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Arkansas

vs. 

LSU

College Football

Free Pick

11/11/17

It’s been an ugly season for most of the teams not named Alabama in the SEC West and this matchup highlights that even with LSU still ranked. The Tigers at least have a winning record and come in as -16.5 point home favorites over Arkansas as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

This spread seems kind of big, but it’s mostly because Arkansas has been a mess, with just one win in conference play. The Razorbacks have won their last two, but one of those was a 39-38 comeback win against a one-win Coastal Carolina team. Prior to that, it’s been hit-or-miss for this team, from winning at Ole Miss by one to losing by 26 points at South Carolina. As for the Tigers, they’re coming off a tough 24-10 loss to Alabama and while one would think this is a spot for a let down, last year’s result says otherwise. The week after losing 10-0 to Alabama in 2016, LSU dominated this Arkansas team 38-10 on the road.

Normally, it wouldn’t be wise to take such a huge spread with LSU, but the Arkansas defense has been brutal, allowing 36 points and 190 rushing yards per game. Giving up 38 points against Coastal Carolina is reason enough to back LSU here.

The Tigers don’t have a good offense, but the combination of Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams should be enough to score at least 30 points. Those guys actually faired well against ‘Bama and both could be headed for 100 yards in this game, similar to the Ole Miss contest a couple weeks ago. There’s no reason to trust quarterback Danny Etling, but he probably won’t be asked to throw much, just like in the win against Ole Miss when he attempted 13 passes.

For Arkansas to cover, it will require the offense to move the ball and score at least 20 points, if not 30. The Tigers are allowing 20 points per game and while they haven’t been as good as prior seasons, they’ve been good enough. That said, LSU hasn’t won an SEC game by more than 16 points with that 16-point win coming at Ole Miss. At home, that could change, though, with LSU beating Auburn in its only home SEC game up to this point.

Quarterback Austin Allen returned to practice this week and should be back under center with Cole Kelley now nursing an injury. Allen hasn’t played since early October, so he’ll be rusty. Even then, he wasn’t playing all that well early in the season, completing just 56.4 percent of his passes in five starts. Those numbers are juiced with his only two wins coming against Florida A&M and NMSU. For the Hogs to have a chance, the running game will have to do something between Devwah Whaley and David Williams. Otherwise, it’s hard to see Allen doing enough on the road to keep this game competitive.

The Razorbacks are a miserable 2-8-1 ATS In their last 11 overall, while the Tigers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games. Arkansas has the edge in this matchup at 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these schools.

Our Pick - LSU -16.5

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