College football game of the week preview and best bets: Arkansas Razorbacks vs Texas A&M Aggies

Arkansas Razorbacks running back Trelon Smith
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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The SEC is once again king of the college football world — or it at least appears that way for now. Alabama’s surprisingly competitive 31-29 victory over Florida was the headliner last Saturday and now top billing belongs to Arkansas vs Texas A&M. The setting does nothing to diminish the hype, as it will be a neutral-site contest played at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

Both the Razorbacks and the Aggies are undefeated at 3-0 and ranked in the top 25. In the AP poll, Arkansas comes in at No. 16 while A&M is seventh. The Aggies are as high as No. 5 in the coaches’ poll.

Who will have the upper hand in this crucial SEC West showdown? Let’s take a look.

Breaking down the Razorbacks

Arkansas has not compiled a winning record since 2016. In the past three seasons this program has gone 2-10, 2-10 again, and then 3-7. However, year 2 under head coach Sam Pittman appears to be the turning point. The Hogs are perfect so far with blowouts of Rice, Texas, and Georgia Southern. All three victories have come by at least 19 points. Sophomore quarterback KJ Jefferson has been a dynamic dual-threat with 632 passing yards and 180 rushing yards on 24 keepers while accounting for 6 total touchdowns. The defense has been all-around impressive — so dominant against Texas (they posted a first-half shutout) that the Longhorns were prompted to make a permanent change at QB.

Check out our preseason SEC predictions

Breaking down the Aggies

Texas A&M was the first team left out of the College Football Playoff last season, bypassed in favor of Notre Dame. But the successful 2020 campaign was with Kellen Mond under center; now the Aggies are trying to reload with a sophomore quarterback of their own in Zach Calzada. It would probably be fair to say that early returns are incomplete. A&M thrashed Kent State and New Mexico, but scored just 10 points against the only decent opponent it has faced — a 3-point win over Colorado. A total of 17 points allowed through 3 weeks is extremely encouraging, but the Aggies have not yet seen anything like Jefferson and the Arkansas offense.

Texas A&M is currently a +4000 eighth choice to win the National Championship.

Check out our preseason college football futures best bets

Predictions and best bets

Barring any line movement, Arkansas will go off as a +6 underdog on Saturday. Even when the Razorbacks were horrendous in recent years, they always managed to play the Aggies close. Texas A&M won 50-43 in overtime in 2017, 24-17 in 2018, 31-27 the season after that, and 42-31 about 12 months ago. Because of Covid-19 the 2020 contest was not held at a neutral site but rather at Texas A&M. This time around the Aggies don’t have that same home-field advantage.

As it stands right now, I will happily take 6 points with Arkansas in what has the makings of an entertaining, competitive contest.

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