N.C. State vs. Texas A&M Bowl Pick
The final bowl game tonight kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET when N.C. State takes on Texas A&M in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl. Listed as a 7-point favorite, will the Aggies roll to their ninth victory of the season?
267 N.C. State Wolfpack vs. 268 Texas A&M Aggies
7:30 p.m. ET, Monday, December 31, 2018
TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Aggies are 7-point favorites to beat the Wolfpack. The total, meanwhile, sits at 56 points. As of this writing, 62% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Aggies.
N.C. State Wolfpack
NC State redshirt senior LB Germaine Pratt won't play in the Gator Bowl. Pratt (6'3/240) has already signed with an agent, meaning that he couldn't play in the bowl against Texas A&M even if he had a last-minute change of heart. A consensus first-team All-ACC performer this season, the redshirt senior officially ends his 2018 campaign with a career-best 104 tackles (10.0 for loss), six sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. In addition to signing with an agent, Pratt earlier accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl as he looks to get his draft process revved up. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline writes that the NC State standout "must improve his play against the pass, (but) has the makings of a starting 3-4 inside linebacker." Pauline sees him as in play for an early Day 3 selection come the spring.
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M redshirt senior LB Otaro Alaka (hand) has been ruled out for Monday's Gator Bowl. Alaka (6'3/240) underwent hand surgery at the end of the regular season after logging 79 tackles (14.5 for loss), four sacks and a forced fumble over the course of 12 games played. The redshirt senior linebacker leads the team in tackles for loss. Filling in for him against NC State on Monday will be Buddy Johnson. While Johnson does not offer the same level of experience as Alaka, he has appeared in 11 of 12 games this season and won't be completely green heading into this matchup.
The Wolfpack are 7-2-1 against the spread in their last 10 bowl games but are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games versus SEC opponents.
The Aggies are a perfect 7-0 at the betting window in their last seven non-conference games but are just 2-5 ATS in their last seven games versus ACC opponents.
The Wolfpack won’t have wide receiver Kelvin Harmon, who will sit out tonight’s game in preparation for the NFL draft. He had 81 catches and 1,186 yards during the regular season, which ranked 12th nationally. Harmon is N.C. State’s best weapon and without him I expect the Wolfpack’s offense to struggle. On the other side, Kellen Mond does a nice job eluding the rush and can keep drives alive with his legs. Thanks to running back Trayveon Williams, the Aggies are balanced offensively and could present problems for the Wolfpack, who may struggle to get off the field. A&M can be had through the air, which greatly benefits an N.C. State team that loves to put the ball in the air. Without Harmon, however, the Wolfpack’s biggest strength takes a hit.
Taxslayer Gator Bowl Prediction: Texas A&M Aggies -7