College Football Picks: Play Motivated Razorbacks to Upset a Powerful Alabama Team

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 1:08 PM GMT

Our NCAAF handicapper takes a look at Saturday’s SEC contest between Arkansas and Alabama. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview article which concludes with his point spread pick.

A Saturday Night in Tuscaloosa for Razorbacks
Alabama hosts Arkansas in a SEC matchup on Saturday. The opening kickoff at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is 7:00 PM ET, and it will be aired by ESPN. According to current (10/6) college football betting odds, Alabama is a 16.0 to 16.5 point favorite, and the total ranges from 50.0 to 51.0. Since 2007, Alabama has won eight straight over Arkansas. Last season “The Crimson Tide” narrowly escaped with a 14-13 victory at Fayetville as an 8.5 point favorite.

 

Much Needed Win for Hogs
Arkansas came away with a huge 24-20 win as a 5.5 point road underdog against Tennessee last Saturday. That win enabled the Razorbacks to an end a three game losing streak, and evened their SEC record at 1-1. They were able to hold a very strong Tennessee running game to just 133 yards. Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen has performed well this season, completing 66% of his pass attempts for 1360 yards with 8 touchdowns against only 3 picks. Allen may have to play his best game of the year for Arkansas to have any chance of an outright upset. He’ll have the luxury of handing it off to a quality running back in order to take pressure off the passing game. Alex Collins has run for 656 yards (5.8 YPA) and 6 touchdowns in the first five games. Establishing the run will be paramount against an Alabama defense that’s allowed only 84 yards (2.7 YPA) rushing per game. Teams that become offensively one dimensional against Alabama have proven to fail miserably in the vast majority of instances.

 

Statement Win for Crimson Tide
Alabama entered last Saturday as an underdog for the first time since 12/5/2009 against Florida. They reacted by making a definitive statement during a 38-10 win at Georgia, and handed the Bulldogs their first loss this season. The Crimson Tide has displayed a very balanced offensive attack in 2015, averaging 200 yards rushing and 244 passing per game. With the exception of their defeat against Ole Miss, Alabama’s defense has been outstanding, allowing 17 points or less in four of five games. Despite the Ole Miss loss, Alabama enters the week ranked #8, and is a long way from being eliminated regarding national championship contention.

 

Final Analysis
Arkansas can hang their hat on the fact that Georgia ran for 193 yards last week against Alabama. It also must be noted, despite their 2-3 start to the season, Arkansas averages an excellent 35:45 in time of possession this year. This is a tremendous opportunity for the Razorbacks to right its ship after an extremely disappointing start which included three home losses. Alabama is coming off an emotional win last week on the road against then undefeated Georgia, and may come out flat against a less heralded SEC opponent. I’m going to have an early lean towards the underdog for one of my college football picks.

College Football Pick: Play on Arkansas +16.5 (+102) at Pinnacle.

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