Missouri Tigers (5-6 SU, 3-8 ATS) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (6-5 SU, 6-5 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Friday November 27th, 2:30PM EST
Where: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Fayetteville, A.R.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MIZZ +14/ARK -14
Over/Under Total: 45.5
The Arkansas Razorbacks were a part of another wild outcome last week. After two of the wildest overtime football games of the season in the weeks prior, the Razorbacks were in another classic last week in Fayetteville against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Only this time Arkansas found their selves on the wrong end of the outcome as the Bulldogs blocked a field goal with less than 1 minute to go to score a crazy 51-50 win. The loss was Arkansass first since early October as they have been one of the stronger teams in the SEC during the 2nd half of the season. The Razorbacks will attempt to get back on track this week and close out the season with a victory when they host the Missouri Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
While Arkansas has been trending in the right direction, the Tigers have been going in the opposite direction. Missouri has lost 5 of their last 6 football games with their only victory during that stretch coming against BYU 20-16. The Tigers have been hit with injuries and they lost their former starting quarterback Maty Mauk to a season long suspension around the mid-point mark of the season. Since then the Tigers have simply imploded and are on the verge of ending the year with just 5 wins which would be the 2nd lowest total since Gary Pinkel arrived in Columbia back in 2001.
The problems for Missouri have largely fallen on the offensive side of the football. The Tigers defense has been pretty decent considering the circumstances. Interestingly enough the Tigers defense has only given up more than 21 points in just 1 instance all season. The major problem has been their inability to put points on the scoreboard. Quarterback Drew Lock has been nearly awful completing just 50.8% of his passes with 4 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Missouri running backs Ish Witter and Russell Hansbrough have both had more than 100 carries on the season. However, neither back has been able to do much of anything as Witter leads the team with a mere 485 yards on the ground.
The question this week becomes is there anything Missouri can do to turn things around or is there any potential match-ups they can exploit to legitimately compete? The short answer to that is no or at least I do not believe so. The Razorbacks do a great job against the run and Missouris offense has relied heavily on the run since the loss of Mauk. Arkansass defense is pretty terrible against the pass which gives some hope for the Missouri offense. The only problem with that potential match-up advantage is that I simply do not believe Lock has the arm to exploit the Razorbacks secondary unless he has an outstanding game.
Otherwise, I think this is Arkansass game to control from the start. The Razorbacks are firing on all cylinders on offense with quarterback Brandon Allen and running back Alex Collins. Allen just eclipsed the 3,000 yard mark last week and he has hit 65% of his passes for the entire season resulting in 29 scores and 6 picks. Meanwhile, Collins has racked up 1,262 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground as one of the best backs in the SEC. I know Missouri has a pretty decent defense but I just do not believe they will be able to hold up for 4 quarters. I expect Allen to hit his normal throws and this Arkansas running game to wear the Tigers down in the 2nd half. Expect Arkansas to get out front and keep the pressure on all afternoon.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Arkansas is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games while Missouri is just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games. This is a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions and that will be the outcome again on Friday. Take Arkansas -14!
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