(8-2, 7-3 ATS)
Mississippi State Bulldogs
(7-3, 5-5 ATS)
SEC West foes duke it out in Starkville on Saturday night in a crucial NCAA football betting battle, as the Arkansas Razorback match wits with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Arkansas has only suffered two losses this year, and those defeats to the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers are nothing to be ashamed of. As a result, along with the aforementioned Tide, the Hogs are the only other two loss team in the country right now that is seriously being considered for a BCS at large berth. Obviously, a third defeat takes that all away, as Arkansas won’t likely be in the Top 14 in the nation to qualify for a placement in one of the country’s elite bowl games. QB Ryan Mallett, whom many forget transferred away from the Michigan Wolverines, is turning himself into a legitimate NFL prospect once again. He’s had some rough patches this year, but his body of work is fantastic. Mallett is completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,967 yards and 24 TDs against just eight picks, and in all likelihood, it won’t take all that long to get to 25 scores and 3,000 yards this weekend. Mallett is leading an offense that has averaged 45.8 points per game since its last loss at Jordan Hare Stadium, and if this keeps up in Starkville, the Hogs will be impossible to beat.
The Bulldogs are well on their way to a rock solid bowl game this year, and HC Dan Mullen might be on his way to several postseason awards as well. There probably isn’t a coach in the nation that is getting more out of less week in and week out than Mullen, and it is fairly clear to see what has happened to his old offense, that of the Florida Gators, now that he is gone. Sure, the Dogs are coming off of a 30-10 defeat at the Alabama Crimson Tide last weekend, but they had won six in a row before that and went 4-2 ATS to show for it. When you think about MSU football right now though, once you stop thinking about the Cam Newton scandal, you should be thinking about a hardnosed defense. This bunch hadn’t allowed a team to reach 30 points this year before giving that up to the Tide, and this unit ranks No. 15 in the entire country in scoring at 18.3 points per game. This isn’t a team that is a stranger to big games at home either, as way back in September, in a game played on just four days of rest, the Bulldogs only lost to the Auburn Tigers 17-14.
For as much as we like what MSU has done this year, a 3-3 record in the SEC is just nothing to really write home about. The big boys have found a way to get the job done against the Bulldogs, and with a spot in the BCS potentially hanging in the balance for the Razorbacks if they win out, they’re impossible to not back.
College Football Free Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks -3
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