Arkansas at Mississippi State Line
This Saturday the Mississippi State Bulldogs will host the Arkansas Razorbacks inside the SEC. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:20 EST at Davis Wade Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network. Oddsmakers have listed the Bulldogs as a 6.5-point home favorite with the total set at 55 points.
Why Arkansas Will Cover
The Razorbacks come into this game off a 20-38 loss at South Carolina, which dropped them to 4-6 overall and just 2-4 in the SEC. With just two games remaining, Arkansas must win out to become bowl eligible. While that seems like a unrealistic goal considering they have to host No. 7 LSU next week, that won’t stop this team from trying. This team has played much better of late with three wins in their last five games after starting the season 1-4.
They certainly have a realistic shot at covering the spread against a Mississippi State squad that has come back to reality after a misleading 7-0 start. The Bulldogs have lost three straight by at least 20 points.
Arkansas’ offense has primarily come through the passing game, where they rank 19thin the country with 302.6 ypg through the air. While the Bulldogs are allowing an average of just 216 passing yards/game, they have surrendered 840 passing yards (280 average) during their current three game skid.
A lot of people are going to look at how the Razorbacks secondary is ranked 112th in the country and expect the Bulldogs to have their way with the Arkansas defense, but history tells us otherwise. Mississippi State is just 1-10 ATS vs. awful passing defenses – allowing 275 or more passing yards/game since 1992.
Why Mississippi State Will Cover
It’s really not all the surprising to see the Bulldogs struggle over their last three games, as they went up against the likes of Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU, three teams that currently ranked inside the Top 10. The Bulldogs are going to be extremely motivated to get back on track and will also be out for some revenge after losing to Arkansas for a third straight season last year. Mississippi State was embarrassed by the Razorbacks last season in a 17-44 blowout loss. This team would love nothing more than to return the favor and considering how down Arkansas is this year, they should have an excellent shot at doing just that.
David Wade Stadium is one of the more difficult places to play in college football. The Bulldogs are an impressive 5-1 at home this season with each win coming by at least 10-points. That includes a 41-31 win over Tennessee, who is a very similar opponent to Arkansas in regards to that they aren’t all that strong defensively and really only have the passing game as a weapon on the offensive side of the ball.
The Razorbacks have been one of the best teams in the country to fade this season. Arkansas is a miserable 2-8 ATS on the year. They are also a good team to go against when they are on the road. Arkansas is just 1-8 ATS over their last 9 road games. This will be just the fourth true road game for the Razorbacks this season, which makes it even more surprising that they have just four wins.