Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Pick
Nick Saban and the 2nd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are just one win away from locking down the SEC West and earning the right to battle the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game. Both the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs have been on an inevitable collision course this season. The only team standing in the way of guaranteeing that epic showdown is the no. 21 Arkansas Razorbacks, who will be making the trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday. At 7-3 SU and 5-4-1 ATS, the Razorbacks will enter this Saturday's road trip on the heels of 3 straight victories as sizable 21 point underdogs.
The Razorbacks were 28 point underdogs last year against the Crimson Tide in Head Coach Sam Pittman's first season in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks suffered a staggering 52-3 defeat in last year's season finale against Alabama and will be looking for some respectable redemption on Saturday. Luckily for the Razorbacks, Arkansas has taken a considerable step forward in Pittman's 2nd season. Arkansas has posted quality wins against ranked teams like Texas, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State. At 7-3 SU, the Razorbacks have a strong likelihood to record their best season since 2011 and are perhaps poised to give Alabama' their toughest contest in recent memory. The question is, should we truly expect any different outcome from this SEC West rivalry?
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Analysis
A legitimate argument could be made that Arkansas should not be 21 point underdogs to anyone this season. With numerous quality wins, the only extreme letdown this season was at the hands of top-ranked Georgia in a 37-0 shutout. The 2nd ranked Crimson Tide is not nearly as potent as their prestigious reputation may suggest. The Crimson Tide were upset by Texas A&M and had surprising difficulties against the likes of Florida, Tennessee, and LSU, who are mere average SEC foes this season.
From a match-up standpoint, Alabama still provides similar challenges to opposing defenses. QB Bryce Young has been excellent, completing 70% passing for 3,025 yards with 33 touchdowns and just three picks. Receivers Jameson Williams and John Metchie III have combined for 1,750 receiving yards with 16 touchdowns. Meanwhile, running back Brian Robinson has added damage on the ground with 823 yards with 14 touchdowns. Statistically, Alabama appears to be on par with the historical averages under Saban, but I would add that the ground game has not been as dominant as the numbers may suggest.
- Get more details: Razorbacks vs. Crimson Tide 11/20/21 Betting Stats
Stylistically, the Razorbacks defense matches up reasonably well against Alabama. Arkansas houses a top 25 pass defense that is giving up less than 200 yards per game through the air. While the run defense has had some issues, the secondary has been solid, which will match up against Alabama's most dangerous weapon in the passing attack. Personally, I don't see Alabama posting unrealistic scoring numbers in this game which has been produced sporadically throughout the year in ideal match-ups.
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The real question will be how the Razorbacks' will respond on the offensive side of the football. The offense flows through QB KJ Jefferson who has thrown for just less than 2,000 yards with 17 scores and three picks while adding another 474 yards with five scores on the ground. While I believe Jefferson is a solid talent, Nick Saban's defenses have historically been terrific against dual-threat quarterbacks. I thoroughly expect Alabama to take away the run part of the RPO’s and force Jefferson to beat the defense with his arm. Ultimately, I believe that will lead to struggles from both offenses in this showdown and put some stress on the scoring to reach the 58 point total.