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Arkansas

vs.

Alabama

College Football

Free Pick

10/14/17

For the first time in conference play this season, Alabama didn’t bring its A-game against Texas A&M last week. Even after the eight-point win, bookmakers weren’t thrown off the scent. The Crimson Tide are again a huge favorite against Arkansas this week, opening at -30 points as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

While Alabama got a non-covering win, Arkansas was busy getting blown out by South Carolina, 48-22. This line opened at 30 points, but there’s only one way it will go with most of the money likely going on the Tide. The Razorbacks were destroyed last week, although it didn't help that starting quarterback Austin Allen left with a shoulder injury late in the game. Allen’s status was up in the air early in the week and if he can’t go, freshman Cole Kelley may be forced to start in an impossible spot.

The Crimson Tide gave up 19 points last week, but had allowed just three in their previous two games against Vandy and Ole Miss. If Kelley has to start, expect an ugly game for Arkansas as they’ll likely have trouble getting a first down. The reason Arkansas at least stayed competitive in this game last year was because Austin Allen threw for 400 yards. The Hogs managed just 2.0 yards per carry in a 49-30 loss and the only method to covering here will likely be through Allen or Kelley.

On the other side of things, this Arkansas defense has shown nothing positive this season as their only two wins came against FAMU and NMSU. They’ve given up 98 points to mediocre offenses in their last two losses (SC, A&M). Expect the Tide to use a heavy dosage of Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Najee Harris, per usual. Damien Harris is running for fun with 500 rushing yards on 8.5 yards per carry and seven touchdowns. Jalen Hurts hasn’t needed to throw the ball much and that’ll be the case again with less than 20 passes expected. It wouldn't be surprising if the Tide ran for 300-plus yards or even 400. Nothing about the play of Arkansas suggests this team will present much resistance against Alabama.

If Kelley gets the start for Arkansas, this line could go up even more. And even if Allen starts, he hasn't been consistent this season, from going 12-of-24 against South Carolina last week to just 9-for-23 against TCU a month ago. The path for an Arkansas cover goes through the passing game and if that’s not working, this could be over early.

As long as the Tide play normal, this should be yet another blowout. Arkansas will struggle to move the ball on the ground and if they can’t pass, there won’t be many avenues for the Hogs to score points. The Crimson Tide are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 SEC games, but just 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games. The Razorbacks are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall. Alabama -30 and OVER 55.5

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