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LSU opens as the Southeastern Conference's largest odds favorite since 1980 this weekend when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks.
After dismissing Alabama, then coolly dissecting Mississippi State 58-37 last weekend, LSU remains on course to meet UGA for the SEC Championship. Led by Heisman frontrunner Joe Burrow, this year's Tigers squad has become unshakable after missing the college football playoff a season ago. Now, sporting a speedy offense and resourceful defense, many forecast a Jan. LSU national championship.
Meanwhile, as bright as the Tigers' spotlight burns, the 2-8 Arkansas Razorbacks couldn't be further away from the shine. After Chad Morris' dismissal, Barry Lunney Jr. has taken Arkansas' mantle to finish another labored campaign. Though, a massive underdog this weekend, just covering would be a moral victory for a Razorbacks group which has four wins since 2018.
The #1 ranked LSU Tigers enter Saturday's SEC West showcase as -44 point favorites.
Burrow headed for HeismanSince winning it all in 2007, LSU challenged, but never quite competed on par with SEC West’s elite. Following Joe Burrow’s monster 2019, that narrative has changed. Now the hunted, the Tigers are the SEC’s largest favorite in 39 years entering play this Sat. Burrow’s rocket arm, along with offensive coordinator Joe Brady’s schemes, have amplified offense at Baton Rouge to 47.8 ppg -#2 FBS. While zipping the ball freely around all edges and inches of field, Burrow has added 38 touchdowns against six interceptions. Most knew Brady’s ingenuity would transform LSU’s offensive dynamism, but few foresaw Burrow breaking open big after tossing 16 touchdowns against five picks last season.
Last weekend, Burrow added five touchdowns and 489 yards to burn Ole Miss and give LSU its tenth win this season, 58-37. While the Tigers’ #44 defense (23.8 ppg) is lost in translation compared with the team’s blistering offense, as shown vs. Florida and Auburn, LSU can gain stops when needed.
Not many stops will be needed this week opposite 2-8 Arkansas. And coach Orgeron may clear his bench during second half action -leaving the spread in slight jeopardy.
Wounded Arkansas looks to avoid wrong side of SEC historyFollowing a missive singing LSU’s praises, it’s odd changing gears so quickly. And that’s not a knock on Arkansas. They’ve played hard this season, even featuring 1.000 yard rusher Rakeem Boyd. Though, at 0-6 in conference action, positive results have again been elusive for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas fell 45-19 vs. Western Kentucky last weekend. The Hilltoppers added four rushing touchdowns and one aerial score to send reeling Arkansas another defeat. As has been the case all season, Boyd’s 185-yard, two-touchdown performance sparked the Razorbacks’ offense. Overall, Arkansas averages 22.3 ppg & allow 36.2 ppg -both trend toward FBS’ bottom rung. Quarterback miscues have plagued the Razorbacks’ season. The combo of Starkel and Hicks has added nine touchdowns vs. 12 interceptions through ten games. It should also be noted Arkansas’ injury list is filled with difference makers. That spread isn’t looking so bad.
- Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss.
- Tigers are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 conference games.
Trends courtesy of Covers.com
- Razorbacks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in November.
- Razorbacks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Razorbacks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Razorbacks are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This space is reserved for stat-crunching and intuitive analysis. But very little at this point can reiterate the steep competitive divide between LSU and Ole Miss. There are few teams in the SEC that can compete with LSU right now and the Rebels are not one of them. The only way LSU won’t cover is if Burrow is pulled early to avoid injury, which is a possibility. Still, I’ll side with the historic spread as LSU’s offense is on a historical run.
Prediction: LSU covers
Full-Game Total Pick
I’ll take the Under here as I don’t think LSU’s starters will play an entire game. I also don’t believe Arkansas can put up the secondary points needed to push Over the 69 total. I do think Burrow and LSU’s first and second string will tally around 50 points before shutting down for the week ahead. The Tigers want to take precautions ahead of the SEC Title game and likely CFB playoffs. Take the Under.