SEC Week Six Betting Picks: Arkansas Razorbacks at Auburn Tigers

Arkansas Razorbacks at Auburn Tigers
Saturday, October 5, 2012, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, Alabama
Opening Line: Auburn -11
Current Line: Auburn -8
Opening Total: 55 1/2
Current Total: 55 1/2
Opening Money Line: Auburn -340 / Arkansas +300
Current Money Line: Auburn -320 / Arkansas +270

Auburn hosts Arkansas Saturday in a battle of SEC teams desperate for a win. The two teams each have just one win in 2012.

When the SEC schedule came out in the spring, few if any thought Arkansas and Auburn would be a combined 2-7 overall and 0-4 in the SEC. Both had dreams of potentially unseating Alabama and LSU in the SEC West. However, those dreams have faded away, and both teams will have an uphill climb just to become bowl eligible. The loser of this game will be 0-3 in conference and in even more dire straits than they already are.

This is the 22nd meeting between Arkansas and Auburn. The Tigers lead the series 11-9-1, including 5-3-1 in Auburn. Arkansas has won 4 of the last 6, including 38-14 last year in Fayetteville.

Arkansas is 1-4 this season and 0-2 in SEC play under interim coach John L. Smith. It is hard to believe this team was a pre-season top 10 team. After a season opening 49-24 win over Jacksonville St, the Razorbacks have lost 4 straight games. The tailspin started with a 34-31 upset in overtime at the hands of Louisiana-Monroe. Arkansas was then crushed 52-0 by Alabama, and lost 35-26 to Rutgers both at home. Last week, Arkansas lost 58-10 at SEC newcomer Texas A&M. The Razorbacks are 0-4 ATS and the total is 4-0 this season. There was no line on the Jacksonville St game.

Arkansas is averaging 417 yards per game on offense, including the nation’s 20th best passing attack with 310.4 yards per game and 106.6 rushing yards. The Razorbacks are being outscored 40.6-23.2 this season. Arkansas has turned the ball over 15 times, and has only forced 2 turnovers of their own. The Hogs are 24/78 on third and fourth down conversions and 12/19 scoring in the red zone with 9 touchdowns. The Razorbacks have allowed 7 sacks this season. On defense, Arkansas has allowed 510.2 yards per game, including 349.4 passing yards and 160.8 rushing yards. The Razorbacks are 120 out of 124 FBS teams in total defense and #121 in pass defense. Razorback opponents are 38/91 on third and fourth down conversions, and 22/31 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns. Arkansas has forced 7 sacks this season.

Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson was projected to be a Heisman trophy contender in the pre-season. He suffered a concussion in the ULM game, and did not play in the second half or in the Alabama game the following week. Wilson has completed 79 of 145 passes (54.5%) for 1,355 yards with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Running back Knile Davis has 82 carries, 273 yards, and 2 touchdowns along with 5 catches, 82 yards, and a touchdown. Dennis Johnson has 27 carries, 170 yards, and a touchdown. Receiver Cobi Hamilton has 31 catches, 591 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Chris Gragg has 19 catches, 234 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gragg is questionable with a leg injury. Brandon Mitchell has 13 catches for 202 yards, along with 6 carries for 18 yards.

Auburn is 1-3 this season under coach Gene Chizik, and 0-2 in the SEC. The Tigers started off with losses to Clemson 26-19 in Atlanta and 28-10 at Mississippi St. The Tigers survived in overtime 31-28 at home against the same ULM team that upset Arkansas. Two weeks ago Auburn lost a heartbreaker 12-10 against then #2 LSU. The Tigers were 18 point underdogs at LSU and the total was 45. Auburn is 1-3 ATS and the total is also 1-3. After LSU scored 9 points to open the game, Auburn scored 10 straight to take a 10-9 halftime lead. LSU kicked a field goal with 5:26 left in the third. Neither team scored for the rest of the game. The two teams combined for 5 turnovers and Auburn had only 183 total yards.

Auburn is averaging 297.8 yards per game on offense, including 144.8 passing yards and 153 rushing yards. The Tigers are being outscored 23.5-17.5. Auburn is 116th or worse in total offense, passing, and scoring nationally. Auburn is -8 in turnovers. The Tigers are 16/54 on third and fourth down conversions, and 7/9 scoring in the red zone with two touchdowns. Auburn has allowed 9 sacks through 4 games. On defense, the Tigers are allowing 419.2 total yards, including 211 passing yards and 208.2 rushing yards. Auburn opponents are 29/73 on third and fourth down conversions, and 12/17 scoring in the red zone with 8 touchdowns. The Tigers have forced 9 sacks this season.

Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier has completed 47/89  passes (52.8%) for 546 yards with 2 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 31 carries for 16 yards. Running back Tre Mason has 53 carries, 275 yards, and a touchdown, along with a catch for 34 yards. Ontario McCalebb has 42 carries, 238 yards, and 2 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 21 yards. Receiver Emory Blake has 12 catches, for 222 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen has 12 catches for 128 ayrds. Quan Bray has 11 catches for 82 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass to Frazier. He was suspended for this game after he was arrested last week.

Arkansas is 8-2 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 11-5 in October, 3-7 in road games against teams with losing home records, 2-5 after allowing 40 points and 450 total yards,  0-4 after passing for 280 yards or more, overall, and on grass, and 0-7 in road games. Auburn is     6-2 ATS in October, 14-6 in SEC games, 5-12 after scoring 20 points or less, and after a straight up win. 2-6 at home against teams with losing road records, and overall, 3-10 against teams with losing records, 1-4 after allowing 20 points or less, 1-5 on grass, and after allowing 170 passing yards, and 0-4 after a cover. The over has gone 4-1 in the last five in this series at Auburn.

Auburn showed signs of life on defense with the narrow loss to LSU. Playing against Arkansas’s terrible defense might be just what the doctor ordered to get the moribound Tiger offense on track. For Arkansas, it looks like the Razorbacks have quit on interim coach John L. Smith, who will last as long as Bobby Valentine did as manager of the Red Sox. That is to say one year. Smith is also battling distractions off the field as it was revealed he is almost 41 million dollars in debt due to some failed real estate investments. This line opened at Auburn -11 and has moved to  -8. I would have taken Auburn -11 and love them at -8.

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Posted by on Oct 4 2012. Filed under College Football, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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