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Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Point Spread - Pick

Arkansas Razorbacks (2-3 SU, 0-4-1 ATS) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 7:15PM EST
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: ARK +30/ALA +30
Over/Under Total: 56

The Arkansas Razorbacks take on the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday in an SEC showdown in Tuscaloosa. The Razorbacks were a disappointment on Saturday, when they were smashed by South Carolina on the road, 48-22. They were 3-point favorites and by the second half, the Gamecocks began putting the game away. The Razorbacks enter this game at 2-3 and they haven't even covered the spread once this season. Now, they have to come to Tuscaloosa to face the top team in the country in the Alabama Crimson Tide. 'Bama took care of business on Saturday in a tough game with Texas A&M, 27-19. They didn't come close to covering the spread and we'll see what they can come up with at home against an iffy Arkansas squad.

It's been slim pickings for the Razorbacks this season thus far, with wins against FCS foe Florida A&M and New Mexico State their only triumphs of the campaign. In their other games, they were beaten soundly by TCU and South Carolina, which sandwiched an overtime loss to Texas A&M. For what it's worth, in the last several seasons, they've held their own against 'Bama, at least keeping it from being embarrassing. And in 2014, they came within a point of pulling off the near-impossible in a 14-13 loss. If anything, the Razorbacks can get up for this game. Make no mistake, however, they have their work cut out this week in Tuscaloosa.

The Arkansas offense was not good last Saturday and not even so much for their inability to put up points, but how their mistakes led to three Gamecocks' defensive touchdowns. They nearly created more points for the opposing team than they scored for their own team. QB Austin Allen (questionable) had this team in the game early, before a pick and a fumble resulted in touchdowns and the offense couldn't really get into a groove. Still, the offense can put up yards and points in the right spots. They have a nice trio of backs in David Williams, Chase Hayden, and Devwah Watley. WR Jonathan Nance is developing into a reliable target for Allen. But Allen needs to be more accurate and reduce the turnovers, as they're not really good enough to recover from mistakes when they come in bunches. But still, if things click better and they catch a couple breaks, this side of the ball can be better than they've been showing. And the line could be a lot better, as Allen is often under siege against the better pass-rushing teams he faces.

It's not easy to sugar-coat the Arkansas defense's results this season, as they are giving up almost 32 points a game. Last season, they gave an alarming 39 rushing touchdowns and they obviously still have a ways to go before being a serviceable defense in the SEC. With guys like Armon Watts and Austin Capps up front, they are young and inexperienced. Randy Ramsey, Dre Greenlaw, and De'Jon Harris lead an unexceptional second level. Their secondary isn't all that bad, with some depth, as well, led by Josh Liddell, Santos Ramirez, Kamren Curl, and others. They might be as bad as the scores indicate, with turnovers and big special teams plays leading to a lot of points, but this "D" has a lot to prove if they want to avoid getting run over by the better conference teams they face this season.


Alabama wasn't all that impressive against Texas A&M last week, but it underscores how some conference teams are able to play Alabama hard. It's a game that opposing teams get up for mentally, as A&M did last week as 25.5-point underdogs. This is a huge game for their opponents and we see a 'Bama team missing some spreads by a fat margin. Still, with the Aggies tacking on a late TD, the score looked a little closer than it really was. A tipped pass led to an interception against A&M, with that being their first turnover in 37 quarters. That's pretty remarkable.

The Alabama offense was somewhat subdued on Saturday. They ran the ball fairly well, while QB Jalen Hurts struggled some in the passing attack. Damien Harris ran for 124 yards and a TD, including a 75-yard TD gallop. Bo Scarborough was useful with 55 yards, while Hurts also ran in a score on his 56 yards rushing. While Hurts was able to connect with Henry Ruggs, III. for a score through the air, he only had 123 yards passing. Guys like Calvin Ridley had their moments, but it was a tepid offensive showing for the Tide.

Even with the 19 points the Aggies put on them last week, the 'Bama defense is still very stingy this season. They came into their last game having given up a total of 3 points in their last two games. One of the best teams in the nation against the run, they gave up just 71 yards to the Aggies on 40 tries. The secondary is a playmaking one and Minkah Fitzpatrick had a pick on Saturday. Levi Wallace already has three. And if the Arkansas pattern of making mistakes on offense continues in this game, this is a group that will take full advantage.

Alabama isn't always an easy team to bet. They're usually huge favorites and since a lot of bettors don't need a lot of convincing to plunk down their money on the Tide, the value isn't always of a standout variety. This week might just qualify, unless Arkansas really is just not very good. And there is ample evidence to substantiate that, based on some performances we've seen this season. I just have trouble seeing this Razorbacks team hanging in there this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Alabama Crimson Tide minus 30 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Arkansas vs. Alabama game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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