(4-1, 3-2 ATS)
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(6-0, 3-3 ATS)
SEC betting odds are up at our various sponsor sportsbooks here at Bang the Book, and we have all of the ins and outs that you need to know about the duel at Jordan Hare Stadium between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Auburn Tigers.
Don’t kid yourself about how good this Arkansas defense is. We know that the SEC is jam packed with great units like that of Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Florida, etc., but this might be the best of the bunch. The Razorbacks have played a murderous schedule to date, have survived with just one blunder thus far, and still rank in the Top 20 in almost every major defensive category to show for their work. In the L/3 weeks, the Hogs have kept RB Mark Ingram, RB Trent Richardson, QB Greg McElroy, and QB Jerrod Johnson relatively in check, something that just isn’t easy to do. There are no great running backs on this team, which is leaving a lot of pressure on the shoulders of QB Ryan Mallett. He’s been here before though and won (and nearly won) a number of big road games, so this is going to be old hat for him. The senior is completing just under 70 percent of his passes for 1,748 yards with 13 TDs against six picks, three of which came in the Alabama game. WRs Joe Adams and Greg Childs are amongst the best in the nation as well, giving the Razorbacks a very lethal offense.
Much in contrast to the style of Arkansas, Auburn is going to try to run the ball down your throats in very creative ways. The Tigers will use QB Cam Newton on the outside on sweeps, and let both RB Michael Dyer and RB Onterio McCalebb take care of the rest of the dirty work. The speed of this offense is borderline ridiculous, and with Newton more than capable of throwing the ball as well, HC Gene Chizik has everything that he could ever ask for. This unit ranks No. 8 in the country in rushing defense at 276.0 yards per game and tenth overall at 483.0 yards per game. Newton has accounted for 21 TDs this season, more than a ton of teams have scored, and he is picking up an average of 301.7 yards per game between his passing and rushing. The problem? Against a schedule without any real formidable passing attacks as of yet, the Tigers rank No. 92 in the land in the secondary at 239.2 yards per game allowed. Needless to say, we tend to think that the Hogs are licking their lips at this type of matchup. Allowing just 95.7 yards per game on the ground is all fine and dandy for Auburn, but Arkansas probably isn’t going to challenge this unit all that much.
These Tigers don’t have nine lives like most cats do. Survival in three of their last four was great and all, but down the stretch, Auburn will fold. It all starts on Saturday afternoon at home, as Mallett does just enough with his arm to take care of one of the biggest foes that the Hogs have to get through during the rest of the season.
College Football Free Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks +3.5
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