Arkansas vs Missouri Odds & Prediction: How to Bet the Battle Line Rivalry
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Ketron Jackson Jr. (2).
Arkansas vs Missouri Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Battle Line Rivalry never had any real bite as a trophy game until last season.
The name was given to the Arkansas-Missouri kickoff as a throwback to the Civil War, as the Mason-Dixon Line once separated the Union and Confederate states. However, the rivalry was a non-event for the fan bases of the Tigers and Razorbacks.
While Arkansas longs for old Southwest Conference realignment, the Missouri fan base would much rather have Kansas on the schedule. Geographically, the schools sit 300 miles apart with most of the five-hour drive taking place on a state highway.
This was an uncomfortable rivalry until Arkansas native Eli Drinkwitz commented on the current dynamics.
Drinkwitz was completely correct in his assessment of the rivalry, as Missouri won 6-of-7 leading into last year's game. Head coach Sam Pittman used those comments as fuel in the Razorbacks' quest to secure every rivalry trophy during the 2021 season.
Arkansas dominated Missouri last year in this spot, allowing just a single offensive touchdown on the last drive of the game. With Missouri sitting on five wins, this rivalry has plenty of juice to end the regular season.
After the pummeling of Ole Miss, the Razorbacks can now find relief in qualifying for bowl season. The return of KJ Jefferson saw three touchdowns through the air on 17-of-22 passing, but the biggest boost may have been to the ground game.
After two consecutive subpar games, running back Raheim Sanders returned with a statement. The sophomore running back piled on a season-high 232 yards and three touchdowns against the Rebels defense.
I've seen enough Raheim Sanders is officially my 2024 RB1
Last night Rocket became just the third player since 2000 in the SEC to rush for 200 yards and have 5 receptions in a game
Size speed and versatile he has it all 🚀
— Joe O’Leary (@TheHQNerd) November 20, 2022
Jefferson and Sanders were complemented by a healthy offensive line that welcomed back right tackle Dalton Wagner.
While the offense is firing on all cylinders, the Razorback defense has put up its best production since the bye week. Arkansas limited LSU to less than 300 total yards, while Liberty didn't score a point in the second half. Although Ole Miss put up 703 total yards, the Rebels averaged just 2.5 points on eight trips past the 40-yard line.
One item to monitor is the health of linebacker Bumper Pool. The senior ranks second on the team in tackles.
No team has had as much bad luck in one-possession games as Missouri. The Tigers are 1-4 in games decided by less than a touchdown this season. Now, Drinkwitz must win as an underdog to not only reclaim the Battle Line Trophy but make his way to a postseason bowl game.
Missouri has been one of the best defensive teams in college football, ranking top-10 in the trenches and in Havoc.
The front seven is loaded with chaos makers. Edge Isaiah McGuire has created more pressures than any defender, while linebacker Ty'Ron Hopper leads in quarterback hurries.
— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) November 11, 2022
The defense has been fantastic in posting quality drives, but explosive plays have been the Tigers' downfall in 2022. Missouri ranks near dead last in defense rush expected points with a better rank against the pass at 113th.
The chunk plays have come on early downs, as the Tigers sit 130th in standard downs explosiveness.
On the other side of the ball, quarterback Brady Cook comes in on a heater after posting six touchdowns against New Mexico State and Tennessee.
The sophomore has as many big-time throws as turnover-worthy plays, targeting Dominic Lovett more than any other skill position.
Missouri sophomore WR Dominic Lovett is having a great year.. someone to watch for the 2024 draft
Great tracking and extended hands catch on this TD vs Tennessee 🔥pic.twitter.com/HTvv8jz1s8
— RanDynasty (@ran_dynasty) November 12, 2022
Lovett has been explosive this season at 2.6 yards per route run, but the burner had just one target in last week's game against New Mexico State. Drinkwitz had his star wide receiver on the field for 20 snaps, leaving no reason why the sophomore shouldn't be a big part of Arkansas' game plan.
Arkansas vs Missouri Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Arkansas and Missouri match up statistically:
Arkansas Offense vs. Missouri Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Missouri Offense vs. Arkansas Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||78||50|
|Seconds per Play||23.8 (19)||27.6 (95)|
|Rush Rate||63.2% (10)||56.6% (44)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Arkansas vs Missouri Betting Pick
The market opened with plenty of wagers on Missouri to move the spread to a field goal after opening Arkansas -5.
The spot certainly dictates a maximum effort from Missouri, which needs a single victory over an Arkansas team coming off a prime-time knockout of Ole Miss to reach a bowl.
The Razorbacks will find ways to score points with the ground game. Missouri has one of the best defenses in the nation but some of the nation's worst numbers in standard downs explosiveness and rush expected points. That means Arkansas will march up and down the field in these areas.
There are reasons to believe that Missouri will have success on offense. Lovett and fellow receiver Luther Burden III will be problematic for a Razorback secondary that ranks 111th in coverage.
Arkansas has been horrific when backing teams up, ranking outside the top 100 in Passing Downs Success Rate and explosiveness. The Razorbacks are 117th in third-down defense, an indicator that Missouri will have scoring opportunities.
The point spread and total are on par with Action Network's projection.
The best bet comes on the over, with each defense struggling to stop explosive plays. Look for poor tackling and defensive depth issues for the Razorbacks to keep Missouri in the game. On the flip side, any Sanders rushing props have value on the over.
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