Happy Friday, everyone. It’s homecoming tomorrow, and a pig roast is on the menu for breakfast. Your previews:
The Crimson Tide are expected to win by at least two TDs (currently -20) against the Razorbacks. The over/under for this game is 47 points.
In their most recent game, the Crimson Tide took down the Texas A&M Aggies 26-20. The Razorbacks’ most recent outing finished in a 27-20 loss to the Ole Miss Rebels.
Pick ATS: Alabama (-20)
Pick OU: Over (47)
Prediction: Alabama 36, Arkansas 15
Alabama 34, Arkansas 17: Scoring against the Crimson Tide defense is no easy task, and that will especially prove true at home for the Razorbacks. Quarterback Jalen Milroe also continues to build on his strong outing vs. Texas A&M with another impressive showing vs. Arkansas.
Alabama opened as nearly a three-touchdown favorite, but given Arkansas’ struggles, backing Alabama is a bet worth considering. Especially seeing that quarterback Jalen Milroe is improving every week, and the Alabama passing offense has been high-powered the last couple of games as well.
On top of that, the Alabama defense has been overall solid and should be able to keep an average Arkansas offense in check for much of this game.
Nearly three touchdowns is a lot to lay in this game, but the Crimson Tide will be our best bet because of the improvements the team has made since struggling earlier this season. Therefore, our main Arkansas vs. Alabama prediction is on Alabama -19.5 (-110 at DraftKings).
The Razorbacks are simply having too many problems at the line of scrimmage to build much of any momentum on offense, allowing too much pressure on the quarterback and compromising the ability of the ground game to get going.
Alabama’s lack of a rushing attack is worrying, and its absence may come into play as it nears the postseason, but right now Milroe is able to exploit his mobility, escape pressure against a subpar line, and give his receivers time to create space downfield.
College Football HQ picks...
Alabama wins 36-16
Covers the spread
And hits the over
Slowly but surely, the Crimson Tide are improving and no doubt will be hoping to make a big step up this week against the Razorbacks. The Arkansas defense has seemed to improve with each outing, at least enough to cover the point spread. But the question remains, can the Hogs run the ball against an SEC team? If not, they won’t be getting an upset and the skid will be five losses in a row. The line opened at 19.5 points and has grown to 20.5 in favor of Alabama, and unless there are turnovers or pick-sixes, the guess here is the Tide don’t cover — partly because of the Razorback defense and partly because Nick Saban doesn’t like to run up the score. Alabama 31-17
That last one is from Wally Hall at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Everyone is predicting a comfortable win for Alabama, and that’s always a bit concerning. If Alabama approaches this game with the same passion that they’ve shown in the prior three, mistakes notwithstanding, they should win going away. Whether they can maintain that level of intensity will be the million dollar question.
Football for breakfast is often ugly, and with Saban unhappy about the run game, I’d expect this one to be especially so. Something tells me it’s closer for much of the afternoon than the crowd would like before Alabama pulls away in the second half. I’ll call it 38-16, but that is of course merely my opinion. Vote and give us yours in the comments.
What will be the result of Arkansas at Alabama?
This poll is closed
Full on pig roast, Tide rolls by 20+
Alabama wins comfortably but doesn’t cover, Tide by 10-19
Too close for comfort, Tide by 1-9
Pittman wins the grand prize on Pig in a Poke, Arkansas pulls the upset
Saban went on Pat McAfee per usual yesterday and spoke about coaching.
“Coaching is teaching,” Saban said. “Teaching is the ability to inspire learning. The thing that I like the most about coaching is relationships with the players, trying to teach them to be a better version of themselves. Whether it’s personally, academically or, obviously in coaching, it’s athletically on the field.”
He also went into the most disappointing element of his job, which fell in the same area.
“When you have a guy that has ability and you want him to sort of improve and take advantage of that ability that he has the talent that god has given him, and he doesn’t want it as bad as you want it,” Saban said. “That’s one of the most frustrating things I think.”
I’ll let y’all speculate on some of the names he might have been referring to in that last blurb.
Unsurprisingly, Nick is getting paid, which means Jimmy Sexton is getting paid, for his McAfee appearances.
“Everybody who helped us get to this point has reaped the benefits of it. That’s how business is supposed to work,” McAfee told Marchand. “To be transparent, Aaron deserves much more than what he’s gotten for his time and effort he has put into ‘Aaron Rodgers Tuesdays.’”
McAfee’s spots for Rodgers and Saban will certainly continue, especially now that it’s general knowledge that the duo is getting paid for their weekly time on the show.
Last, the Hogs won’t be sneaking up on Nick. This is what he said on his radio show last night.
— Caller says he thinks Arkansas might be the most dangerous team Alabama faces all year. Saban agrees and notes how the Razorbacks are a hungry team with talented players and they haven’t had the success they deserve. Says it’s important for the Crimson Tide to focus in on Saturday’s game. Says nobody should expect that Arkansas won’t be tough game.
— Dvoracek asks how Saban eliminates complacency. Saban notes that success can be an enemy because it can breed complacency and leads to expecting rewards. Says it might take time to catch up, but bad habits will show up on the field. Notes how hard it is to get energy up every single week. Says it’s difficult for players to tune out external noise.
— Saban says he would tell team it needs to raise energy level and get ready for Arkansas game. Says Tide shouldn’t be living with expectations, just doing everything it needs to in order to win games. Says team needs great atmosphere for Saturday’s homecoming game.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.