Point spread: Alabama -12.5
The Arkansas Razorbacks will look to put themselves in the BCS title picture with a victory over the rival Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium this upcoming Saturday afternoon in a huge SEC-West showdown. The game is scheduled to get underway at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Arkansas has streaked to a 3-0 start by outscoring its opponents 141-38. Last Saturday against Troy, the Razorbacks opened a 31-7 lead early in the third quarter, but could not hold on the cover the spread as 23-point home favorites in the 38-28 win. The total went ‘over’ the 61-point line.
So far, junior quarterback Tyler Wilson has done his best Ryan Mallett-impression with 822 yards passing and five touchdowns. The Razorbacks are currently ranked eighth in the nation in passing with an average of 346.7 yards a game. Ronnie Wingo Jr. has anchored the running game with 225 yards on 43 carries.
Alabama has also coasted to a 3-0 start that featured an impressive 27-11 victory over Penn State as a 10-point road favorite, followed by a 41-0 shutout of North Texas as a 47-point home favorite. The total stayed ‘under’ in both of those games.
Running backs’ Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy have paced the Crimson Tide’s offense with a combined 619 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, but it has been a stifling defense that has this team primed for a run at a national title. It is currently ranked second in the country in points allowed; giving up an average of just six a game.
Arkansas is 10-1 against the spread in its last 11 conference games and 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of its last five games as a road underdog.
Alabama is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games at home and 5-2 ATS in its last seven games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of its last five conference games.
Head-to-head, the Tide have won five of the last six games straight-up, but the series is tied 3-3 ATS. Last year they squeezed out a 24-20 victory as a 6.5-point road favorite, but rolled to a 35-7 victory the year before as 17.5-point home favorites. The total stayed ‘under’ in both of those games.
Arkansas has enough talent on both sides of the ball to keep this year’s tilt close to the final gun, and while they will not pull off the upset, the Razorbacks cover the 12.5-point spread on the road.
The NFL Pick: Alabama 20 Arkansas 13
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