Arkansas vs. Ole Miss Odds & Pick: The Ceiling is the Roof for This Over/Under (Saturday, Oct. 17)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Pittman.
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss Betting Odds
|Arkansas Odds||-1 (-109) [BET NOW]|
|Ole Miss Odds||+1 (-112) [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-108/-112 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||77.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
Ole Miss Rebels
From Kentucky to Alabama, no defense has been able to stop Ole Miss from scoring points. The Rebels’ average combined game score is a tad over 93, exceeding oddsmakers’ totals through the first three games. Those numbers closed between 59 and 63, but this week against Arkansas, the total opened in the mid-70s.
The advanced statistics dictate that Ole Miss games should have totals that high, as the team boasts a top-five pace and a passing attack that is top-five in Success Rate. Ole Miss has more 40-yard passing plays than any team in the country in just three games. Per Sport Source Analytics, quarterback Matt Corral has been just as efficient in blitz downs with pressure than with a clean pocket.
The Ole Miss defense has been nothing short of catastrophic. Most of the advanced numbers point to the Rebels being dead last in almost every category. Ole Miss is generating 2019 UMass-type numbers in Success Rate, Havoc, and line yards on defense.
How upset is Arkansas with its loss to Auburn after the Bo Nix spike fiasco? Head coach Sam Pittman was livid during the referee explanation, but his message to the team showed pride in how far the team has come. The turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous for an Arkansas squad that has not won a conference game since 2017.
Barry Odom is fielding a defense that is limiting opponent explosive passing. A rank in the top 20 in Defensive Passing Success Rate has stifled Georgia, Mississippi State and Auburn. The defense also ranks 10th in finishing drives, allowing opponents 2.3 points per trip past the 40-yard line.
The Razorback offense, though, is still a work in progress under new coordinator Kendal Briles. The offensive line has not created a push, ranking 70th in line yards with a high rate of run disruption for each starter.
There has been improvement week-to-week. Arkansas had 15% of drives considered explosive against Auburn, with eight passes eclipsing 15 yards. Although the success rate of 52% in passing downs is well above the national average of 31%, the Razorbacks were stuffed on 18-of-39 rushing attempts.
Running back Rakeem Boyd will sit out against Ole Miss, while wide receiver Treylon Burks still deals with leg issues after missing the Auburn game. Top tacklers Bumper Pool and Grant Morgan are both game-time decisions.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
While Arkansas deals with injuries to star players on both sides of the ball, Ole Miss has had a COVID-19 outbreak. Lane Kiffin noted there had not been a positive outbreak in four weeks, as the Rebels have a cluster of positive tests early this week.
Ole Miss is dealing with a COVID outbreak, per Lane Kiffin.
“We’re just trying to manage it the best we can.”
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) October 14, 2020
The toughest part of handicapping in the COVID era is value over replacement. With Ole Miss’ defensive numbers, it isn’t out of the question that the defensive side of the ball may not see a drop-off. Ole Miss is dead last in defensive finishing drives, allowing 5.25 points per trip to any team crossing the 40.
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Arkansas may be without its top two tacklers, so there will be plenty of points scored if the Ole Miss offense is at full strength. Both Arkansas and Ole Miss rank top-10 in tempo, with 40 of the Rebels’ 71 first-down plays being a pass. No matter the injuries or COVID concerns, this game will play at a fast pace.
Because the total is in the mid-70s in an uptempo game, this is a perfect opportunity to trade the side live. Targets should come with the expectation that this game could go to overtime, making +8 on either side a decent target for live betting.
As for the total, the oddsmakers and analytics have not caught up to the tempo of both teams. Our projections rely on plays per game, seconds per play and yards per play, but does not factor in that Ole Miss has been the worst team in the nation in allowing opponents to score.
Check the status of Corral and Elijah Moore for Ole Miss. If those two are playing and Arkansas is without Morgan and Pool, this will be yet another Ole Miss game that gets into the 90s.
Pick: Over 76; Live +8 or better on either side