Arkansas to Cover +20.5 vs. Auburn in College Football Opener

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 3:05 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 3:05 PM UTC

The Auburn Tigers made an improbable run to the national title game a year ago, which has them overvalued in the marketplace against the Arkansas Razorbacks in their season opener.

<p style="text-align:center"> <style type="text/css"><!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}--> </style> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:arial,sans,sans-serif;color:#000000;text-align:left"><iframe width="560" height="330" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></span></p> <p><strong>Let’s give this another try</strong><br /> Arkansas will look to bounce back from a miserable 2013 campaign, which saw it drop all eight Southeastern Conference games in head coach Bret Bieleman’s first year in Fayetteville—something that certainly is factored into the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Live betting odds on all College Football games">college football betting odds</a> in Week 1.</p> <p>The Razorbacks are 2-8 SU in their last 10 road openers, with losses in three straight games in that situation, but things may be different this time around with 14 returning starters.</p> <p>College football handicappers will find that the program is 17-17 ATS as road underdogs the last 10 years, including a 2-3 ATS mark in five opportunities last year.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href="" target="_blank" title="Shop for &amp; compare 2014 BCS Future Odds"><em><span style="color:#FF0000">Compare 2014 BCS Championship Future Odds</span></em></a></p> <p><strong>There’s no place like home</strong><br /> Auburn has won eight straight openers at Jordan-Hare Stadium, which is important to consider when making your college football predictions, but it’s important to point out that the last three victories have come by a total of 14 points.</p> <p>The Tigers welcome back 14 starters from a team that suffered a 34-31 loss to the Florida State Seminoles in the 2013-14 BCS championship game—a result that <a href="" target="_blank" title="Have odds makers overvalued Auburn in the NCAAF futures?">may have them overvalued</a> from the opening bell.</p> <p>In its six opportunities as home favorites in head coach Guz Malzahn’s first year on campus, the squad covered the number in four of those affairs.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>A decision has been made</strong><br /> Bielema didn’t waste much time in naming junior Brandon Allen his starting quarterback for the opener, as he owns a major experience edge over signal-caller of the future Rafe Peavey.</p> <p>Allen completed just 49.6 percent of his passes a year ago, while throwing 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  His adjusted quarterback rating didn’t rank among the top 60 nationally in posting those numbers.</p> <p>Arkansas will likely lean heavily on 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year Alex Collins, who was the second first-year player in school history to reach 1,000 or more yards on the ground.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Up in smoke</strong><br /> Sports bettors will want to keep a close eye on any future line movement in this matchup, considering Tigers quarterback <a href="" target="_blank" title="Auburn QB Nick Marshall 'cited' for marijuana">Nick Marshall received a citation</a> for possession of a small amount of marijuana earlier this month, which caused him to lost the right of attending the conference’s media days last week.</p> <p>Marshall could be punished further by Malzahn—an action that would cause a shift in the betting markets due to the senior being a legitimate <a href="" target="_blank" title="Top 2014 Heisman Trophy Contenders">Heisman Trophy candidate</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Prediction</strong><br /> I’m going to recommend that readers <a href="" target="_blank" title="Handicappers concur the Razorbacks are the smart betting pick for this game">back the Razorbacks</a> as one of their Week 1 NCAA football betting picks, as they’ve gone 3-1 ATS in their last four road games in this rivalry.<br /> <br /> <strong>Pick:</strong>  Arkansas Razorbacks +20.5[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":293741, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p>
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