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Texas A&M vs. Arkansas: Prediction, Choice, Spread, Football Match Odds, Live Stream, Watch Online, TV Channel

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Number 23 Texas A&M will face Number 10 Arkansas in a major SEC West rivalry that will go a long way in determining which team can challenge Alabama for the division crown. The Aggies are coming off a 17-9 win over then-No. 13 Miami, where the secondary kept future NFL Draft pick Tyler Van Dyke in check for most of the game. The Razorbacks skated through Missouri State and former coach Bobby Petrino after a 10-point comeback in the fourth quarter, winning 38-27.

A win for the Aggies over a ranked divisional foe, especially if their attack can crank it up, will go a long way in calming fears in College Station, Texas. Did the Razorbacks look ahead last week as they grappled with an FCS opponent? Could be. This team’s loser will erase every margin of error in the West, so consider this the biggest divisional match-up of the young season.

Let’s preview the match up and choose directly and against the spread.

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas: Need to know

Weakness vs Weakness: The winner of this one may depend on which team hides its problems the best. The Razorback pass defense is the worst in the nation giving up 352.7 yards per game. That’s pretty remarkable considering they lead the nation in sacks per game at 5.67 – a full sack per game for second-placed USC and Washington State. The secondary gets a lot of help from its front seven and it’s still awful.

The elixir could be Texas A&M’s passing offense, which is ranked number 99 in the country with an average of 208 yards per game. Coach Jimbo Fisher made a quarterback change from Haynes King to Max Johnson last week, and the only real impact was Johnson’s lack of interceptions in the Miami win. However, he only completed 10 of his 20 passes for 140 yards, which are not exactly Heisman Trophy stats.

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Will the real Max Johnson please stand up? Johnson has been solid as a starting quarterback at LSU for the past two seasons and he will have to show that on Saturday. He threw 3,884 yards and 35 touchdowns in those two seasons, throwing just seven picks in 18 games. That’s pretty solid, and certainly good enough to keep Texas A&M in power in the SEC West. However, we didn’t see it against Miami last week.

Johnson doesn’t have to be Johnny Manziel or even Kellen Mond. However, he has to threaten enough downfield to keep safety fair so they don’t pile up the box to stop Devon Achane and Co.

The battle in the trenches: The Razorbacks have assumed the identity of their coach Sam Pittman. The former offensive line coach has developed them into a line of scrimmage. Having only given away four sacks in three games, they have a hasty attack led by tailback Raheim Sanders and quarterback KJ Jefferson that is as punishing as any in the country.

We saw Appalachian State wear down the Aggies’ defensive front two weeks ago, and there’s no question that Pittman will not only replicate the Mountaineers’ game plan, but will have the staff to do even better unless Fisher makes adjustments.

How Texas A&M vs. Arkansas to see live

Date: Saturday 24 Sept. | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Place: AT&T Stadium — Arlington, Texas
TV: ESPN | Live Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas forecast, choices

Give me the pigs, and give me big. Sanders, the SEC’s lead rusher, was a specter between tackles and out in space. He, along with Jefferson, will wear out this defensive front and leave late. On the other side of the ball, the sturdy Razorback pass storm will exploit the struggling Aggies defense line, putting Johnson and the offense behind the sticks. That’s a recipe for disaster for Johnson and a passing game that hasn’t shown any sign of life yet. Forecast: Arkansas (+1.5)

Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 4, and which Top 25 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a tried-and-true computer model that’s brought in more than $3,300 in profits in the past six seasons — and find out.

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