College Football Odds & Picks for Kent State vs. Texas A&M: Flashes Have Value Against Aggies (Sept. 4)
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Spiller.
- The Texas A&M Aggies begin their 2021 season against the Kent State Golden Flashes.
- The Aggies were just an Alabama win away from a conference championship game and potential Playoff berth last season.
- Check out Terrell Furman's full betting guide with odds, picks and predictions for the game.
College Football Week 1 Odds
Kent State vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher begin their quest to reach the College Football Playoff. Their first game against Kent State should be easy, but will the Aggies cover the spread?
When Sean Lewis became head coach of the Golden Flashes, he committed to installing a great offense.
Even in a shortened season last year, they scored an impressive 49.8 points per game. The defense has not always been able to keep up because of the pace of the offense, but will that be the case this season?
Lewis’ offense had no greater impact on anyone than Dustin Crum. Crum has progressed every year and put up some of the best quarterback numbers in Kent State history. Last year in four games he threw for 1,181 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He will have a few new weapons with two Syracuse transfers (WR Nykeim Johnson and TE Aaron Hackett) coming in. Unfortunately with Isaiah McKoy off to the NFL and Isaac Vance down with a torn ACL, he is going to have to look to them often. He still has Ja’Shaun Poke who was the team’s second leading receiver with 326 yards and will work the majority of time in the slot.
This offense has proven that Lewis’ scheme is the heart of how the team moves the football. With an entire offseason, Crum should be able to get his new targets on board and moving the ball.
Lewis returns his most experienced defense yet. He brings back eight starters and is primed to have a big year. With the small sample size, it is hard to evaluate the Kent State front’s effectiveness.
Jaret Patterson drastically skewed the stats of this defense during his historical performance. However, on tape this unit was very good last season. It brings back two of its top lineman, one being defensive end Zayin West who had 23 tackles and two sacks in the four-game season.
The secondary did not get as many looks, as most teams just ran the ball down Kent State’s throat. The Golden Flashes had a lot of movement in the secondary, bringing in three transfers. If targeted, this secondary could be a major weak point.
Texas A&M was an Alabama away from the SEC championship and a College Football Playoff berth in 2020. Since Jimbo Fisher arrived, this team has carried national-championship hopes. A championship hasn’t materialized yet, but will this finally be the year?
This offense is going through a transition. Kellen Mond is no longer there, and for the first time in a while the Aggies will have to look elsewhere at quarterback.
Haynes King emerged as the starting quarterback over Zach Calzada. King is a freak of an athlete with great speed. Even more importantly, he has proven to coach Fisher that he is accurate and smart with the football. King’s ability to move the ball through the air will significantly take the pressure off running back Isaiah Spiller.
Spiller has been the best thing on offense for the Aggies for over two seasons. Last year, he topped 100 rushing yards six times and 5.5 yards per carry. However, that was behind one of the most veteran offensive lines in football. This year only one starter returns, and they bring in Tennessee transfer Jamir Johnson.
There is still talent around this Texas A&M team, but the run game is where it thrives. The offensive line is going to have to be decent enough where Spiller can work.
Texas A&M has proven itself to be one of the best units in all of college football. The Aggies just continue to reload as they are returning nine starters from a year ago.
The argument could be made that this is the best defensive line in the country. Just when you think you have a running lane, they swoop in and make a play. They allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game last year in the SEC.
This secondary was missing quite a few with three COVID opt-outs in 2020. Now, it has seven defensive backs that have started a game to work with, including safety Leon O’Neal. O’Neal is a ballhawk who plays all over the field and finished 2020 with two interceptions.
The continuity is not just in the starters across this defense, but the bench as well. They have amazing depth and show no indication of slowing down defensively.
Kent State vs. Texas A&M Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Kent State and Texas A&M match up statistically:
Kent State Offense vs. Texas A&M Defense
Texas A&M Offense vs. Kent State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Texas A&M is not ranked sixth in the nation for nothing. It has one of the best defenses in college football and potentially one of the top running backs as well. Kent State is a MAC school, so, it should be easy to overlook this offense.
Crum has gathered attention from NFL scouts for a reason. He is a product of this great offense, and Lewis knows how to play to his strengths. Lewis is not unfamiliar to Power Five defenses after serving as Syracuse’s offensive coordinator.
While the Aggies defense is good, this Kent State offense can spread the ball around and attack you at your weakest point. It should be able to find a rhythm during the game and put up some points.
Kent State vs. Texas A&M Betting Pick
Early on, the Action Network reported Texas A&M getting over 90% of the tickets and the money. I am going to side with the Kent State offense to put just enough points to make it close. You may want to close your eyes as it could be a backdoor cover.
I’ve got Kent State at +28.5 on FanDuel at -110. I would watch line movement on this game. All of the money is coming in on Texas A&M, but the line is not moving.
This is giving me even more confidence in the pick because with that amount of money the line should move drastically. If it continues to hover around +29 before kickoff, then this is going to be a best bet for me.