The Arkansas Razorbacks will enter the 2016 college football season looking to live up to all of the national hype they’ve been getting this offseason.
While that may be all fine and well, the big question surrounding the Razorbacks as they get set for their regular season opener is whether or not they can cover the college football betting odds as a three touchdown home favorite over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Let’s find out now!
In Depth Analysis On The College Football Week 1 Bulldogs Vs Razorbacks Free Picks
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 3, 2016
Where: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
NCAAF Odds: Arkansas -21
Bet The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at +21 Because…
They’re getting three touchdowns and have a fine program! Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS) has won nine games in consecutive seasons, but could find duplicating that success a bit more difficult in 2016 as they replace starting quarterback Jeff Driskel and gifted running back Kenneth Dixon.
The likely starter right now is Ryan Higgins, who started as a freshman in 2013. Higgins has an outstanding receiving corps starting with All-Conference-USA star Trent Taylor and fellow starter Carlos Henderson. The offensive line looks solid with three returning starters, and a fourth who started in 2014 but missed 2015 due to injury.
At running back, former walk-on Boston Scott will be the likely starter replacing Dixon though he’ll share carries with Jarred Craft and Jaqwis Dancy on defense, the Bulldogs lost a whopping eight starters and return just on starter in the secondary. Louisiana Tech will start Arizona State transfer Ronald Lewis and incumbent, Ephraim Kitchen at cornerback, but the Dogs will also have three new and inexperienced starting linebackers in 2016.
The defensive line looks solid at end but the head coach Skip Holts needs to find a suitable replacement for elite nose tackle Vernon Butler.
Bet The Arkansas Razorbacks at -21 Because…
The Razorbacks are far superior to their Week 1 opponents and want to make a big splash nationally in 2016! Arkansas (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 bevy 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.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
While I love the job that Bret Bielema has done since arriving at Arkansas a couple of seasons ago, something tells me that Louisiana Tech is going to put up a real fight before falling to the Razorbacks late in a closer-than-expected affair.
Sure, the Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall an 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games, but Louisiana Tech has gone 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games, 5-1 ATS in their last half-dozen games against teams from the SEC and an impressive 23-11 ATS in their last 34 road games.