Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Mississippi Rebels Odds & Pick

by | Oct 6, 2021 | cfb

Arkansas Razorbacks (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS) vs. Mississippi Rebels (3-1 SU, 2-1-1 ATS)

When: Saturday, October 9, Noon

Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: ARK +6/MISS -6 (BetNow - Cash in a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 here!)

Total: O/U 66.5

Outlook

Shall we call this the Reality Bowl? Both of these up-and-coming SEC West squads got served a hard dose of reality last week in the form of the SEC’s two giants of Georgia and Alabama, as the Razorbacks ran into the brick wall known as the Bulldog defense and the Ole Miss Landshark defense found out it had no answers for the Crimson Tide. As such, both teams are looking to get back on their feet and keep the season from entering a downward spiral.

For Arkansas, there’s a much bigger risk of that occurring. The Razorbacks are already a more successful squad than they were a year ago, but Sam Pittman’s young team hasn’t earned its way to a bowl game since 2016 and has to find another SEC win in there somewhere in order to become eligible. The Razorbacks still have Arkansas-Pine Bluff on the schedule, so one more win in the SEC will do the job, but finding that one win won’t be easy.

On the other hand, Mississippi shouldn’t have too much trouble getting above .500, but the Rebels are looking to prove themselves in a different manner. Lane Kiffin is 0-8 SU against Top 25 teams over his past six campaigns, and while that’s partially because he was coaching at Florida Atlantic for part of that time, it’s also something he needs to get fixed if Ole Miss is going to compete in the SEC West. The Rebels still have the meat of their schedule to come, and if they want to make a New Year’s six bowl, they’re going to need to show they can hang with the big boys. Beating Arkansas would be a great start.

How the Public is Betting the Arkansas/Mississippi Game

This could be a case of the public against the sharps, as the tickets are coming in on Arkansas, but the money is backing Mississippi. The public seems impressed by the Cardinal besting Oregon, as 68 percent of tickets have come in on Arkansas. But the money has moved the line on Mississippi, as it’s jumped from -10 to -12.

Injury Concerns

Arkansas:
Defensive lineman Dorian Gerald (leg) is out for the season.

Mississippi:
Tight end Casey Kelly (undisclosed) is questionable. Wide receiver Jonathan Mingo (foot) and wide receiver Bralon Brown (undisclosed) are out.

When Arkansas Has the Ball

Why did Arkansas get run over in Athens? Simple: the Razorback are a running team that could not run the ball. Granted, Arkansas couldn’t pass either, but that’s what Georgia does to you: they take away your best option and make you do the thing you don’t want to do. Mississippi won’t do that, which means Trelon Smith should be able to find a lot more running room to grind out some yardage.

The Rebels give up roughly 151 yards a game on the ground, so there should be plenty of space for both Smith and K.J. Jefferson to take the ball and go. But Jefferson is going to need to develop a connection with his receivers not named Treylon Burks at some point, and with how well the Rebels can score, Arkansas is either going to have to keep Mississippi’s offense off the field or take to the skies itself. So far, Jefferson has been mediocre as a passer, and that simply isn’t going to get it done against a team that has put up points on everyone it’s played save Alabama.

When Mississippi Has the Ball

The Heisman hype for Matt Corral got derailed in Tuscaloosa, but the Rebels’ quarterback is still a solid passer and should be able to move the ball on an Arkansas defense that might be a little bit overhyped as far as its numbers are concerned. The Razorbacks have played two run-first teams in Texas and Georgia Southern, two teams with backup quarterbacks in Georgia and Texas A&M, and Rice, which doesn’t do anything particularly well. Corral will be the first quarterback all season Arkansas has seen who can genuinely start for any team in the nation, and it’s a big question as to whether the Razorbacks can stop Dontario Drummond in the secondary.

The concern is where Mississippi turns for a No. 2 receiver, as Jonathan Mingo picked up a foot injury and will not play in this game. Braylon Sanders could be a decent option behind him, but beyond that, Ole Miss doesn’t really have a lot of pass catchers to its name. The Rebels also aren’t big on running the ball, so there’s not really a lot to suggest points if Arkansas can find a way to stop Corral and Drummond. But considering Arkansas has yet to go up against a good passing attack all season, that’s a pretty big if.

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Betting Trends

Mississippi is getting sick of seeing Arkansas, as the Razorbacks have really had the Rebels’ number over the past several years. The Rebels did win in 2018 and 2019 when Arkansas went through its two-year pratfall under Chad Morris, but prior to that, Arkansas won four straight in this matchup, and Sam Pittman picked up right where Bret Bielema left off by besting the Rebels a year ago. Arkansas has covered in seven of the past eight matchups between the teams, and the underdog has covered the number in nine of the last ten meetings in this series.

When these teams get beat, their offense tends not to respond the next week. The under is 6-1 in the Razorbacks’ past seven games following a straight-up loss and 12-3 in Mississippi’s last 15 games following a straight-up loss. Points usually haven’t been at a premium in this series, as three of the past five have gone over 60.
Weather Report

This won’t be a great day for football. With temperatures hitting 86 degrees and humidity in the air, most fans aren’t going to want to leave the Grove to go in for this 11 a.m. kickoff local time. Wind won’t help, as it’ll blow at just five miles per hour.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

Arkansas has looked pretty good so far, but Mississippi is the more experienced team, and I don’t think Arkansas is ready for the passing attack that it’s about to face. The Razorbacks have thrived by facing run-first teams, but that’s not who or what the Rebels are, and nothing in the Razorbacks’ performance suggests they can stop a really good passing team. Give me Ole Miss to cover the spread. Bet your week 6 college football picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!