SEC action here as the Arkansas Razorbacks will travel to Alabama to take on the Auburn Tigers. Both teams are coming off devastating losses and will be looking to bounce back here. Arkansas has lost two straight while Auburn lost on a last-second field goal to LSU.
Arkansas Embarrassed Twice
Arkansas has lost two brutal games in a row. First, they lost to Colorado State after leading nearly the entire game. They saw a multiple score lead evaporate and let CSU come charging all the way back to steal the game late in the fourth. Their defense had looked stout early in the game but completely folded when it mattered most.
Then last week, they were destroyed 44-17 by North Texas. The 27 point home loss to a non-Power 5 school was one of their worst losses in recent memory. North Texas led from start to finish and the game was never close. Because of these two losses, I think it’s a pretty good buy-low opportunity on Arkansas.
Arkansas hasn’t had good play under center all season long, and their bread and butter is the run game. They aren’t suited well for comebacks because of their struggles passing the ball. If they get behind, like they did against North Texas, it can become hard for them to get back into a game. If they want to be competitive against Auburn, they’ll need their rushing attack to show up.
Auburn’s Championship Hopes Dashed
Auburn was riding high off their Week 1 win over Washington until LSU delivered a brutal gut punch. Auburn was leading 21-13 at the end of the third, but could only watch helplessly as LSU kicked a last second field goal to top them 22-21. Jarrett Stidham wasn’t on his game in the contest, and threw two interceptions.
It was a devastating loss for a team with national title aspirations, and they’ll need to shake it off quickly. Coming off the emotional down to the wire finish, I could see them starting off sluggish here. It’s an opening for Arkansas, and the Razorbacks will need to exploit whatever hangover from the LSU game the Tigers might have.
The good news for Auburn is that they shut down the LSU run game. LSU only beat them because of strong quarterback play down the stretch, something which isn’t too likely to happen for Arkansas. If the Auburn front seven can stop the run, they could be in for a big day, but only if Stidham can put his bad game behind him and return to form.
The Tigers are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall
The Razorbacks are:
- 13-5 ATS in their last 18 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game
- Razorbacks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a double-digit loss at home
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
For a variety of reasons, I like the Razorbacks here. Although if Auburn gets up big early it will likely turn into a blowout, I don’t expect the Tigers to start strong here. Teams often come out flat after emotional last-second decision games like the LSU one, and Arkansas will be highly motivated coming off two straight embarrassments. 29 is a ton of points for a conference game between opponents who are familiar with each other, and I think this should be a fairly low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Arkansas +29
Full-Game Total Pick
The strength of both of these teams is their ball-control offenses. Both sides will likely seek to establish the running game and control the line of scrimmage. As such, I expect there to be a ton of clock chewed up early on. Arkansas simply cannot move the ball through the air, and if they can’t run it they likely won’t be scoring at all. 56 is a lot of points for a game where neither team has a dynamic offense, and I like the under here.
Prediction: Under 56
Half-Time Side Pick
If you like Arkansas for the full game here, you absolutely have to put something on the first half. If they’re gonna avoid getting blown-out, they’ll need to come out hot and be competitive right from the start. The relatively slow-paced nature of the game will make it hard for Auburn to lead by three touchdowns or more at the break, even if they play very well.
Prediction: Arkansas +19.5
Half-Time Total Bet
The first half under also makes a lot of sense. Arkansas knows the only way they have a shot at competing is if they establish the ground game, and they’ll try to do that in the first half. They might have to abandon that later in the game if they get down big, but the first half at least should be pretty slow-paced. 32 is an awfully high first half number here.
Prediction: Under 32