Clemson-Texas A&M Betting Guide: Tigers Defense Will Dictate Game

Clemson-Texas A&M Betting Guide: Tigers Defense Will Dictate Game article feature image

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Isaiah Simmons

Clemson-Texas A&M Betting Guide

  • Odds: Clemson -12
  • Over/Under: 54
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN

>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.

For two coaches so familiar with each other, there are still so many unknowns in this marquee nonconference clash.

Clemson is still a little mysterious on offense — quarterbacks Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence both played against Furman, but who will be called on in crunch time on Saturday?

We don’t know Texas A&M’s ceiling under Jimbo Fisher. Will the Aggies’ rise to national relevance begin on Saturday, or will the Clemson defense suck the life out of Kyle Field as soon as the game begins?

Let’s dive in.

Market Moves

By Danny Donohue

Clemson has moved from -11 to -12 — a minor jump considering the lack of games that are decided by 11 or 12 points. So if there’s any sharp action behind the move, it’s not much. With no market-wide steam moves to speak of (yet), it appears that oddsmakers have simply bumped up the line to account for the Clemson money they’ve received.

As for the total, well, it depends which opening number you’re using to tell exactly what’s going on. Only 35% of bets are on the over, but those account for 65% of dollars wagered. We may be looking at a potential sharp over move as more bets start to come in.

Weather Report

By Mark Gallant

Widespread rain and thunderstorms will be moving through the College Station area all day Saturday and Sunday, which could lead to a delay or possible postponement if there is lightning in the area.

Key Metrics

By Steve Petrella

  1. Clemson QB Bryant generated a “turnover-worthy play rate” of 10.5% against lowly Furman, the worst of any ACC QB in Week 1, per Pro Football Focus. He also had negative expected points added on his dropback passes, which shouldn’t happen on the No. 2 team in the country when it’s a 40-point favorite.
  2.  Texas A&M’s offensive line ranked 38th in sack rate but 107th in adjusted line yards last season, meaning it pass blocked better than it run blocked. Clemson’s defensive line, which returns everyone, was 19th in line yards and first in sack rate.

The Aggies relied heavily on the ground game against Northwestern State last week, rushing for 503 yards on 61 carries in the blowout win.

Trends to Know

By John Ewing

You’d think a top 5 team favored by double digits against a nonconference Power 5 team would be overrated, but you’d be wrong.

Teams in that spot such as Clemson have gone 36-13-1 (74%) ATS since 2005 in this situation, but in the last five seasons these teams are 9-9-1 ATS.

By Evan Abrams

The Aggies haven’t defeated a top-5 team at Kyle Field since 2002, defeating No. 1 Oklahoma. Since that game, A&M have come close, losing by one score three times and by two scores or fewer in all six losses.

The big question: How has A&M done as a home dog? Since 2005, all 14 SEC schools have been listed as a home underdog in at least four games, and the Aggies are the only school to not win a game as a home dog in that span: A&M is 0-8 SU and 2-6 ATS.

Bet to Watch

By Ken Barkley

We really have no idea what these teams are yet.

Sure, they both beat up on FCS opponents, and Texas A&M outperformed spread expectations slightly (while Clemson did not), but that still leaves a giant question mark.

One thing about early season big program vs. big program nonconference games is that they occur when we don’t know nearly enough about each team to make logical decisions. How did you feel about Oklahoma going into Columbus last year? Looking back, how would you have felt in December?

As these games continue, it’s better to embrace the unknown and recognize it as unknown rather than assume greatness where none has been proven.

Is Texas A&M really ready for this game? Week 2 of an entirely new coaching staff and a brand new offensive system, one that works much differently than that of the previous regime.

Is Lawrence really ready to see snaps in this game for Clemson? This isn’t Furman at home. If it’s Bryant, will he be plagued by the same inconsistency against elite athletes on defense like he was in big games last year?

So many questions, and based on what we DO know right now, my numbers are very, very close to the current market prices. I would pass there, but with A&M figuring to see a lot of Bryant in this game, and the run-happy Kellen Mond against Clemson’s defensive line on the other side, I think the under has a lot of value here at 54.5.

Even if Lawrence gets in eventually, will Clemson really let him turn it loose in this type of environment?

My guess is you see a game much closer to Clemson-Auburn last year early on, where the Tigers defensive line completely pummeled Jarrett Stidham and a workmanlike effort from the Clemson offensive line secured a hard-fought victory.