Texas A&M and Arkansas, two unbeaten teams from the SEC West division, will face off in a crucial early-season battle.
The game will take place in Arkansas and is scheduled for a 3:30 PM ET kickoff and will be televised on ESPN.
Backup quarterback Zach Calzada will remain at the helm for the Aggies after the injury to Haynes King.
This rivalry dates back to 1903, and this year’s matchup is back in Jerry’s World (AT&T Stadium). Jerry Jones was captain of the Arkansas football team all the way back in the 1960s.
While Zach Calzada has been fairly decent thus far as a replacement for Haynes King, the main reason for the Aggies’ success has been their defense.
The Aggies are winning with a dirty defense that has allowed just 17 points per game under head coach Jimbo Fisher. Preseason All-American DeMarvin Leal has been the anchor with 2.5 sacks.
That very defense will have their hands full with an Arkansas rushing attack that has been a big surprise thus far. The Aggies have allowed 4.1 yards per carry so far this season, so they will need to hunker down and stay strong on Saturday.
While their defense has led the way, Calzada has been efficient enough for this offense to move the football. While his completion percentage is only slightly above 50%, he did improve mightily last game with over 250 yards passing and three touchdowns against New Mexico St.
Arkansas (3-0) has been one of the early-season surprises, and the Razorbacks have a chance to sweep games against Texas, and Texas A&M. Head coach Sam Pittman has crafted an exciting offense led by their ground attack that scores 41 points per game, and quarterback KJ Jefferson leads that rushing game.
Five rushers on the team have over 100 rushing yards, and the lead back Trelon Smith is averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Defensively, they will need to cover the seams against A&M, as they are a team that will try to beat you up in the middle of your defense.
While this game will be a close one, it is important to not a few betting trends:
- Texas A&M has won the last nine matchups between these two teams since joining the SEC
- Arkansas is 3-0 ATS and 8-3 ATS as underdogs in the last two seasons
- Aggies are 19-10 ATS as favorites while under Jimbo Fisher
Both of these teams have been strong out the gate in their first three games of the season, so I would not be surprised to see the teams deadlocked at the half, or possibly one team up by a score.
The Aggies are favored in this matchup as 5.5-point favorites, but I think that is too generous given the control Arkansas can have on this game if their rushing attack finds success.
Because of that, I’m willing to take Arkansas +5.5 in anticipation of Texas A&M coming away with the win but by most likely a field goal.
Betting Pick: Arkansas +5.5
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