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Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Saturday’s SEC College Football Affair

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Saturday’s SEC College Football Affair article feature image

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Pittman.

  • Mississippi State travels to Arkansas coming off two straight losses in SEC play.
  • The Razorbacks started the season with a bang but have tailed off since conference play began.
  • Alex Kolodziej previews the matchup and offers up his best bet.

Mississippi St vs. Arkansas Odds

Mississippi St Odds +4.5 (-110)
Arkansas Odds -4.5 (-110)
Moneyline +160 / -190
Over/Under 54 (-110 / -110)
Time Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
TV SEC Network
Odds as of Friday and via Caesars

Two teams in the log jam of the SEC meet Saturday in Fayetteville when Arkansas hosts Mississippi State.

Both the Bulldogs and Razorbacks are one win away from at minimum pushing their respective preseason win totals (six), and another step closer to bowl eligibility.

Mississippi State got a morale boost after beating Kentucky in Week 9. Arkansas, meanwhile, is well-rested off a bye.

Let’s break down which side I think has the edge in this SEC clash.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mississippi State’s resume looks solid on the surface. Mike Leach is 5-3 in year two, with a pair of losses by a combined five points.

The 99% of bettors who bet the Bulldogs over the win total at Caesars will get another tally in the win column when the program takes on Tennessee State in a few weeks.

Saturday’s tilt, though, against the Razorbacks could be the big win to get Leach and Co. over the top for the second half.

We know what we’re going to get when Mississippi State possesses the ball. The Bulldogs throw at the highest rate in the country (72.4%) and sit just outside the top 10 nationally in Passing Success.

Quarterback Will Rogers is stocked in the supporting cast — five players have at least 33 catches this season — but receivers Makai Polk and Jo’Quavious Marks are the standouts, combining for 111 catches, 947 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Due to how quick the ball gets out in the air raid — Rogers only averages 6.6 yards per attempt and 6.8 air yards per attempt — it has helped limit havoc, where Mississippi State’s offensive line ranks in the top 20.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas looked like a world-beater out of the gates. Then it ran into Georgia.

That kick-started a three-game skid for the Razorbacks, who opened the year outscoring opponents 143-58 across a four-game win streak. They got back on track with an easy win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff in Week 8 before their week off.

The Razorbacks are improved on both sides of the ball in 2021. The offense is averaging 0.8 more yards per play than last year (5.5-6.3), while the defense is allowing 0.3 fewer (5.6-5.3).

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Mississippi State and Arkansas match up statistically:

Mississippi State Offense vs. Arkansas Defense
Rush Success 111 46
Line Yards 77 25
Pass Success 12 28
Pass Blocking** 10 33
Big Play 108 38
Havoc 18 36
Finishing Drives 46 41
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Arkansas Offense vs. Mississippi State Defense
Rush Success 12 28
Line Yards 22 21
Pass Success 64 35
Pass Blocking** 43 98
Big Play 7 43
Havoc 88 81
Finishing Drives 102 56
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 94 79
Coverage 38 81
Middle 8 76 18
SP+ Special Teams 114 74
Plays per Minute 93 40
Rush Rate 27.6% (130) 65.8% (8)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Betting Pick

I like the spot for Arkansas.

They drew a cupcake in Week 8, then had some time last week to recollect after crashing hard down to earth.

Not only does head coach Sam Pittman’s club get an extended amount of rest, but it’s also more time to prepare for the air raid — a scheme SEC defenses don’t regularly see.

Give me Arkansas’ secondary over Mississippi State’s receiving corps.

The Razorbacks allow quarterbacks to complete worse than 59% of their passes. They’re coughing up a respectable 11.7 yards per completion, but that number has been skewed the last few weeks after playing Ole Miss and Georgia — two teams ranking top 15 nationally in yards per attempt.

Arkansas will be able to run the ball behind the 12th-most efficient unit in the country. Once the backs get into open space, Mississippi State struggles to tackle (98th).

This number’s short by a point, and I’ll gladly lay the chalk on anything better than a touchdown.

Pick: Arkansas -5 (Play to -5.5)

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