Alabama at Arkansas: Betting Preview

Alabama Arkansas
Fans cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium in Fayetteville, AR. David Beach/Whole Hog Sports.

In week two of SEC play we have a dandy between two SEC West foes. The second ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama will visit the 20th rank Arkansas Razorbacks in the CBS game of the week.

At the time of this matchup, the Tide are 4-0 with a close victory at Texas in week 2, and three blowout wins in heavily favored matchups. Additionally, they are 1-0 in SEC play thus far after beating Vanderbilt last week.

Arkansas comes into this game 3-1 after losing to Texas A&M last week at Jerry World. The Razorbacks have a marquee win in week 1 against Cincinnati. They are 1-1 in SEC play, thus far.

Well, the train keeps a rolling for Alabama. The Crimson Tide offense led by Bryce Young, is top five in points per game with 48.3. In addition, Alabama is tied for seventh in the nation with 22 total touchdowns.

Especially through Bryce Young and transfer running back Jamyr Gibbs, Alabama ranks 10th in rushing yards per game with 235 yards per game. Additionally, returnees, Roydell Williams and Jase McClellan have had a big impact for the Tide on the ground.

Unlike the Crimson Tide ground attack, their passing game has been a work in progress. While working with an inexperienced receiving core, the Alabama offense has averaged just 282.5 yards per game which is unacceptable by Nick Saban standards, but otherwise pretty good.

Of course, anchored by All-SEC pass rushers, Will Anderson and Dallas Turner and an elite secondary, the Alabama defense is back and better than ever.

Thus far, the Tide have allowed just 7.3 points per game. They have been dominant against the run game allowing just 62.5 yards per game on the ground this season. Against the pass, Bama has allowed just 138.8 yards per game through the air.

Led by dark horse Heisman candidate, KJ Jefferson and a very talented stable of backs, Arkansas ranks ninth in rushing yards per game with 243.8 yards per game.

Even with the addition of Oklahoma transfer, Jadon Haselwood, The Arkansas passing attack has left a lot be desired this year. Through four games, the Hogs have averaged just 235.3 yards per game through the air.

The 2022 Arkansas defense has very much been a work in progress thus far. The Razorbacks have been pretty good against the run allowing just 100 yards per game on the ground.

On the other hand, Arkansas’ secondary has been absolutely putrid this season. The Hogs rank 126th in passing yards against per game giving up 302.5 yards per game.

Also, the Razorbacks have allowed 12.3 first downs through the air per game. This could spell trouble for Arkansas given Bryce Young’s ability to scramble and extend plays.

Alabama quarterback, Bryce Young, celebrating an SEC Championship Game victory in 2021. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Alabama’s defense should be able to force a turnover or two through their elite pass rush. Look for Bryce Young to have major success through the air dissecting the struggling Arkansas secondary.

With that being said, Arkansas will be able to have success on the ground which will also keep Bryce Young and the Tide offense off the field.

With the Razorbacks being able to control time of possession and having this game in Fayetteville, I expect Arkansas to keep this thing close. This will be a close game throughout and it will be a win for Bama by two touchdowns at most.

My Official Pick: Arkansas +17.5

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