The No. 21 Arkansas Razorbacks and No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide had quite the difference of games in Week 11.
The Razorbacks narrowly escaped the LSU Tigers with a 16-13 win in overtime. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide steamrolled something called New Mexico State by 56 points.
The Crimson Tide have suffered just one loss this season and that came against the No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies (which cost me a massive parlay payout, by the way).
As we approach Week 12, the Razorbacks are not even remotely considered for anything College Football Playoff-wise. On the road, the Razorbacks will have their hands full against a Crimson Tide offense led by 20-year-old quarterback Bryce Young, who has found an other-worldly connection with wide receiver Jameson Williams as of late.
The Crimson Tide have had a couple of close calls this season, including one against the same Tigers that Arkansas knocked off, winning just 20-14.
Don’t sleep on the Razorbacks in this one either.
Let’s dive in.
All odds and lines are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook as of 11:00 a.m. ET on November 15, 2021. All statistics are courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
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Arkansas vs Alabama Prediction
The Razorbacks have been a scrappy team all year long. The team has plenty of senior talent that possesses the experience and has been able to play tough when needed. However, in their last three ranked competition games (this includes Auburn as they were ranked at the time), they’ve surrendered an average of 42 points per game.
Now, one of those games did come against No. 1 Georgia, but ironically enough, the Bulldogs scored the least amount of points. They allowed 52 to No. 10 Ole Miss and 38 to Auburn.
In the Georgia game, the Razorbacks were shut out and dominated. The Georgia defense is that good and will be something Alabama has to deal with down the line.
However, in the other two games, they managed 51 against Ole Miss and 23 against Auburn.
There’s nothing notably incredible with Arkansas talent-wise, but they are a tough out.
Quarterback K.J. Jefferson is a 65-percent passer and he always has wide receiver and potential first-round NFL Draft pick Treylon Burks to work with.
The Crimson Tide defense is definitely not anywhere near the caliber of Georgia, and thus, the Razorbacks should be able to do enough to avoid the blowout.
Betting Pick: Alabama 31, Arkansas 17
Arkansas vs Alabama Best Bets
Best Bet: Arkansas Razorbacks +20.5 (-110) at Caesars
The Crimson Tide will be in a good spot to score some points here, headlined by Young and Williams. The rushing attack led by Brian Robinson has overall been fine with 14 touchdowns, but he has had some games where he disappears or is just not as effective.
This is the type of game that can halt Robinson relatively well. The Razorbacks have a few solid run defenders up front including linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool. On the edge, they have Tre Williams, who should also be able to disrupt Young and, to an extent, this rushing attack.
In coverage, the Crimson Tide have also found themselves exposed more than they would like. Safety Jordan Battle has done well, but cornerbacks Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armour-Davis will have their work cut out for them against a competent passer in Jefferson throwing to Burks.
Looking at the coverage unit for the Razorbacks, there is a lot of competent play happening. They may not be able to neutralize the Young-Williams connection, but they should be able to keep them in front of them more often than not, especially with the help of safeties Joe Foucha and Greg Brooks Jr.
This should be another Crimson Tide win, but this has the makings of a game somewhere in the middle of the LSU and Ole Miss game for the Crimson Tide—a double-digit win, ultimately, but not enough to cover in the end, especially with the added hook here at 20.5.
Best Bet: Alabama Crimson Tide Moneyline (-1600) at Caesars
This is far from the Crimson Tide of yesteryear, but they shouldn’t have an issue ultimately winning this game. In the end, the overall talent level of the Crimson Tide, especially at the top level, will win out, but Arkansas should be able to hit the Crimson Tide in the mouth a few times.
It will be a hard-fought, double-digit win, so perhaps this line at -1600 on our CFB gameday odds is just worth staying away from altogether.
Best Bet: Under 56.5 (-110) at Caesars
We’ve seen enough proof of Alabama’s offense to show that they are not exactly a down-in, down-out dominating offense all of the time. They’ve managed to score high point totals, sure, but a lot of that has come against lesser competition.
However, they only managed 31 against Florida, 38 against Texas A&M, and 20 against LSU. These are all fine point totals, but this is not an Ohio State offense that can drop 50-plus points against relatively competent competition at will.
Arkansas has given up higher point totals, but this should be a more defensive-driven game with a focus on holding onto the ball and keeping it away from Alabama.
We’ve already gone over how Arkansas has the pieces in place to halt some drives against Alabama and how Alabama has a weak enough defense to allow Jefferson and company to move and hang onto the ball.
This game could start out quite slow with the Crimson Tide eventually breaking through to that double-digit lead. From there, the Crimson Tide should be able to start mounting some pressure on Jefferson to thwart further scoring opportunities in our CFB bet of the day.