College Football Odds, Picks, Preview for Arkansas vs. Ole Miss: How to Bet Saturday’s Early SEC Showdown (Oct. 9)
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- After being the talk of the sport last week, Arkansas and Ole Miss will go to battle in Saturday's college football action.
- The Rebels are coming off a loss to Alabama, while the Razorbacks were dominated by Georgia's stout defense.
- Tanner McGrath breaks down the game below and shares betting picks and predictions based on his analysis.
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss Odds
|Ole Miss Odds||-5.5|
|Moneyline||+165 / -195|
|Over/Under||65 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
This game is a treat.
Given the offensive firepower in this matchup, the total opened at 65 but has since been bet up to 66. It’s one of the higher scoring totals on the Saturday card, which is great news for us as college football fans.
Meanwhile, both teams are coming off absolutely brutal beatdowns and are hungry for a bounce-back win as a result.
His career has been short, but Sam Pittman is a covering machine and he’s 3-1 ATS off a loss as a result. Meanwhile, Lane Kiffin is just 10-12 ATS following a loss (although he’s 7-2 ATS following two losses):
Arkansas has been undervalued in the market all season, going 4-1 ATS so far this year.
However, do we blindly bet Pittman and the Hogs to cover the six points? Or is it time to buy Matt Corral and the Ole Miss offense following Alabama week?
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss Betting Preview
Arkansas got shut down last week. But Georgia and Alabama are different from any other team. Per Collin Wilson’s betting power rankings, Alabama and Georgia are nine points better than any other team in the nation.
As such, we can’t take away from what the Razorbacks have accomplished this year. They’re 4-1 with underdog wins against Texas and Texas A&M. In the two games they were favorites in, they easily covered the spread.
The Hogs can run the damn ball, and they call run at the eighth-highest rate in the FBS.
With a running-back-by-committee approach (five players have at least 20 carries this season), Arkansas ranks 21st in FBS in yards per carry at 5.2. That success comes from the trenches, as all five Arkansas offensive linemen grade out in the top 200 of PFF’s run-blocking grades.
They also can be explosive. KJ Jefferson has four big-time throws this season, all on passes over 20 yards. Jefferson also has five rushes of 15+ yards and the top six rushing options have combined for 20 of those runs.
As such, the Razorbacks rank 17th in FBS in Big Plays.
On the other end, the Razorbacks avoid big plays. They keep everything in front of them, ranking first in Big Plays on defense and 15th in Defense Explosiveness.
But that’s due to the scheme, which sacrifices the dink-and-dunk plays in favor of avoiding the chunk ones.
So, while Arkansas ranks outside the top 80 in Standard Downs Success Rate, it’s been lights out when it does get early-down stops.
The Hogs rank second in Passing Downs Success Rate and 12th in defensive third-down conversion percentage (28.8%).
Ole Miss Offense
The Ole Miss offense is dangerous.
The Rebs’ offense currently ranks sixth in Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings and they rank top 10 in stats like Rush Success Rate and Big Plays.
Corral has been excellent. He’s thrown for over 300 yards per game at almost 10 yards per attempt while posting a 10:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
He’s made seven Big Time Throws to zero Turnover Worthy Plays this season, per PFF, which is a massive improvement from the last two seasons.
This play by Matt Corral pic.twitter.com/mgDMZg4O4C
— Braden Shackelford (@Shack_attack03) October 3, 2021
However, he has a ton of support. His blockers are top 10 in Line Yards and top 15 in preventing Havoc and the Rebels are averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
It’s made his job much easier.
But when Alabama held the Rebels’ run game to just 78 yards on 2.3 yards per carry, Corral could only manage 213 yards and a touchdown on 29 attempts. His 7.2 yards per attempt that game was much lower than his output beforehand.
All in all, PFF grades Corral as just the 40th best college quarterback. He needs more support in this game if he wants to get back to his dominant ways.
Ole Miss Defense
The Ole Miss defense is extraordinarily average. Maybe even below average, considering they rank just 94th in Defensive Success Rate.
However, somewhat similar to Arkansas, this team has embraced a more bend-don’t-break style.
Ole Miss ranks 23rd in Defense Explosiveness and 34th in Defensive Finishing Drives. It’s managed to keep things in front of them, although it hasn’t been Razorback effective in preventing Big Plays, ranking 63rd in that stat.
In the end, Ole Miss fans are largely happy. This defense was catastrophic last season, finishing outside the top 100 in almost every meaningful metric.
The fact there’s any kind of improvement is excellent news.
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Arkansas and Ole Miss match up statistically:
Arkansas Offense vs. Ole Miss Defense
Ole Miss Offense vs. Arkansas Defense
Pace of Play / Other
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss Betting Pick
The value is clearly with Arkansas on this spot, which is why we’ve tracked sharp money coming in on the Hogs.
It was a brutal performance last week against Georgia, but this Ole Miss defense is (obviously) not Georgia’s. Plus, the fact that the Rebels struggle against the run will play to the Razorbacks’ rush-heavy offense.
While they are an excellent rushing team, Corral is going to want to drive the ball — there’s a reason Ole Miss is fourth in Passing Explosiveness. But the Arkansas defense will refuse to let him do so. I could even see Corral getting a little frustrated and making some uncharacteristic mistakes.
As mentioned, Pittman is a covering machine while Kiffin is just 10-12 ATS coming off a loss, which makes me like Arkansas even more.
While I’m happy taking the Hogs at +6, I would advise caution at +5.5 or worse.