College Football Picks: Arkansas vs. Florida

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 1:52 PM GMT

Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema has placed a major emphasis on recruiting in the Sunshine State, which is why Saturday’s game against the Florida Gators is likely the school’s biggest game of the year.

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Southeastern Conference matchup at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 6.

Time to hit the road

Arkansas hits the road for the first of four SEC games away from home, as it attempts to snap a two-game losing streak, which includes a 45-33 setback to the Texas A&M Aggies as 13.5-point home underdogs last Saturday.

Razorbacks first-year head coach Bret Bielema is 36-8 SU when facing an opponent for the first time, as his program is the only one in the country that plays preseason top 10 opponents in four consecutive weeks. 

Impressive numbers 

Florida is 3-1 SU and 1-3 ATS through four games during the 2013 campaign, as it comes off a 24-7 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats as 11-point road favorites, while going UNDER the betting total for the third time in that span. 

The Gators have won the statistical battle by at least 162 yards in all four of their affairs, which has been made possible by pacing the country in allowing just 53.5 rushing yards per game.

Recruiting wars 

College football handicappers need to realize that this might be the Razorbacks biggest game of the season, considering that Bielema has been known to recruit hard in this part of the country—signing 26 student-athletes from Florida during his time as a head coach. 

Florida natives account for 51 percent of the team’s rushing yards, with running back Alex Collins being the biggest contributor to that statistic. He enters this game leading the SEC and ranking sixth nationally with 597 total yards on the ground. 

Timing 

The Gators certainly know that this game will come down to time of possession and turnovers—two of the main categories that both of these teams focus on in winning football games.

Florida relies heavily on its defense in trying to win that battle, as it has forced a turnover in 15 straight games, while it has forced 21 three-and-outs in 44 opponent drives.

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Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Razorbacks with their college football picks, as the Gators have failed to cover the number in their last six home games.

College Football Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks +10.5