Texas AM Aggies vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Orange Bowl Betting Picks and Predictions
02 January 2021
|Date:||Saturday, January 2nd|
|Time:||8:00 PM ET|
|Venue:||Hard Rock Stadium|
The 8-1 Texas AM Aggies will meet up with the 8-3 North Carolina Tar Heels in the Capital One Orange Bowl at 8:00 PM ET in Hard Rock Stadium. The Aggies come in as 7.5-point favorites and we’re expecting plenty of points with a 65 over/under. The Aggies believe they should be in the CFB playoff and they will be looking to prove a point. You can tune into the stellar matchup on ESPN. Let’s dive into how this game will go down and who will end up covering the spread. Make sure to check out the rest of our CFB Picks and Predictions as we will have every single bowl game covered.
- Aggies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Aggies are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 5-2 in Aggies last 7 bowl games.
- Over is 4-1 in Tar Heels last 5 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
When The Texas AM Aggies Have The Ball
The entire Aggies team and fanbase feels cheated after being held out of the CFB playoff. The reality is that this team isn’t one of the four best in the country, but that doesn’t change the mentality they have. Their sole loss of the season came to Alabama and they have quality wins over Florida, Auburn, and Tennessee. With that being said, the only ranked team they beat was Florida, so their strength of schedule wasn’t all that great.
Offensively, Texas AM is extremely balanced, throwing it for just 300 more yards than they’ve rushed it for. It starts with QB Kellen Mond, who’s completed 64% of his passes for 2,050 yards, 19 touchdowns, and three interceptions on top of 258 rushing yards and three more scores. When Mond is throwing the ball well, his versatility gives this offense a ton of upside. When he drops back, he’s typically looking for TE Jalen Wydermyer (45 rec, 502 yards, 6 TD) or HB Ainias Smith (37 rec, 439 yards, 6 TD). If he’s looking towards the outside, it’s WR Chase Lane (38 rec, 382 yards, 2 TD) who grabs the majority of targets.
Sophomore HB Isaiah Spiller is one of the best backs in the SEC and he’s up to 986 yards and seven touchdowns on the season while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He’s backed up by Ainias Smith, who’s even more lethal at six yards per attempt. The Aggies are solid on both sides of the ball and they won’t make anything easy on UNC. For the Aggies, it will be crucial to slow down North Carolina.
When The North Carolina Tar Heels Have The Ball
The Tar Heels have been extremely inconsistent this season, losing games they should have won and won games they maybe shouldn’t have. That includes losses to Florida State and Virginia as well as wins over Miami and Virginia Tech. This has been a tough team to predict for game one and it won’t get any easier with three superstar players opting out to prepare for the draft. They will rely on the stars that are playing more than ever and they must have career performances.
Superstar running backs Michael Carter and Javonte Williams have opted out for this game, along with WR1 Dyami Brown. British Brown will be asked to step up to start at RB while Dazz Newsome will have to do more than ever at receiver. QB Sam Howell has to have a career game if the Tar Heels want to win this game. He’s been inconsistent this year, but is still up to 3,352 yards with 27 touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s also rushed it in five times and he will have to do a lot on his own in this contest just to keep it close.
The Tar Heels will be short-handed in this game and it’s hard to see them sticking with the Aggies for four quarters. They might keep it close or even hold a slight lead in the first half, but I don’t expect it to last. The Aggies are the far better team in the trenches and they’re missing fewer key players. We’ve seen this bowl season how much that can hurt an offense. Kellen Mond doesn’t have the upside of Sam Howell, but this offense is built around him and he takes care of the football. They also have the far better running game with Spiller and Smith both playing. The absence of Michael Carter and Javonte Williams will be too much to overcome for an Aggies offense that’s already extremely inconsistent.
The Pick: Texas AM -7
While I do think the Aggies defense stifles North Carolina enough to cover the spread, I still think this one turns into a blowout before all is said and done. The Tar Heels are going to be throwing it a lot more with their running backs out and the Aggies won’t have any problem moving the ball themselves. We also have two offenses that like to pick the pace up and two defenses that tend to play bend – don’t break at times. Give me the over here as I expect plenty of points in the second half.
The Pick: Over 65.5
Final Score Prediction: Texas AM 44, North Carolina 34