College Football Week 8 Predictions: Arkansas A Large Digit 'Dog At Auburn

Arkansas safeties Josh Liddell (28) and Santos Ramirez (9)

Willie Bee

Thursday, October 20, 2016 6:20 PM GMT

For the third time this season, Arkansas is a 9.5 point underdog on the NCAA football odds. Can the Razorbacks cash on the road at the Auburn Tigers?

 

Season: 14-16-2 (-2.90)

Suddenly, the battle between the Arkansas Razorbacks and Auburn Tigers has become crucial, and not just because it's one of three top-25 matchups in the SEC this weekend.

The worldwide leader in sports has the broadcast beginning at 6 PM (ET) from Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Auburn is -10 at most shops, a few still sporting a 9½ point spread. 5Dimes, where you can get a 50% Fre Play Bonus, started its total at 55, that number now up a half since the opener.

Despite an impressive win over Ole Miss last week as 10 point home 'dogs on the NCAA football odds, Arkansas is all but out of the SEC West race with two losses, both coming against co-leaders Alabama and Texas A&M. Auburn is still very much in the SEC Championship mix, and believe it or not, Tigers fans might turn into Crimson Tide fans this week when the Aggies visit Tuscaloosa. The Tigers would be in control of their own destiny for a West title with an Alabama victory over A&M since they still have the Tide on their slate (Nov. 26). Auburn would need help if the Aggies pull off that upset having already fallen to Texas A&M earlier.

 
Tigers Look To Cover For 6th Time This Season

The victory over Mississippi last week stopped a string of three consecutive spread defeats for Arkansas (5-2 straight up, 3-4 against the spread). Personally, I never understood them getting 10 at home and was happy to take the points in the 34-30 upset. Rawleigh Williams III set a personal best with 180 yards rushing and caught one of three Austin Allen touchdown passes.

Meanwhile, Auburn (4-2 SU, 5-1 ATS) was making friends with college football bettors for a 3rd-straight week with a sound 38-14 whipping of Mississippi State. Starting tailback Kerryon Johnson injured his leg early, but Kamryn Pettway took over the running chores in fine fashion with 169 yards on 39 carries, three of those totes putting six points on the board. Johnson is officially questionable for this one, but I expect him to play at some point.

 


Last Year's Contest Went 4 OT

The schools met in the Liberty Bowl back in 1984, but this rivalry never started to develop until Arkansas joined the SEC about eight years later. It has been very even as conference foes, Auburn up 12-11 since the tie in '92, the Razorbacks' first season in the SEC, and they've split the last six meetings.

The 'over' has cashed the last two collisions following a 3-year run of 'under' winners and the 2015 meeting was a real doozy. In Fayetteville as 7 point chalk, Arkansas pulled out the victory and cover with a 54-46 decision that was decided in the fourth overtime. Along with splitting the last six outright, the spread victories have been halved, the underdog only getting the straight-up win one time.

Right now, all's well on the weather front where it should be in the low-70s for kickoff with clear skies and a pretty view of the sunset just about the time the first half ends.

Both teams run the ball well, though Arkansas' strength remains in the passing game. The Razorbacks have also struggled at times stopping the run, and that's where the Tigers have an advantage. Still, I'm not sure they can cover double digits so once again it's a free college football pick on the underdog Hogs.

 Free College Football Pick: Arkansas +9.5 Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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