Alabama Crimson Tide vs Arkansas Razorbacks Betting Odds Preview and Pick
Can the status of one player swing the point spread on the Alabama vs. Arkansas showdown by six points in just a few days?
That's the question being asked in Vegas and handicapping circles after the SEC opener for these bitter rivals opened at -15.5 Sunday but was bet up to -21 at most online shops tracked by OddsShark.com by Wednesday.
"The availability of Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, who did not practice Tuesday, certainly played a role in the giant move, but six points," asked Jack Randall, a football analyst at OddsShark.com.
The Tide begins its SEC schedule when it takes on a team some thought might give them some problems in the West Division this season, the Arkansas Razorbacks. The game kicks off Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS).
But the early buzz around this game concerns the status of the Arkansas QB and matchup report worries related to the Hogs' response after getting upset by Louisiana-Monroe last week.
Alabama is off to a 2-0 start after whipping Michigan 41-14, then stifling Western Kentucky 35-0. The Tide flexed its muscle against the Wolverines, making a point to poll voters by destroying a ranked team.
Bama then took its foot off the gas against the Hilltoppers Saturday, taking a two-touchdown lead 10 minutes into the game and breezing home from there.
The Tide covered the spread as 13-point favorites vs. Michigan, but didn't (choose to) cover as 38-point favorites over WKU.
Arkansas, meanwhile, opened its season with a 49-24 win over Jacksonville State. But last week the Hogs blew a 21-point third-quarter lead and lost 34-31 overtime at home to the Warhawks of the Sun Belt Conference.
To make matters worse, Wilson took a blow to the head Saturday, had to leave the game and is listed as doubtful for this Saturday's big game.
With the win Saturday Alabama remained at No. 1 in this week's AP Top 25 poll. But with its shocking defeat, the Razorbacks dropped from No. 8 in the AP poll to the ranks of the unranked.
Alabama has won the last five games in this series. Last year, the Tide used an interception return for a score and a punt return TD to break a 10-7 game into an eventual 38-14 victory. Bama covered as 11-point favorites that day.
Alabama is rolling, Arkansas is banged up and the Tide has owned the Hogs in the series recently. They are also 5-1 ATS in their past six games as a double-digit favorite, so we lay the wood and take Bama minus the points. (courtesy of PickShark.com)
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