Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#197 Arkansas vs.
#198 LSU
Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#197 University of Arkansas
#198 Louisiana State University
2-8
10-0
2-8
6-3-1
4-6
7-3
22
47
36
23

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The No.1-ranked LSU Tigers will put their undefeated season on the line when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday night.

The Tigers cruised to another win on the road against Ole Miss last week to improve to 10-0 on the season. LSU seems like a lock for the College Football Playoff after beating Alabama two weeks ago. Following this week’s matchup, the Tigers will host Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2 SEC) in their final game of the season at the end of the month. Can LSU take care of business at home against Arkansas on Saturday night?

All of a sudden, the Heisman Trophy seems like Joe Burrow’s award to lose. The former 200-to-1 longshot has become the unanimous favorite after leading the Tigers to a 10-0 record to start the season. Burrow has thrown for 3,687 yards, 38 touchdowns, and only six interceptions this season while completing 78.6 percent of his passes and adding three more scores on the ground. The 6-foot-4 senior has NFL scouts salivating over his potential and he’s already set the single-season school record for touchdowns (38) and passing yards (3,687) with two regular-season games left on the schedule.

Arkansas dropped its seventh consecutive contest two weeks ago, falling to Western Kentucky at home 45-19. K.J. Jefferson completed only 6-of-15 passes for only 60 yards and an interception while Rakeem Boyd exploded for 185 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries in a losing effort for the Razorbacks. Jefferson was outdueled by former Razorbacks’ quarterback Ty Storey, who transferred from the program after losing the starting job in 2018. The loss also raises plenty of questions about Arkansas head coach Chad Morris’ future. The Razorbacks are in jeopardy of having their worst two seasons in school history in his two years as head coach. If he were to be let go, Morris’ stint would be the shortest by a non-interim head coach at Arkansas since 1942.

LSU avoided a letdown and cruised to a 58-37 victory on the road against Ole Miss last week. Joe Burrows gave his Heisman campaign a boost, throwing for 489 yards and five touchdowns while Clyde Edwards-Helaire posted in third-straight 100-yard game, rushing for 172 yards and a score on the day. Ja’Marr Chase also posted his third 100-yard day, catching eight balls for 227 yards and three scores and fellow wide receiver Justin Jefferson also finished with 112 yards and a touchdown, as the Tigers racked up 714 yards of total offense in the route.

With the win, the Tigers remained slotted at No. 1 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. However, there are still plenty of skeptics out there questioning LSU’s legitimacy as a true national championship contender. ESPN’s Paul Finebaum confidently proclaimed that LSU would go down this week and that Ohio State would replace them as the new No. 1 for the final week of the regular season.

LSU’s defense left plenty to be desired with their performance against the Rebels last week. The Tigers built a whopping 31-7 lead before halftime but the defense let up its guard in the second half. In total, they surrendered 37 points and 614 total yards, including 402 yards on the ground. For the season, LSU ranks ninth in the SEC in 47th nationally in total yards allowed per game, which is their worst mark of this decade. The Tigers come in allowing 23.8 points and 367.8 yards per game, including 237 yards per game through the air, which ranks 11th in the SEC.

Arkansas fires Chad Morris

Arkansas fired head coach Chad Morris following their loss to Western Kentucky. Morris was 4-18 since replacing Bret Bielema in December 2017. The Razorbacks were winless in 14 SEC games under Morris and have now lost 17 straight SEC games dating back to the end of the 2017 season. Morris’ stint was the shortest by a non-interim head coach at Arkansas since 1942.

Former tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Barry Lunny Jr. will take over as the interim head coach for the rest of the season. Lunny Jr., a former Arkansas quarterback, is in his seventh season on the Arkansas coaching staff and could be a candidate for the full-time coaching job. After all, LSU’s own Ed Orgeron was the team’s interim head coach in 2016 and hasn’t done too bad since.

Despite being fresh off a bye week, ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Arkansas only a 1.3 percent chance of pulling off the upset. The Razorbacks have scored 22.3 points and averaged 353.5 total yards per game this season. On defense, they are giving up 36.2 points and 446.7 yards of total offense per contest, including 225.4 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 123rd in the nation.

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It’s hard to imagine LSU losing this game. I’m not buying into their defensive collapse last week in a game that was just about over by halftime. Led by Burrows, their offense comes in averaging 550 yards of total offense and 7.64 yards per play. Arkansas managed just 19 points against Western Kentucky last week and they’ve scored 20 points or less in four of their last five games, which is simply not going to get it done against this high-powered LSU offense. Take the Tigers to cover the number on the road in this matchup on Saturday afternoon. 

Prediction: LSU Tigers -44

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The Razorbacks have struggled on offense as of late but they should be fired up to play LSU this week. Arkansas is coming off a bye so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them add a few wrinkles under interim head coach Barry Lunny Jr. The Tigers struggled in last week’s win against Ole Miss, allowing a season-high in total yardage in the win. Meanwhile, LSU’s offense should be able to get whatever they want against a Razorbacks’ defense allowing 36.2 points per game. Take this SEC battle to go over the projected total on Saturday.

Prediction: Over 69.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.