Motivation will not be an issue for Arkansas in this game as the Razorbacks are sick and tired of hearing about their seventeen game losing streak to SEC opponents. The scheduling could not be better for the Razorbacks are they are fresh off a bye, whereas LSU is coming off a physical and emotional game against Alabama where the Tigers lost in overtime. And, despite suffering through a 17-game SEC losing streak, Arkansas has been extremely competitive in SEC play with a one-point loss to Alabama, a seven-point loss to Mississippi State and an overtime defeat against Texas A&M.
Arkansas’ offense revolves around an excellent ground attack that is averaging 248 yards per game at 5.7 yards per carry against teams that would combine to allow just 4.8 yards per carry to a mediocre offensive squad. Overall, the Razorbacks are averaging 35.9 points per game on 452 total yards at 6.2 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.8 yards per play. However, Arkansas’ offense is significantly better at home where the Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS this season and averaging 5.8 yards per rush play, 7.8 yards per pass play and 470 total yards at 6.6 yards per play (10.9 yards per point).
Arkansas should have success moving the ball on the ground against an LSU front seven that is allowing 4.4 yards per rush attempt to teams that would combine to average 4.7 yards per rush play. Even better news for Arkansas investors is the fact that the Tigers are yielding 230 rushing yards at 5.7 yards per carry on the road this season, together with 6.1 yards per play. Overall, Arkansas possesses a +0.6 yards per rush play advantage over the Tigers’ stop unit so I expect the Razorbacks to pound the rock from the opening kick-off to the last whistle.
Meanwhile, LSU arrives in town with a pedestrian offense that is averaging 5.6 yards per play against teams that would combine to allow 5.4 yards per play. The issue for LSU has been its offensive production on the road where the Tigers are completing just 40.3% of their pass attempts while averaging a mere 4.7 yards per play. The Tigers’ offense could be in for a long day against an Arkansas stop unit that is limiting opponents to 19.4 points per game on 271 total yards at home this season on 3.3 yards per rush attempt, 6.1 yards per pass attempt and 4.5 yards per play.
Overall, Arkansas’ defense is 0.3 yards per play better than average (5.8 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 6.1 yards per play), which is good enough to stop an LSU attack that is 0.2 yards per play better than average. Arkansas also knows that it needs to win two of its last three games to earn its first bowl berth since 2011, and the players have not quit on that goal. “I think if your team wasn’t being managed very, very well you would not see the results that you’re seeing,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “You would see teams that just get handed one-sided losses very, very routinely. These guys never quit. I think they have shown that all year long; it’s not an option in our program.”
Finally, Arkansas is 16-6 ATS in its last 22 November games and 8-1 ATS in its last nine games versus teams with a winning record, whereas the Tigers are 4-9-1 ATS after failing to cover the point spread, 1-5 ATS in their last six November games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games versus teams with a losing record. LSU also applies to a very negative 12-53-1 ATS road letdown situation of mine that is predicated upon their loss to Alabama last week. Take Arkansas on the money line in this SEC clash and invest with confidence.