The Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 3-1 ATS, 1-3 O/U) collide with the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1, 2-2 ATS, 2-1-1 O/U) in an SEC showdown on Saturday afternoon. The Crimson Tide remained undefeated with a blowout home win against Vanderbilt in their previous action. The Razorbacks were narrowly defeated by a strong Texas A&M team last week. Alabama recorded a wild 42-35 home win against Arkansas last season.
Alabama Resumes Dominance in SEC Opener
The #2 Alabama Crimson Tide enter their biggest game of the young season with a perfect record. The best opponent Nick Saban’s team has battled so far was Texas, and the Tide earned a narrow 20-19 road triumph in that one. They clobbered UL Monroe 63-7 two weeks ago and were mammoth 40-point favorites in a 55-3 home win against Vanderbilt last week. Alabama has covered the spread in three of their four games.
Bryce Young has been dominant. The junior QB had a season-best 385 passing yards last week and now has 1029 passing yards complemented by a 13:2 TD to INT ratio. Young has connected on 69% of his passes. Alabama has distributed the offense quite evenly. They have a few potent running backs led by Jase McClellan and Jahmyr Gibbs. McClellan leads the squad with 245 rushing yards. Gibbs is a junior RB. He had 93 rushing yards in the season opener and is up to 172 yards on an average of 6.9 yards per carry.
Traeshon Holden posted 239 receiving yards in 2021 and already has 214 yards this season. He is in the spotlight this season especially considering the Tide lost their best two receivers from last year to the NFL. The Alabama offense has eclipsed 40 points in three of their four bouts.
The Crimson Tide defense has been incredible. The most points they have allowed was 19 against Texas and this Arkansas offense definitely poses their biggest challenge so far. Last week, the unit limited Vanderbilt to only 129 yards. Alabama stands sixth against the pass and fourth against the run.
Alabama is scoring an average of 48.3 points, good for sixth. The defense is limiting foes to only 7.3 points, placing them third in the FBS.
Arkansas Tagged with First Loss of Season
The #20 Arkansas Razorbacks' difficult schedule continues. They have already played two ranked opponents and now have #2 Alabama. Arkansas earned a home win against Cincinnati in their season opener and beat South Carolina in their first SEC game. Last week, the Razorbacks were labeled a one-point dog in a tough 23-21 road loss to Texas A&M to end their three-game winning streak. The Hogs have covered the points in two of their four games.
KJ Jefferson doesn’t put up huge numbers on an offense that likes to run but is steady. The junior QB had 171 passing yards against the Aggies and has accrued a total of 941 passing yards along with a solid 8:1 TD to INT ratio. He also has added 274 rushing yards.
Raheim Sanders is one of the best running backs in the SEC. The sophomore has eclipsed 100 yards in all but one game and has recorded 508 rushing yards on 6.1 yards per carry. Matt Landers had 123 receiving yards two weeks ago and leads the squad with 230 yards. The Arkansas offense has reached 30 points in three of their four games.
Just how we drew it up pic.twitter.com/xFPWrUcU0I— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 24, 2022
The Razorbacks’ defense has been hit or miss. They struggled against the pass in the first three games but contained the Aggies' passing game last week. The unit allowed 343 total yards against a good Aggies offense. Arkansas is pegged 126th against the pass while the rush defense is marked at 29th overall. The Hogs dipped 10 spots to #20 in this week's AP Top 25.
The Razorbacks are scoring an average of 33.5 points, landing them 56th. The defense is limiting opponents to 26 points, placing them 77th overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Alabama Crimson Tide are obviously a great team but have enjoyed a rather light schedule so far. Their toughest opponent was Texas and they only won that game by one point on the road. Arkansas’s only defeat was a two-point decision against #23 Texas A&M last week.
Furthermore, the Razorbacks have a potent offense. KJ Jefferson surpassed 300 passing yards in the meeting against Alabama last season. The Hogs also have a stellar running game that will shine. Raheim Sanders is one of the best RBs in the FBS. He already has 508 rushing yards. Moreover, Alabama will run quite a bit and Arkansas has a stifling rush defense that is limiting foes to 100 rushing yards per game, good for 29th in the FBS. Arkansas only lost by a touchdown against Alabama last year and now has an experienced, better squad than last year ready to take on the conference foes.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect a barrage of scoring considering the offense on these combatants. Alabama has a spectacular offense that will thrive. Bryce Young collected a stunning 559 passing yards in the game against Arkansas last year. The Razorbacks' pass defense is not a strength, ranking 126th overall.
In addition, Arkansas has a talented offense that scored 44 points against South Carolina in their SEC opener. This is definitely the best offense Alabama has seen this year. The Razorbacks can exploit opponents in the air and on the ground and are averaging 481 total yards per game. The over is 21-10-1 in Alabama’s last 32 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.