Drama abounds in the 2018 Taxslayer Bowl betting matchup. The North Carolina State Wolfpack looks to finish the season ranked in the College Football Playoff Top 25 while the Texas A&M Aggies hope to make new coach Jimbo Fisher’s first season a success when the two squads battle it out on TIAA Bank Field this Monday night on December 31. Both teams are looking for legitimacy as they’ve clawed their way back in to respectability this past season.
NC State believes it’s one of the better teams in the nation after going 9-3 during the regular season. The Wolfpack’s only losses were to Clemson, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. NC State used the sixth ranked passing attack to beat their other opponents. They believe their passing attack could provide dividends against Texas A&M on Monday night.
Like NC State, Texas A&M believes it’s one of the Top 20 teams in the nation. The Aggies were supposed to finish far behind in the tough SEC, but they managed to secure an 8-4 record and 5-3 conference record.
Check out a full analysis and pick for the 2018 Taxslayer Bowl.
2018 TAXSLAYER BOWL BETTING
NC State Wolfpack vs #19 Texas A&M Aggies
Monday, December 31st – TIAA Bank Field– 7:30pm ET
Odds: Texas A&M -6.5 (58.5)
NC State Looks to Remain Hot
After beating James Madison, Georgia State, Marshall, Virginia, and Boston College, the Wolfpack ran into the top team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Clemson Tigers. Clemson dominated NC State 41-7.
After such a humiliating loss, the Wolfpack had every right to fold into the fetal position and tank the rest of the season. At first, it looked like that was exactly what NC State was going to do. They followed up the loss to Clemson with another loss to Syracuse, but they bounced back after the loss to the Orange.
NC State ended the season going 4-1 SU as they dominated East Carolina, Florida State, and Louisville while escaping North Carolina with a 34-28 win. The Wolfpack finished their regular season on a 4-game win streak and established some much needed momentum as they head in to 2018 Taxslayer Bowl betting.
They’ll bring a ton of confidence into the Taxslayer Bowl. If NC State’s as hot on Dec. 31 as they were to end the regular season, forget about covering the spread. They’ll be tough to beat straight up.
A&M Hopes for Exclamation Point to Jimbo’s First Season
During the offseason, Jimbo Fisher pushed away Florida State and signed a 10-year, $75 million deal to coach the Texas A&M Aggies. Although one of the largest contracts in history, most felt Fisher might need a year or two to get the Aggies onto the winning path. After all, switching conferences is tough as it is. Switching from the ACC to the SEC is an insane uphill battle to sled.
Fisher and the Aggies had other ideas. Texas A&M immediately signaled they were a team to reckon with after losing by only 2 points, 26-28, to CFP participant Clemson. Fisher’s team didn’t let up during the season, culminating in the 74-72 victory over LSU that took 7 overtimes to complete.
There is a lot of fight in this team, and that’s the trait you want to see come bowl season.
2018 Taxslayer Bowl Betting Trends
Almost no action has gone to the NC State Wolfpack. The Aggies opened a -4.5 favorite. They’re now a -6.5 favorite and betting dollars continue to flow to them. What’s the reason for the love? The trends provide a huge clue.
Even though NC State is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 in December, they’re also 1-4 ATS in their last 5 following a straight up win, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous, and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 versus the SEC. The Aggies are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games, 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 after scoring more than 40 in their previous, and 8-3 ATS versus a team with a winning record.
Trends point to the Aggies covering, but there’s another reason handicappers are backing Texas A&M. Anybody who saw how the Aggies wouldn’t quit when beating a top team like LSU in one of the most spectacular college football games of all time can’t possibly believe they’ll fold on Monday night.
There’s a good chance the Aggies blow out North Carolina State on Dec. 31.
Taxslayer Bowl Betting Free Pick: Texas A&M -6.5