be better if Rutgers played Duke in the Toilet Bowl! Both are crap!
avatar

Posted by heatthreepeat
7 months ago

If Duke was in the SEC they'd be where the Florida Gators are..........in the dumpster! Duke couldn't beat NIU, Rice, Marshall or even Fresno State! this will be a romp for the Aggies,IMO!
avatar

Posted by bwbucs99
7 months ago

Sorry shark_apreza but the Aggie defense gave up 31 and 28 points to Rice and Sam Houston St. not just "good" SEC offenses. 33 points to 3-9 Arkansas comes to mind. I'd call that more that porous. "The Aggies’ defense has been atrocious all season" is dead on.
avatar

Posted by SportsPredictor
7 months ago

"Johnny Football" not the same as last season! My New Years Eve "Play of The Year" will be DUKE...big time! GLTA!
avatar

Posted by shark_apreza
7 months ago

this so called experts doesnt know a thing, its true TAM deffense is porous, but lets be honest and the SEC offenses are good, DUKE comes from a weak Division of a weak conf
avatar

Posted by sports_Network
7 months ago

The ACC is far from a 'weak' conference, take 4 teams from the top of the SEC and tell me, what do you have left other than perenial losers..
avatar

Posted by unique11
7 months ago

When we get closer to the 1st bowl game- dec. 21- the line and totals will not differ if at all unless, of course, their are injuries, suspensions, coaching change(s) etc. so from previous past years, the lines and totals will not change if at all prior to the first college bowl game this year. So, your best bet is to do this now rather than wait for the best spread and totals.
         1      
You are currently not logged in.
Login | Signup | Help
You must be logged in to post a comment.

Top Response

Posted by sports_Network
7 months ago

"The ACC is far from a 'weak' conference, take 4 teams from the top of the SEC and tell me, what do you have left other than perenial losers.."