Now, let’s find out which team will cover the online college football odds when the two playoff hopefuls square off in an intriguing Week 8 SEC showdown.
In Depth Analysis On The Arkansas Razorbacks at Auburn Tigers College Football Expert PredictionsWhen: Saturday, October 22
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
NCAAF Odds: Auburn -3.5
Bet The Arkansas Razorbacks at +3.5 Because…Arkansas Razorbacks (8-5 SU, 8-5 ATS) returns just five starters on offense, including All-SEC wide receiver Drew Morgan and tackle Dan Skipper. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks must replace quarterback Brandon Allen, running back Alex Collins, tight end Hunter Henry and three stating offensive linemen.
The good news is that Arkansas is loaded with talent and looks well-prepared to replace their former starters. At quarterback, junior signal-caller Austin Allen, the brother of three-year starter Brandon Allen, looks like he will replace his sibling almost seamlessly. At running back, Bielema will likely go with a committee that includes Rawleigh Williams, who is coming off neck surgery, Damon Mitchell and top recruit Devwah Whaley.
Arkansas also has a slew of big-bodied offensive linemen that they believe will replace their former starters almost effortlessly and a core group of wide receivers that are all experienced. Defensively, the Razorbacks return a whopping nine starters on defense and are looking to improve their overall defense after falling to 58th overall last season after ranking 10th in 2014.
Defensive end Deatrich Wise looked as good as any lineman in the country late last season and the Razorbacks added an elite recruit in defensive end McTelvin Agim. Depth at linebacker could be a problem spot for Bielema, but the secondary is stocked with talent and vast experience. Overall, the Razorbacks look like they’ll be very good defensively in 2016.
Bet The Auburn Tigers at -3.5 Because…Auburn (7-6 SU, 3-9-1 ATS) underachieved in 2015 despite having nearly as much talent as any team in the country. The Tigers return an identical six starters on both sides of the ball, but need improved play at several positions, starting at quarterback. Head coach Gus Malzahn has yet to name his starter out of a trio of candidates including John Franklin III, Jeremy Johnson and Sean White.
At running back, 2015 second-stringer Jovon Robinson is set to replace former starter Peyton Barber but the wide receiver position looks like it could be problematic because of a lack of experience. Not only that, but Malzahn must also find a pair f suitable replacements for starting tackles Shon Coleman and Avery Young and that could be easier said than done, although the Tigers do have an All-SEC performer in guard Braden Smith.
The good news is that the Tigers look like they’ll be solid at the very least on defense in 2016 under new coordinator Kevin Steele, who comes on board after one year at LSU. The Tigers have a pair of potential next level defensive linemen in Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams and a group of young recruits that could all make an immediate impact.
The linebacker unit is an area of concern after losing three starters and their 601 career tackles. In the secondary, Malzahn needs to find a new starter for departed senior Blake Countess, but the Tigers do have an All-SEC performer in sophomore Carlton Davis.
Expert Pick & Final Score PredictionAuburn will be looking to extract some revenge after losing to Arkansas 54-46 and narrowly failing to cover the spread as a 7-point road dog, but they’ve lost three of their last five meetings against the Razorbacks and I us don’t have a whole lot of faith I the Tigers at this point.
For me, I like Arkansas to narrowly cover the college football betting line – by getting the outright road win against Auburn. The Tigers a jus 3-3 ATS in their last half-dozen home games against the Razorbacks and an uninspiring 3-5 SU and ATS in their last eight meetings against their longtime SEC rivals. I say back the Arkansas Razorbacks to get the ATS cover by winning outright!