By Ryan Mayer
The college football bowl season is upon us. With 40 games spread out over the next two weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline/Bookmaker.eu. Find all our picks here.
All lines listed are as of publishing date. As always lines may change in the lead up to games so be sure to check.
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
Texas A&M vs. Kansas State
Spread: Texas A&M -2
Spread: The Aggies once again sputtered down the stretch of the regular season losing four of their last six games after starting 6-0. Bill Snyder’s Wildcats, on the other hand, put up a quietly solid season that finished with them winning five out of their final six games. Although, all five wins came against teams that finished .500 or worse. The loss, came against Oklahoma State. For the Aggies, they had two understandable losses in that stretch (Alabama and LSU) and two that were head scratchers (Ole Miss and Mississippi State). The Aggies are dealing with nagging injuries to both of their quarterbacks. Starter Trevor Knight is battling a knee injury and Jake Hubenak has a shoulder injury. Both are questionable for this game. The Aggies could also be missing star safety Armani Watts who missed the last two games of the regular season with a leg injury.
With all of the injuries that the Aggies have currently, especially to their two QB options, it’s hard to see them winning this game. Kansas State’s pass defense has been it’s weakest aspect (111th in yards allowed 269.6, 86th in passing efficiency defense), but with two injured quarterbacks, you wonder how effective the Aggies’ passing game will be. Meanwhile, The Wildcats are one of the nation’s best rushing attacks (25th 232.9 YPG) and the Aggies have been weaker against the run. But, the passing game has been virtually non-existent for the Wildcats with the team averaging just 153.8 yards per game which is 118th out of 128 schools. If the Wildcats get behind by a couple of scores, this could turn into a route. This spread is pretty low, and I think, even with a banged up QB spot, the Aggies can cover. Texas A&M -2
Total: Both defenses rank in the Top 40 in points allowed with the Wildcats allowing 21.8 points per contest and the Aggies coming in just behind at 23.8. The Watts injury definitely hurts the Aggies, but they still have Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall along with Justin Evans on the back end. The lack of explosive plays from Kansas State (127th in IsoPPP) along with their plodding running game, makes me think this game could go by pretty quickly, leading to a lower-scoring affair. Under 56.5
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.