In all truthfulness, the season really begins now for top-ranked Alabama as the defending national champions begin a very tough four-game stretch in SEC play with a trip to No. 16 Arkansas on Saturday night. The Tide are two-touchdown favorites in NCAA football odds.
Here’s a Closer Look at the Alabama at Arkansas Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
Why Bet on Alabama?
The Tide (5-0, 2-0) beat Kentucky 34-6 on Saturday. Jalen Hurts threw two third-quarter touchdown passes to Calvin Ridley, and Ronnie Harrison scored on a 55-yard fumble return. Hurt and Ridley took over the second half, hooking up on scoring passes of 10 and 19 yards and plenty in between. Hurts passed for 262 yards, including 173 in the third quarter. Ridley gained 174 yards on 11 catches, both career-highs.
“Calvin had a career day … and was really, really good,” Coach Nick Saban said. “But we’ve got a lot of other good players we need to get involved in the passing game. We had some guys open out there — plays designed that they should have got the ball.”
Freshman tailback Joshua Jacobs rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown in his first start with Damien Harris playing dealing with a sprained ankle. The good news for the Tide is Harris’ injury wasn’t serious enough to keep him from a handful of carries against Kentucky, and he should be back to full strength soon. Saban decided to play linebacker Tim Williams a mere two days after he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of carrying a handgun without a permit. Williams was held out in the first half of the game.
Saban calls Arkansas a “really strong opponent.” He said he’s hopeful that WR ArDarius Stewart, who missed the last two games with a knee Injury, will be able to play. The Tide secondary will be put to the test this weekend by Austin Allen and the Arkansas passing game, which is among the best in the SEC, with the second-highest QBR and the highest completion percentage in the conference.
Why Bet on Arkansas?
The Razorbacks come off an easy 52-10 non-conference win over Alcorn State. The Hogs got a complete performance on offense and defense putting up 559 yards, 353 on the ground, as well as holding Alcorn State’s offense in check. The win improved Arkansas’ record to 4-1, marking the first 4-1 start for the Razorbacks since 2011. It was also the 150th win all time for the Razorbacks at War Memorial Stadium.
Sophomore Rawleigh Williams III and freshman Devwah Whaley each totaled over 100 yards rushing in the game with Whaley leading all players with 135 yards and one touchdown. Williams finished just behind Whaley with 126 yards, his third 100+ yard performance in the last four games. Allen was 13-of-18 through the air for 206 yards and tied a career-high three touchdown passes.
Allen became the first Arkansas quarterback since joining the SEC (1992) to throw multiple TD passes in the first five games of a season. Allen is currently one of two quarterbacks in the SEC to throw multiple touchdown passes in every game this year (Chad Kelly, Ole Miss). Allen has thrown for 12 touchdown passes through five games this season, the most by an Arkansas quarterback since Ryan Mallett’s 13 touchdown passes in 2010.
Arkansas moved up four spots in the AP Top 25 and five spots in the Coaches Poll. Arkansas has won 10 of its last 12 games dating back to last season, including three of its last four against ranked opponents, and will look for its first home win over the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time since 1981 when Alabama visits on Saturday. The Crimson Tide own the longest win streak in the nation at 17 games.
My Free Pick
Razorbacks are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
Razorbacks are 14-5 ATS in their last 19 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Razorbacks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
Home team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
Tide will win but I’ll take the points. Go over the total in NCAA football betting.