The #9 ranked Auburn Tigers (2-1) host the Arkansas Razorbacks (1-2) this weekend in a SEC matchup between two teams headed in different directions. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM PM EST at Jordan-Hare Stadium and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Taking a look at the Week 4 college football odds, Auburn opened as a 24-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has become even more lopsided over the last few days, as the Tigers are currently listed at -27.5. The total for the game is sitting at 56.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Auburn vs Arkansas
Arkansas lost their second consecutive game last weekend to drop below .500 on the season. Despite playing at home, the Razorbacks got crushed 44-17 by North Texas. To make matters even worse, Arkansas was also on the wrong end of a viral “fake fair catch” punt return TD that received over a million views on Twitter. QB Cole Kelley looked horrific against the Mean Green, throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns. Kelley was also held under 200 yards passing while completing less than 50% of his attempts. As a whole, the Razorbacks are scoring an average of 33.0 points per game (60th) on 402.0 total yards per game (83rd).
On the other side of the ball, Arkansas has been allowing opponents to move up and down the field with ease. The Razorbacks are currently allowing an embarrassing average of 32.7 points per game which is 100th overall nationwide. Although they have looked surprisingly good against the run – allowing an average of just 87.3 yards per game (14th) – they have been absolutely horrific against the pass. Opponents are averaging a healthy 300.0 yards per game through the air, which leaves Arkansas as one of the worst teams in the country (116th).
Auburn is coming off an extremely disappointing 22-21 loss to LSU last weekend. They led 21-10 at halftime but couldn’t quite hold on, as a last second field goal ended up being the difference. QB Jarrett Stidham struggled all game against LSU, completing 16/28 passes for just 198 yards and throwing two interceptions. RB JaTarvious Whitlow had another big game on the ground for the Tigers, rushing for 104 yards and a touchdown in Week 3. Whitlow leads the way for a potent Auburn rushing attack that is currently averaging 235.3 yards per game on the ground (28th).
The Tigers have looked quite impressive on defense so far, albeit they have struggled a little bit against the pass. However, they are only allowing opponents to score an average 15.7 points per game (24th). A large part of that is likely due to their success against the run, as they have held teams to an average of just 90.0 yards per game (15th). However, their somewhat questionable secondary play over the first three weeks needs to be addressed soon, as they are currently giving up an average of 234.3 yards per game through the air (84th).
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Auburn -27.5
Despite the Razorbacks struggles on defense, I’m a little bit leery of laying so many points in a Conference game. However, Auburn will be extremely motivated to make a statement at home after such a disappointing loss last weekend. I think Auburn was a slam dunk with the line at -24, but after early bettors jumped all over it, books have pushed it to almost four touchdowns. Although I don’t think enough value is still there, I am still leaning towards Auburn in this SEC battle.
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Auburn is 6-1 ATS over their past seven games against opponents with a losing record. They are also a very solid 7-3-1 ATS in their past eleven conference games, which is definitely worth noting. On the other hand, Arkansas is just 16-34-2 over their last 52 games in September and 4-9-2 ATS in their last 15 games following a straight up loss over 20 or more points. While it might seem like Arkansas has excelled against the run, it is also important to remember the caliber of opponents they were facing. Eastern Illinois, Colorado State, and North Texas are hardly the test Whitlow and Co. will be on Saturday night.
The other thing that has me leaning towards Auburn in this particular spot is the fact that Arkansas just lost by 27 points at home to a SunBelt team last week. Ultimately, that worries me enough to turn down all the free points and side with the favorite in this matchup. No disrespect to North Texas, but they are hardly in the same category as the #9 ranked Tigers. If the Mean Green can win by almost four touchdowns on the road, I like the Tigers chances to do the same. Auburn should be able to score early and often, while their Top 25 defense should be able to keep a mediocre Arkansas offense in check for most of the game. I’m laying the points and taking Auburn to cover.