The Alabama Crimson Tide has one loss on their record, but that hasn’t stopped them from being ranked in the top four of college football in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Since the loss to Texas A&M, Alabama has won four straight games with ease (other than their home game against LSU). Meanwhile, Arkansas is on a three-game winning streak and now has seven wins on the year. It’s been quite the turnaround for the hogs. However, going up against Alabama is no easy task.
Luckily, Arkansas is already bowl eligible because it will be hard to win this one as a three-touchdown underdog. Here are our predictions for a top-25 ranked SEC matchup between Arkansas vs. Alabama.
Last year Arkansas couldn’t score a single touchdown against Alabama and allowed 52 points. While things might be slightly different in this week’s game, more of the same is likely still in store.
Alabama is averaging 44.6 points per game with nearly 500 yards of offense per game. On the flip side, defensively, the Crimson Tide is allowing just 18.2 points and under 300 yards per game. Alabama is led by the Heisman favorite in Bryce Young, as he has 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions throughout the year with over 3,000 passing yards.
The run game has also been excellent with Brian Robinson Jr, who has rushed for 14 touchdowns on 164 attempts this season.
Defensively, Alabama has looked fantastic in the run game, and they’ve tackled well in the open field and behind the line of scrimmage. The coverage has been just as solid. While the pass rush isn’t the best quality for Alabama, they’ll put pressure on Arkansas, going up against an average Arkansas offensive line in pass protection.
On the other hand, Arkansas has some momentum with three straight wins. K.J. Jefferson isn’t an elite quarterback, but he can make plays with his feet as he builds a tight end. Jefferson has thrown for 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The limited turnovers are one of the main reasons why Arkansas has seven wins.
Defensively, Arkansas is very good, allowing 22.9 points per game, but they’re not elite at anything. The Hogs get the job done and look elite against poor competition. It won’t be easy against Alabama.
After Alabama’s last SEC matchup against LSU, I’m going to give Arkansas a chance at winning this game. As a three-touchdown underdog, it’s improbable, but Arkansas has a solid enough defense to get stops. The offense for Arkansas and Alabama didn’t look good against LSU earlier this year. However, both offenses are just waiting to explode in this game. To me, even a 42-31 game makes sense in this spot. I like Arkansas to cover and score a solid amount of points in this one to keep the cover.
K.J. Jefferson can escape the Alabama pass rush and create first downs and more. That will be on display in this one. Arkansas starts the game with 20.5 points, and I will take it.
Pick: Arkansas +20.5 (-110)
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