Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#171 Western Kentucky 51 vs.
#172 Arkansas -2
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
D.W.R. Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville
Written by Joshua Broom

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#171 Western Kentucky University
#172 University of Arkansas
5-4
2-7
6-3
2-7
4-5
3-6
22
22
20
35

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The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers face Arkansas this weekend to settle an SEC vs. Conference USA matchup. After a four-game win streak fueled by lockdown defense, WKU became overmatched during their current two-game losing streak. Once atop C-USA East’s standings at 4-0, the Hilltoppers 4-2 conference mark ranks third overall.

Likewise, sporting six consecutive losses, and an 0-6 SEC mark, Arkansas is trending downward. Still, due to competition faced, the homestanding Razorbacks open as -2.5 point favorites in this pick em affair.

Arkansas looks to end prolonged win drought

Winless in their past 14 conference tilts, the Razorbacks gladly welcome mid-major opposition Saturday. However, the slight lean in their favor isn’t convincing for a team jammed in the SEC West.

Last weekend, visiting Mississippi State (4-5) ended a four-game losing streak 54-24 at Arkansas’ expense. Ben Hicks’ 4 of 13, one interception outing typified the Razorbacks’ dry 9 of 24, 101 yards passing total.

Overall, Chad Morris’ men average 22.7 points, #105 FBS. To exploit the Razorbacks’ #119 defense, junior MSU tailback Kylie Hill added 234 ground yards and three touchdowns. Bulldogs quarterback Tommy Stevens made his 12 of 18 afternoon count as the senior lobbed two scoring strikes to highlight last Saturday’s division rout.

WKU defense needs rebound to secure bowl eligibility

One win from bowl eligibility, it behooves the nation’s #27 defense to regain equilibrium. And, though WKU carries two straight losses into Fayetteville, their competitive drive is likely higher than Arkansas’ for Saturday’s encounter. Though, with distinct scheduling discrepancies between WKU and Arkansas, it’s tough to tell by numbers exactly how these teams match up. That stated, a holistic approach, or intangible-based factors, weigh heavily in today’s game. Bowl eligibility and the pride associated with downing SEC competition qualifies for Western Kentucky’s 2019 bucket list.

Although, last weekend Florida Atlantic threw two touchdowns, ran for two more, and secured a defensive touchdown to slide past the Hilltoppers 35-24. In that pivotal conference loss, senior quarterback Ty Storey threw three interceptions as his backfield gained just 63 yards.

Best Bets for this Game

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With a more composed Storey outing, WKU has the talent, defensive legs and motivation to pull the slight underdog upset SU vs. Arkansas. The Razorbacks are 2-1 vs. 2019 non-conference opposition. In those rare wins, Arkansas went life-and-death in week one action vs. Portland State, winning 20-13. The Razorbacks then blew out Colorado State 55-34 for their season highlight before christening their seven-game skid 31-24 vs. SJSU.

The Hilltoppers will exploit Arkansas’ passing game while generating enough scores to secure a win before resuming conference play.

Prediction: Western Kentucky

Full-Game Total Pick

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Look for an under total Saturday as WKU rallies to make life difficult for the Razorbacks’ offense. Meanwhile, vs. power five competition for the last time, expect a redemptive effort from Ty Storey as his Hilltoppers become bowl eligible as Arkansas coasts toward another season’s end.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Joshua Broom

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Joshua Broom has lent his thirty-plus years of insight to several sports outlets and has appeared on national radio to talk hoops. Now a dedicated handicapper, Joshua avidly critiques NBA, MLB and college and professional basketball and football trends for the betting public. Check out his picks today at Stat Salt to get a leg up on your bookie.