The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide have a 2-1 spread record, giving up 18 points in their first three wins combined. They begin SEC play in a home battle against the No. 12 Arkansas Razorbacks, who have notched 47 PPG en route to a 2-1 ATS mark.
Sportsbooks opened Alabama as a 14-point favorite, with early
wagers on Arkansas driving the number south two points to 12. College football odds makers first set the ‘total’ at 49 ½, followed by lifting it to 50 ½ after
initial betting action on the ‘over.’
Tide defense notches shutout
The Alabama Crimson Tide cruised to a 41-0 win in last Saturday’s contest against
North Texas, falling just shy of covering ATS as a 47-point home
favorite. The Crimson Tide piled in 586 total yards, while moving the
chains for 25 first downs in their 28 minutes of possession.
Crimson Tide running backs Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy united
for five touchdowns, combining for 328 rushing yards on 20 carries. The
backfield mates helped Alabama go 6-for-11 in third down conversions.
Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims both saw action under
center, completing a combined 21-of-29 passes. Wide out Kenny Bell and
tight end Brady Smelley took in four catches each, uniting for 101 receiving
The contest’s 41 points plunged ‘under’ the ‘total’ of 58. Alabama’s defense held North Texas to 169 total yards, allowing 5-of-17
Arkansas edges out Troy looking ahead
The Arkansas Razorbacks saw last Saturday’s commanding 24-0 lead against
the Troy Trojans turn into a 38-28 win, failing to cover as 23-point home
favorites. Arkansas recorded three turnovers, including an interception
from quarterback Tyler Wilson being returned 53 yards for a touchdown by Troy’s
Wilson connected on 23-of-36 passes for 303 yards, while guiding
his squad’s offense to 26 first downs. The 22-year-old found wide out Joe
Adams for a team-high eight catches, including one touchdown.
Arkansas’ Ronnie Wingo dashed for 109 yards in 20 carries from the
backfield. The junior ran in two touchdowns, while adding a third with a
The Razorbacks’ defense was lit up for 457 total yards, allowing
all three of Troy’s offensive touchdowns through the air. Arkansas was
penetrated for 22 first downs by Troy, including a sizable 10 from the Trojans’
24 conversion attempts on third and fourth down.
The duel’s combined 66 points leaped above the ‘total’ of
61. ‘Over’ tickets cashed thanks to the Razorbacks allowing a touchdown
catch by Troy’s Eric Thomas with 28 seconds remaining.
Roll with the Tide as home ‘chalk’
Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (ET). The
weather forecast in Tuscaloosa calls for a sunny high of 81 degrees, with calm
In this college football free pick I am backing Alabama as the home ‘chalk,’ looking
for the Crimson Tide to win big as they did in 2009’s 35-7 victory as 17
½-point home favorites against Arkansas.
The Crimson Tide defense has had some of the nation’s highest
marks, allowing just 170 YPG. Arkansas’ offensive numbers in its
‘cupcake’ outings thus far should be brought to a big halt as its crew steps up
Alabama’s Robert Lester grabbed two interceptions in last year’s
24-20 road win for the Crimson Tide at Arkansas. Lester and Co. held the
Razorbacks to just 2-of-10 third-down conversions, while Arkansas found itself
giving up 17 unanswered points to blow a 20-7 lead.
for Alabama to avoid an early hole this time around, continuing to dominate the
gridiron and cover the double-digit number here. The Crimson Tide are 9-3
ATS in their last 12 home games and are in top form to shut down a Top-15 foe
with another blowout at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
My Pick: Alabama to cover