Missouri Tigers vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Odds & Spread Pick
Missouri Tigers (6-5 SU, 3-8 ATS) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (7-4 SU, 6-4-1 ATS)
When: Friday, November 26, 3:30 p.m.
Where: DW Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Ark.
Point Spread: MIZZ +14.5/ARK -14.5 (Bovada - Check out their live betting platform! It blows away the competition! They give you a 50% bonus too!)
Total: O/U 62.5
The Battle Line Rivalry is actually showing signs of getting good this year, as Arkansas has risen from the ashes and Missouri is starting to show an upward trend. The Tigers have won three of their past four to become bowl-eligible, with the only defeat coming against top-ranked Georgia. They’ve also won five straight in this rivalry and have a chance to record seven wins in a season for the first time since 2018, the year before they chose to move on from Barry Odom.
Arkansas is coming off a defeat to Alabama, but before that, the Razorbacks had picked up a few close wins over LSU and Mississippi State. Ironically, Odom is now on the sidelines in red, as he serves as Arkansas’ defensive coordinator and has helped Sam Pittman turn the Razorbacks into a solid SEC program again. The Razorbacks will play in a bowl for the first time since 2017, and they’ve got a chance to win nine games in a season for the first time since the disastrous Bobby Petrino era that set the program back a decade. This could be the culmination of a turnaround that Arkansas fans have been waiting for, as Pittman has a chance to firmly stamp himself into the hearts of Razorback fans if he can be the coach who finally figures out how to win against Missouri. Arkansas is just 1-6 against the Tigers since this became an SEC rivalry, and getting a win here would be another huge step forward for the Razorbacks in their renaissance.
How the Public is Betting the Missouri/Arkansas Game
The public is riding with the Razorbacks, as Missouri is just 1-3 ATS away from Faurot Field on the year. 60 percent of tickets are in on Arkansas, with the spread ticking up a half-point from -14 to the critical number of -14.5
Defensive back Shawn Robinson (undisclosed), defensive back Ishmael Burdine (undisclosed), defensive back Chris Shearin (undisclosed), and offensive lineman Bobby Lawrence (undisclosed) are out. Offensive lineman Case Cook (undisclosed), defensive lineman Chris Turner (undisclosed), defensive back Mason Pack (undisclosed), defensive back Ennis Rakestraw (knee), and wide receiver Jay Maclin (forearm) are out.
Defensive lineman Dorian Gerald (leg) is out.
When Missouri Has the Ball
Missouri is a throwback, relying almost exclusively on one man to get its yards on the ground. That man is Tyler Badie, who ranks fourth in the nation in rushing yards this season and will need to have a big game in order to keep the Tigers in the contest. Arkansas is just average against both the run and the pass, so Missouri will likely go with whatever works best in this matchup. When the Tigers have won, that’s usually because Badie has taken a steady diet of carries for big yardage. In Missouri’s three wins over its past four games, Badie got at least 27 carries each time and gained a combined 609 yards. In losses to Texas A&M and Georgia, Badie managed a combined 109 yards.
What that says is that putting the ball exclusively in Connor Bazelak’s hands is not where Missouri wants this game to be. The Tigers are at their best when Bazelak can settle down and not force the issue, but with ten picks on the season, that has not always happened. If Bazelak is able to get in a rhythm and get solid running from Badie, Missouri will hang around. If he has to throw 40 times, this won’t end well.
When Arkansas Has the Ball
Here’s the biggest reason why this game carries a -14.5 point spread: Arkansas runs the ball really well, and Missouri can’t stop the run at all. The Tigers actually give up more yards per game on the ground than through the air, which should be all that Trelon Smith and the rest of Arkansas’ three-headed monster need to put up some considerable yardage. K.J. Jefferson, Dominique Johnson, and Raheim Sanders have all topped 475 yards on the ground, and only quarterback Jefferson has fewer than five yards per carry on the year.
Missouri’s pass defense is pretty decent, but that just means that Jefferson is likely to tuck it and go rather than force what isn’t there. Jefferson has 20 touchdown passes against just three interceptions this season, and when something isn’t open, he has no hesitation in taking it himself and doing what needs to be done. This is likely going to be a game where Arkansas only throws when necessary, as the Razorbacks should be able to pound the ball at will against Missouri’s soft front seven.
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Missouri in November has been a bettor’s dream. The Tigers have covered in four straight games in November, although that could be in large part because the Tigers got to play South Carolina and Florida, along with Georgia having to give nearly 40 points in that matchup. In this matchup specifically, there’s a major trend working against the Tigers: this matchup’s best play is traditionally home team plus the under. The host (or designated home team in the pre-SEC days) has covered in eight of nine matchups, dating back to before this even became a rivalry. In fact, the Tigers have never covered against the Razorbacks in Arkansas, going 0-3 ATS when facing the Razorbacks in the Natural State (remember, the Razorbacks alternate between playing in Fayetteville and Little Rock against Missouri and faced the Tigers in Little Rock in 2019).
However, one trend in this game does back Missouri: the underdog has covered in four of the past five meetings. That said, however, the underdog in this matchup for the past five years has always been Arkansas.
This is going to be a good day for football. Temperatures will start in the low 50s before eventually falling into the 40s, with the wind blowing at seven miles per hour going south-southwest. Precipitation won’t be a factor.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
Am I sold on Missouri because the Tigers beat Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Florida? Absolutely not. Missouri is better than expected, but so is Arkansas, and the Razorbacks have come a lot further than the Tigers over the past two seasons.
Missouri doesn’t stop the run, and if you can’t stop the run, you can’t stop Arkansas. Give me the Razorbacks to cover. Note: Don’t forget to check out our Sunday NFL picks!
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