SEC Football Picks: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Mississippi Rebels Betting Preview

No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks at Mississippi Rebels
Saturday, 10/22/11, 12:20 PM EST, TV:  SEC Network
Opening Point Spread:  Arkansas -16.5
Current Betting Line:  Arkansas -15.5
Opening Total:  54.5
Current Total:  56
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Arkansas Razorbacks are heavy road favorites against the Mississippi Rebels

Arkansas begins a two-game road trip and is coming off a bye week, while Ole Miss was handed a 52-7 home loss by Alabama.  The Razorbacks were last seen handing the Auburn Tigers a 38-14 blowout loss as 10-point home favorites.  “I thinky we’ve figured out that they are willing to compete at this point,” commented Razorbacks offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.  The team has bounced back after gaining just 226 yards against the Crimson Tide, gaining 1,019 yards combined in wins over Texas A&M and Auburn.  Arkansas is 3-0 ATS as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points.

The Razorbacks are a fantastic 25-of-26 when entering the red zone this season, ranking second in the SEC and tied for seventh nationally.  Arkansas has scored 19 touchdowns in those trips inside the 20-yard line.  Quarterback Tyler Wilson has really come into his own, completing 18 consecutive passes against Auburn, while throwing for a school-record 510 yards against Texas A&M.  Head coach Bobby Petrino will likely have his team cranked up for this contest, posting a 25-8 record when having more than one week to prepare for an opponent.

Mississippi enters with a 2-4 record and has been out-gained in five of six games this year, winning the statistical battle by just a yard over Fresno State on Oct. 1.  The Rebels are really up against it on Saturday, bringing in an offense that ranks 117th in the nation.  “It is so important to hang in there when things aren’t going just right,” commented head coach Houston Nutt.  “We have to keep fighting, hang onto that role, and everybody do their part.”  It’s hard to imagine that the team comes out with much fight after being handed its worst loss in terms of point differential since 1981.  Mississippi is 6-13 ATS versus conference opponents.

The Rebels are 3-6 versus top 10 competition under Nutt’s direction, but have dropped their six games overall versus ranked opponents.  Mississippi will need to try and win the game on the ground, as Arkansas ranks 10th in the SEC versus the run, giving up 188.7 yards per contest.  Problem is, the defense isn’t going to stop Arkansas, ranking 106th in yards allowed, while surrendering 29.2 points a game.

Bettors will likely back the Razorbacks due to their 9-1 ATS mark as a favorite, while the Rebels are 1-6 ATS when playing at home.

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