LSU at Arkansas
The No. 8 LSU Tigers (9-2, 5-2 SEC) visit the Arkansas Razorbacks (4-7, 2-5 SEC) this Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams. Taking a look at the college football lines for Week 13, I find LSU as a 12-point road favorite over Arkansas.
Why LSU Covers
The Tigers have been the better team all season with their only two losses coming against current No. 2 Alabama and No. 6 Florida. The Razorbacks have stumbled to a 4-7 record, which means they won’t be making a bowl game.
It has been a season of turmoil for the Razorbacks ever since Bobby Petrino was let go. There have been distractions all year long, especially with current head coach John L. Smith, who had to file for bankruptcy and owes millions of dollars. This team has had a hard time keeping a positive attitude because of all the off-the-field distractions.
LSU has by far the better defense and it should be able to come up with more stops and more turnovers in this one. It gives up just 17.3 points per game while ranking 5th in the country in total defense at 281.1 yards per game. Arkansas yields 31.4 points per game this season while ranking 80th in the country in total defense at 419.4 yards per game.
Arkansas is just 2-9 against the spread in all games this season, including 1-6 against the spread at home. The Razorbacks are 0-7 against the spread in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record. The Tigers are 7-2 against the spread in their last 9 road games. LSU is 7-2 against the spread in its last 9 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game.
Why Arkansas Covers
The Tigers don’t really have a whole lot to play for in this one. They can’t win the SEC, and they are certainly out of the national title race with two losses on the year. They have been a bit sluggish the last two weeks, too, especially in a 41-35 home win over Ole Miss last week as a 19-point favorite.
This is Arkansas’ bowl game since they won’t be going to one. It is also Senior Day, and they will certainly want to send senior QB Tyler Wilson and company out with a victory. Wilson has been a bright spot this season, completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 3,028 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
The Razorbacks should have some success through the air against an LSU defense that has given up over 300 passing yards to both Mississippi State and Ole Miss over the last two weeks. Arkansas ranks 25th in the country in passing offense at 296.3 yards per game.
Arkansas has not been great against the pass this season, but that’s not a big problem considering LSU ranks just 90th in passing offense at 206.4 yards per game. The Razorbacks have been great against the run, ranking 25th at 127.3 yards per game and 3.5 per carry. That’s big against an LSU offense that relies heavily on the run, rushing for 188.2 yards per game this season.
The home team has won four straight in this series. The Razorbacks are 15-4 against the spread in home games after playing their last game on the road over the last 3 seasons. Arkansas is 15-4 against the spread off a road blowout loss by 21 points or more since 1992. The Razorbacks are 21-8 against the spread in their last 29 home games, including 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.