College Football Week 1 Predictions: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Auburn Tigers

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Auburn Tigers
Saturday, 8/30/14, 4:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Auburn -21.5
Current Betting Line:  Auburn -21.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes

The Auburn Tigers have won eight consecutive home openers
The Auburn Tigers have won eight consecutive home openers

Arkansas has won three of its last four trips to Auburn, but suffered a 35-17 setback as 9.5-point home underdogs in last year’s meeting—only getting out-gained by 20 yards.  The Razorbacks were down by just three points in the fourth quarter in that affair, which can’t be ignored when making your Week 1 college football predictions.  It’s still important to point out that the program is 2-8 SU in its last 10 road openers, including three-straight losses in that situation.

The Razorbacks will be able to run the football due to the return of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, as the duo combined fir 1,926 rushing yards in 2013.  Collins was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year and also landed on the All-American list for first year players.  Second-year head coach Bret Bielema found things difficult in his first go around in the nation’s top conference, but 14 returning starters should make this squad competitive in the season opener.

Auburn has proven victorious in its last eight home openers, but it could suffer a bit of a hangover with 14 starters returning off a loss against the Florida State Seminoles in the 2014 BCS championship game.  The Tigers will be able to run the football due to the dual-threat capability of quarterback Nick Marshall, who racked up over 3,000 yards of total offense during his junior campaign.  Auburn has also covered the number in its last eight conference affairs.

The Tigers were fortunate to pull off a couple improbable victories a season ago, which makes it dangerous to lay this type of number in the early going on the college football odds page.  Auburn will need improved play from the defense in order to match last year’s 12-2 SU record under second-year head coach Gus Malzahn.  The stop unit will be led by a major playmaker in Cassanova McKinzy, who racked up 75 tackles and two sacks while also intercepting a pass.

Sports bettors will likely back the Razorbacks due to their 5-2 ATS mark in their last seven trips to Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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