Alabama vs. Arkansas Odds, Picks & Predictions: College Football Saturday Week 2 Betting Guide

Alabama vs. Arkansas Odds, Picks & Predictions: College Football Saturday Week 2 Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Young (Alabama)

Alabama vs. Arkansas Odds

Saturday, Oct. 1
3:30 p.m. ET
Alabama Odds
-105o / -115u
Arkansas Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Razorbacks return from Arlington deflated from an SEC loss to Texas A&M. The Razorbacks had a 70% post-game win expectancy, but a goal-line fumble and touchdown return — alongside a last-minute field goal botch — sealed the victory for the Aggies.

No single source was the reason for the loss, as head coach Sam Pittman pointed to offensive play calling, ball security and tackling as the primary issues facing the Hogs.

Two consecutive weeks of mistake football against Texas A&M and Missouri State may give the coaching staff and players motivation for the biggest game on their schedule.

Alabama has been sweat free since a previous road trip to Austin, when it barely beat Texas. The Crimson Tide blasted through ULM and Vanderbilt to the combined score of 118-10.

Both the offense and defense have been stellar out of the locker room, outscoring opponents 107-9 in the first and third quarters through four games this season.

Head coach Nick Saban was complimentary of Arkansas, noting the Razorbacks were dangerous team.

Alabama's goals are clear for this trip to Fayetteville, defend the Hogs' ground attack and take away one of the best power quarterbacks in the nation.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Saban continues to look for an identity on offense.

The passing game was non-existent against Texas, as running back Jahmyr Gibbs had twice as many catches than any wide receiver.

The Crimson Tide had more rushing yards than passing yards after three games to start the season.

In Week 4 against Vanderbilt, Bryce Young returned to Heisman numbers, with 385 yards passing and four touchdowns.

Touchdown Alabama 🐘🔥

Bryce Young to Ja'Corey Brooks for a Touchdown 🤩🔥

— Alabama DieHards (@DiehardsAlabama) September 24, 2022

12 different targets caught a pass against the Commodores, establishing balance back to the Crimson Tide offense.

Ja'Corey Brooks leads the team in explosiveness, with 2.4 yards per route run from 60 snaps lined up as a wideout.

Jermaine Burton leads the team in snaps from the slot, but the versatility of Traeshon Holden to lineup anywhere on the field has helped him log more first downs than any other receiver.

Combine that with the rushing of Jase McClellan and Gibbs, and Alabama is one of the most balanced attacks in FBS.

The stiffest test for the defense came against the onslaught of Quinn Ewers and Texas. In limited action thanks to injury, Ewers connected on 9-of-12 attempts for 134 yards.

More importantly, Alabama was able to shut down one of the best running backs in the nation in that game, as Bijan Robinson logged just 2.7 yards per carry.

Coordinator Pete Golding has another top defense, with a top-10 ranking against the rush and a top-20 ranking in coverage.

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Arkansas Razorbacks

There may not be a single Razorback looking forward to this Alabama game more than transfer linebacker Drew Sanders.

After spending his first two seasons as a member of the Crimson Tide, Sanders elected to hit the portal for Arkansas.

Sanders has benefitted from a defense that allows him to stand up rather than have a hand down pre-snap. The third-year linebacker ranks fourth nationally among his position group in pass-rush grading, per PFF.

Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders is playing as good as any defensive player in the country. He has collected 5.5 sacks in 3 games.

He's a big-time athlete who's a major weapon both as a pass rusher and run defender. He has 1st round potential.

— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) September 19, 2022

The return of Myles Slusher to the back seven was a needed boost for Arkansas against Texas A&M. The Razorbacks recorded their lowest number of missed tackles on the season — 12 against the Aggies, down from 21 versus Missouri State.

Coordinator Barry Odom collected another three sacks to continue leading the nation with a rising Havoc rank in the top 20.

While Slusher was an important returning piece, running back Dominique Johnson's return to the Arkansas backfield last weekend after rehab from an offseason knee injury was key.

Coordinator Kendal Briles has an offense that lives and dies by the play of KJ Jefferson. The temperamental play of the fourth-year quarterback has been responsible for victory, and indirectly the cause of defeat against Texas A&M.

Both Briles and Jefferson took heat for a quarterback dive on first down that resulted in the biggest play of the game in Week 4.

Craziest CFB Touchdown in history???

KJ Jefferson fumble, scoop/stab, a handoff and a touchdown[@AggieFootball |

— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) September 25, 2022

Jefferson has fumbled five times on 48 carries this season. In previous seasons, there were a total of 10 fumbles on 143 rushing attempts.

Passing downs have seen no drop off in Big Time Throw-to-Turnover Worthy Play Rate despite losing a top weapon from last season. However, Jefferson's ball protection in designed runs has hindered the Razorbacks.

With the return of Johnson and the continued play of Rashod Dubinion, there are options to give Raheim Sanders a spell without running Jefferson.

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Alabama vs. Arkansas Matchup Analysis

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

Alabama Offense vs. Arkansas Defense
Rush Success4890
Line Yards5575
Pass Success2236
Pass Blocking**326
Finishing Drives2031
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Arkansas Offense vs. Alabama Defense
Rush Success608
Line Yards453
Pass Success4510
Pass Blocking**516
Finishing Drives7226
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling3121
PFF Coverage16101
SP+ Special Teams21109
Seconds per Play26.0 (53)23.8 (23)
Rush Rate47.4% (101)67.3% (7)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Alabama vs. Arkansas Betting Pick

Saban stated during his weekly press conference that there is a philosophical approach to how games will play out. The script in the first and third quarters have resulted in more than 100 points, but the plan of attack is determined pre-game.

Saban explicitly stated, "We thought spreading Vanderbilt out and making them play in space would be an advantage for us."

In game planning for Arkansas, there most certainly is notice of how the Razorbacks' defense has responded to passing attacks.

Arkansas is 121st in tackling and outside the top 100 in coverage grading. While those numbers did not mean much to the inept passing attack of the Aggies, it means everything to an Alabama team that is thriving as a balanced attack.

The Razorbacks' defense is 122nd in passing expected points. If the philosophy of the Crimson Tide is to execute passing plays more than rushing plays — similar to Missouri State's 357 yards — the Hogs' secondary could be in for a long afternoon.

The Action Network projects this game Alabama -11.5, upgrading Arkansas after box score grading against Texas A&M.

As of this writing, the market has not found resistance to a spread that opened at -14 in some shops. There is value on the Razorbacks' number anywhere north of 17.

With no end in sight to the steam and a lack of support on Arkansas from investors, the best time to buy into the Razorbacks could be hours before kickoff.

The better bet is on a Crimson Tide team that has advantages at the skill positions in terms of creating missed tackles. If Arkansas elects to blitz Young, there will plenty of dump offs to Gibbs, who has created almost twice as many missed tackles in the passing game compared to his rushing attempts.

There is not a single Razorbacks defender that ranks in the top 100 in coverage grading. Slusher's versatility may draw Burton from the slot, but Young will be quick to target Brooks on passing downs.

Pick: Alabama Team Total Over 39.5

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