College Football Pick
For a team coming off a big win as a touchdown underdog, Arkansas isn’t getting much respect. At Auburn next, the Hogs opened as sizeable underdogs once again maybe partly because the Tigers had the week off. Either way, Auburn is a -10 point home favorite.
Of course, the thing going in Auburn’s favor is that both of its losses have come against two undefeated teams, Clemson and Texas A&M. On the other end of that, their best win was against LSU in which they barely won and Les Miles was fired hOurs later. Other than that, Auburn’s only real challenge came against Mississippi State and that’s not saying much.
As for the Razorbacks, despite some close wins early in the season, also have two losses to undefeated teams, Texas A&M and Alabama. But this past weekend, they did what was needed against Ole Miss, leading most of the way behind a solid ground Game.
It was an interesting result when these teams met a year ago with it being 24-24 at the end of regulation and then 54-46 when the final whistle sounded in favor of Arkansas at home. It was a fairly defensive Game with overtime pushing the Scorehigher than it should’ve been. It was even throughout with both teams employing the same run-first approach Game plan, while asking the quarterbacks to do little. That’ll probably be the case again.
There’s no reason Auburn has to ask Sean White to do more than he’s done. He’s at least been better than anything the Tigers had a season ago, completing close to 70% of his passes for six touchdowns and two picks.
Austin Allen has bigger numbers for Arkansas, but in close Games, the Hogs usually want to run more than pass. When down big against A&M and ‘Bama, Allen threw for 370-plus yards. Other than that, he’s been used about as much as White has been for Auburn.
So it’ll be up to the run defenses and the initial thought is that Auburn’s a tad better. But they are by no means dominant, giving up 220 yards to LSU in the win earlier this season. Rawleigh Williams III (785 yards, 5.6 ypc) and Devwah Whaley have been solid for the Hogs and it wouldn’t be surprising if they found the same kind of success that LSU did. And if Auburn does get to a double-digit lead, Allen at least has the arm to bring Arkansas back.
On the other side, Kerryon Johnson (583 yards, 6 TDs) and Kamryn Pettway (505 yards, 4 TDs) lead the way for the Tigers and that’s how they’ll attack this Game.
Arkansas has either beaten pass-first teams, or gotten destroyed by run-first ones such as A&M and ‘Bama. To cover this Game or win, they’ll have to buck that trend.
But with this line up at eight points and going higher, it’s an interesting line trend despite Arkansas coming off a nice win. Does Auburn really deserve the extra points in the spread because of an extra week of rest?
Our Pick – Auburn -10.5