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Duke vs. Texas A&M Betting Line: Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Dec/31/2013
Duke vs. Texas A&M Betting Line: Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Carrie Stroup with your Duke vs. Texas A&M betting line.  Be sure to claim your FREE $100 BET at Sportsbook.com here and remember you can wager on every play of this game right up to the final minute with LIVE IN-PLAY BETTING.

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Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Texas A&M -13.5 & 75

Opening Line & Total: Aggies -13.5 & 76

In what will likely be Johnny Manziel’s last collegiate game, No. 20 Texas A&M will play No. 22 Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.

Playing a tough SEC schedule, the Aggies went 8-4 SU this year and lost their final two games of the season to LSU and Missouri. They also lost ATS in their final three games of the season, going just 4-8 ATS all year. Duke was blown out 45-7 by No. 1 Florida State in the ACC Championship Game, but earned the first 10-win season in program history while also going 10-3 ATS. The Blue Devils’ marquee wins included ones over Virginia Tech and Miami, both of whom were ranked at the time. Before falling to FSU, they had won eight in a row. Their tough task will be containing an Aggies offense that averages 43.6 PPG (5th in FBS), led by Manziel and the offense’s 350.9 passing yards per game (7th in nation). The Aggies defense has struggled though, giving up 30.9 PPG (89th in FBS). The Blue Devils, by contrast, averaged only 31.6 PPG (50th in nation), but gave up 24.7 PPG (47th in FBS). Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is 0-8 ATS in non-home games against teams that average at least 6.25 yards per play as the head coach of Duke, but he is also 43-26 ATS (62%) when facing a team with a winning record as a collegiate head coach.

Duke’s first two losses came while starting QB Anthony Boone (1,833 pass yards, 10 TD, 11 INT) was injured, with the junior completing 64% of his passes. Without him, the more mobile Brandon Connette (1,212 pass yards, 13 TD, 6 INT) performed admirably and still sometimes gets snaps to give defenses another look. Averaging 3.4 YPC, he led the team with 13 rushing touchdowns. The team’s leading rusher, RB Jela Duncan, was just suspended for the bowl game and next season for academic reasons, but the offense has a deep crew of backs with Josh Snead (547 rush yards, 6.1 YPC) and Shaquille Powell (337 rush yards, 5.6 YPC) splitting the snaps with Duncan all year. The team’s No. 1 receiving threat is Jamison Crowder (96 catches, 1,197 yards, 7 TD), and he’s also very dangerous returning punts. Opposing rushers carried the ball for 4.2 YPC against the Duke defense while passers completed only 55.5% of their passes, but produced a solid 7.2 yards per attempt against the secondary.

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel had another elite season for the Aggies, completing 69.1% of his passes for 3,732 yards, 33 TD and 13 INT. He struggled in the team’s final two games, throwing for only 2 TD and 2 INT. He’s also a threat with his legs, rushing for a team-high 686 yards on 5.2 YPC and eight touchdowns. RB Ben Malena (506 rush yards, 4.7 YPC) led the backfield with 10 touchdowns. Manziel’s top throwing target is WR Mike Evans (1,322 receiving yards, 12 TD), who averaged a ridiculous 20.3 yards per catch. Although he has five games of at least 115 receiving yards this year, Evans had just 59 receiving yards in the team's past two games, both losses. The Aggies defense gives up 239 passing YPG (7.3 YPA) on 57% completions, but struggled even more against the run, where they gave up 221 rushing YPG on 5.3 YPC this season. To be fair, the unit that allowed 460 total YPG on 6.2 yards per play was on the field for a whopping 32:52. A&M also needs to force some Duke turnovers, having tallied just two takeaways in its four defeats this season, compared to 18 forced turnovers in the eight victories.

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