Arkansas was supposed to be good this year and compete with the top teams in the SEC, and a Top 20 ranking confirmed that before the season started. However, three weeks later and the Razorbacks enter SEC play with two bad losses. Now in their first non-home Game, Arkansas is a +7.5 point underdog (at 5 Dimes Sportsbook) against Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium.
Arkansas was primed to build on last year’s 2-6 Conference record after taking down LSU and Ole Miss in back-to-back Games late in 2014. Even with a good portion of returning starters, that hasn’t come to fruition as they aren’t getting the job done on either side of the ball. Their last two losses to Toledo and Texas Tech have come in similar ways. The Razorbacks are moving the ball just fine, but for some reason aren’t putting points on the board.
Brandon Allen threw for 412 yards against Toledo, yet couldn’t find the back of the end zone. He then went 16-of-21 for 196 yards, while the running Game went for 228 yards altogether, but they only mustered three touchdowns against Texas Tech. Moving the ball is great, but it doesn’t matter all that much when there is no scoring and the defense hasn’t been dominant by any means.
Things have gone a bit better for Texas A&M to start the season, getting a Top 25 win against Arizona State in the opener (although the Sun Devils don’t look that great) and then taking care of Ball State and Nevada. Sure, the Aggies still have plenty of questions to answer, but at least they’re 3-0 and they beat a MAC team.
Quarterback Kyle Allen has taken over the starting position for the Aggies, although Kyler Murray has been thrown in at times. Allen leads the team with nine touchdowns and two interceptions and should hold onto that top spot. He and Christian Kirk (16 receptions, 269 yards, 2 TDs) have dominated the first few Games. The running Game has been solid as well with Tra Carson leading the way with 292 yards and a couple touchdowns.
Defense is probably the biggest question for A&M this year and that hasn’t really been answered yet. They’ll get a good test here against the duo of Brandon Allen and Alex Collins.
Texas A&M has won the Southwest Classic three straight years now, although Arkansas has covered in two straight and five of the last six. Last year’s Game was dominated by the offenses, which again could be the case in this meeting. Texas A&M won 35-28 in overtime, but it was the beginning of the Aggies’ downfall as they were ranked No. 6 at the time of that Game and the Razorbacks exposed some of their flaws.
Texas A&M struggled to do much on the defensive side, allowing 285 rushing yards to Arkansas as well as 199 more to Allen in the passing Game. But, they made a big stop in overtime and that was it after Kenny Hill threw for 386 yards.
The Aggies are favored by more than a touchdown (as of Tuesday) and that may be a little too steep. While the Razorbacks have struggled, they always seem to play this matchup close and this year could be similar as long as the offense can put points on the board. The Aggies are 1-6 ATS in their last seven Conference Games, so there has been some overrating of them in the last year.
Our Pick – Don’t like this Game one bit from a betting standpoint. Certainly Texas A&M has looked like the better team thus far which explains why 78% of the wagers being taken on this one have come in on the Aggies. That being said, we all know, it’s never as easy as it looks.
The line has moved from -5.5 to -7 which gives us some value with the Hogs here. As mentioned above, not crazy about this Game, but we’re going to buck the public and take the TD with Arkansas. Arkansas +7