Texas A&M vs. North Carolina Orange Bowl: College Football Betting Preview

Texas A&M vs. North Carolina Orange Bowl: College Football Betting Preview

Written by on December 31, 2020

No. 5 Texas A&M of the SEC believed it belonged in the College Football Playoff, but instead the Aggies will have to settle with taking out their frustrations on Saturday against No. 13 North Carolina of the ACC in the Orange Bowl – the final bowl game this season. A&M is a solid favorite in the NCAAF odds.

How to Bet Texas A&M vs. North Carolina NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
Stream: ESPN app
Radio: Tunein.com
Opening NCAAF Lines: Texas A&M -7.5 (total 65.5)

Series History

It’s the second Orange Bowl for A&M, which lost to LSU 19-14 on Jan. 1, 1944. It’s Jimbo Fisher’s 3rd Orange Bowl as a head coach, winning his first two at the helm of Florida State in 2013 and 2016. UNC makes its first-ever Orange Bowl appearance. The only other ACC teams that have not played in an Orange Bowl game are N.C. State and Pittsburgh. Texas A&M and UNC have never played each other.

Why Bet on Texas A&M?

The only loss for the Aggies (8-1) this year was to Alabama, and A&M played pretty well in that one. Coach Jimbo Fisher’s team closed the regular season with a 34-13 win over Tennessee on Dec. 19. It wasn’t until the 9:02 mark of the fourth quarter that Texas A&M got some breathing room. Kellen Mond engineered an 88-yard drive, with a key play of a 28-yard pass to Jalen Wydermeyer, that ended with a 1-yard run by Ainias Smith for a 31-13 lead.

Mond completed 26-of-32 passes for 281 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He added 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground, the Aggies’ first score, courtesy of a five-yard scramble on second-and-goal where Mond drove through a Tennessee defender at the goal line.

For the 18th time in his career, Mond passed and rushed for a touchdown in the same game. Mond finished the 30th win of his career as a starting QB with 281 yards through the air and 59 on the ground, tallying at least 200 passing yards and 50 rushing yards in a game for the fifth time in his career. Mond is two touchdowns away from being responsible for the most TDs in school history. He enters with 92 touchdowns (71 pass, 21 rush) and aims to dethrone Johnny Manziel’s mark of 93 (63 pass, 30 rush).

The Aggies allowed the second-fewest rushing yards in a game this season as they held Tennessee to just 24 yards on the ground. Earlier in the year, A&M limited Mississippi State to minus-2 rushing yards as a team. It was the fourth time this season A&M has limited its opponent to 50-or-fewer yards on the ground.  A&M, which leads the SEC and ranks ninth nationally in time of possession, controlled the game for 44:09 against Tennessee, the team’s highest mark in the category since joining the SEC prior to the 2012 season.

A&M closed out the regular season on a seven-game win streak against all SEC opponents, stringing together the most consecutive victories since the 1998 season.

Wydermyer was named a finalist for the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding tight end. Wydermyer has been one of A&M’s most reliable targets this season. The sophomore leads the team with 45 catches for 502 yards and six receiving scores. His reception total is a league-best among tight ends, while his 12 career touchdown catches set a new A&M record for career receiving scores by a tight end.

The Aggies’ 42 bowl game appearances are tied for 18th-most among college football programs.  Texas A&M’s 19 bowl victories are also tied for 18th-most among FBS programs. Fisher’s postseason record as a head coach is 7-2, including a 2-0 mark in the Orange Bowl.

Why Bet on North Carolina?

North Carolina (8-3) earned a New Year’s Six bowl spot by slaughtering Miami 62-26 on Dec. 12 in the regular-season finale. Michael Carter and Javonte Williams set an NCAA record by combining for 544 yards rushing.

Carter ran for 308 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams had 236 yards and three touchdowns for the Tar Heels. It was the seventh time that two teammates each ran for at least 200 yards, the first since 2016 and the first such instance in ACC history. Carter and Williams’s combined total topped the NCAA’s listed FBS record for teammates, set on Nov. 30 when Jaret Patterson (409) and Kevin Marks (97) rushed for 506 for Buffalo against Kent State.

North Carolina finished with 778 yards — the most ever yielded by Miami and a Tar Heels record — and 554 yards rushing, also the most allowed in Hurricanes history. Sam Howell threw for a score, ran for a score and caught a TD pass for the Tar Heels.

However, both Carter and Williams have opted out of this game. Carter averaged 8.0 yards per carry and rushed for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Williams was responsible for 1,140 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. In addition, receiver Dyami Brown will skip the game. In 11 games, the junior caught 55 passes for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns. Linebacker Chazz Surratt also optfed out.

Carolina, making its 35th postseason bowl appearance, owns a 15-19 all-time record in bowl games. Mack Brown owns a 15-8 record in bowl games, including guiding the Tar Heels to six-straight appearances from 1992-97 and last year in 2019.

Game Trends

Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. ACC.
Aggies are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games.
Aggies are 20-9-1 ATS in their last 30 games as a favorite.
Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
Tar Heels are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win.

Expert Prediction

Texas A&M 38, North Carolina 28

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