Clemson faces a major challenge in its quest for another playoff berth when it takes on Texas A&M on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET. The Tigers are 12.5-point favorites in the latest Clemson vs. Texas A&M odds, up from -11 in most shops, while the Over-Under for total points scored is set at 51.5. Both teams have something to prove and perhaps a quarterback controversy to solve. Clemson plans to split time between incumbent Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence, while Kellen Mond gets a chance to prove why he deserves to remain the starter for Texas A&M. Before you make your Clemson vs. Texas A&M picks, you should listen to SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel.
A Nevada-based expert with 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel has hit 60 percent of his bowl picks over the past two seasons and he came on strong at the end of last year with an undefeated on his spread selections in the College Football Playoffs.
Last week, Nagel advised SportsLine members to take underdog Virginia Tech (+7.5) against Florida State on Monday night. The result: the Hokies won outright 24-3, and those who backed them never broke a sweat.
Nagel is also looking to build upon an astounding 11-2 spread mark in games involving Clemson or Texas A&M. Now, he's locked in a strong against the spread pick for Saturday.
Under coach Dabo Swinney, the Tigers are known for taking on tough non-conference opponents and usually coming out on top. Last year, Clemson beat Auburn 14-6 on its way to another playoff appearance.
While Clemson sorts out its quarterback depth chart, the strength of its defense was never a question. Its defensive line has been hailed as one of the best in college football history. This is large part because stars Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, all of whom are projected as high draft picks, chose to return to school.
Last year, the Tigers led the ACC in every major defensive category and their scoring average of 13.6 points per game was second nationally. They held five opponents to single digit points, which included a 38-3 rout of Miami in the ACC title game. In all, they return eight defensive starters.
Just because Clemson's expectations are through the roof doesn't mean they can cover a double-digit spread on the road. The Aggies had a quarterback competition of their own and new coach Jimbo Fisher surprised many when he chose Kellen Mond over Nick Starkel. Mond threw for 184 yards and two scores in the opener, while Starkel threw for 63 yards and one touchdown in limited action.
Coincidentally, Mond gained national attention with a breakout performance in a similar spot last season. He made several big plays and kept the Aggies, a four-touchdown home underdog to Alabama, in the game until the end.
While we can tell you that Nagel is leaning Under, he has unearthed the critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, only over at SportsLine.
So who wins Clemson-Texas A&M? And what critical x-factor determines what side of the spread hits hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you should jump all over Saturday, all from an expert who's hitting 85 percent of his picks involving Clemson or Texas A&M.