Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas Razorbacks’

2014 NCAA Week 13 Line Breakdown

November 20th, 2014 by Chad A. Dawkins | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2014 NCAA Week 13 Line Breakdown

The college football playoff race is heating up and week 13 of the 2014 college football season is upon us. Here are some of the marquee matchups and the lines for the upcoming weekend of action, courtesy of JustBet Sportsbook. All NCAA football bettors and sports fans will get their fill of quality action this weekend as there are quite a few interesting matchups on tap in the SEC, and PAC-12, and Big Ten conferences. All times Eastern.

Thursday, November 20

No. 12 Kansas State at West Virginia (-2, 57.5) 7:00 PM FOX Sports 1

The #12 ranked Kansas State Wildcats will travel to Morgantown to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. Kansas State is coming off their bye week and before that had lost to TCU pretty much eliminating them from the playoff picture. West Virginia is also off the bye week and coming off a loss at Texas.

North Carolina at No. 21 Duke (-6, 66.5) 7:30 PM ESPN

The Duke Blue Devils are coming off an upset loss to Virginia Tech, they’ll try to rebound when they take on the North Carolina Tar Heels, who are coming off a 40–35 when over Pitt.

Saturday, November 22

Indiana at No. 6 Ohio State (-34, 65.5) 12:00 PM Big Ten Network

The #6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will look to make a statement and try to get themselves into the college football playoff picture when they host the Indiana Hoosiers, who were blown out at Rutgers 45-23.

Boston College at No. 3 Florida State (-19, 65.5) 3:30 PM ABC

The #3 ranked Florida State Seminoles are coming off a come from behind win over Miami. They’ll have to be on upset alert when they host the Boston College Eagles, who upset USC earlier this season and are fully capable of pulling the stunner.

No. 8 Ole Miss (-3, 45.5) at Arkansas 3:30 PM CBS

The Arkansas Razorbacks finally got their SEC win for head coach Brent Bielema, defeating LSU 17–0 last Saturday. They’ll look to make it to in a row when they host the #8 ranked Ole Miss Rebels.

No. 15 Arizona at No. 17 Utah 3:30 PM ESPN

To PAC-12 teams with contrasting styles will take the field in Salt Lake City, Utah. The #17 ranked Utah Utes will host the high-scoring attack of the #15 ranked Arizona Wildcats.

#24 Louisville at Notre Dame (-3.5, 53) 3:30 PM NBC

The Notre Dame fighting Irish will look to rebound off to straight losses and a 43–40 upset loss for northwestern when they host ate one of the better defenses the face this season in the #24 ranked Louisville Cardinals.

#16 Wisconsin (-10, 51.5) at Iowa 3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2

The #20 ranked Wisconsin badgers will head to Iowa City, Iowa to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a Big Ten affair. Wisconsin is coming off a huge 59–24 win over Nebraska, which saw running back Melvin Gordon rush for a record for 408 yards, putting himself in serious Heisman trophy consideration.

#19 USC at #91 UCLA (-3.5, 61) 8:00 PM

Cody Kessler and the #19 ranked USC Trojans will take on the #11 ranked UCLA Bruins in a key PAC-12 battle for the Lexus Gauntlet. The Trojans have won three of the past four meetings, with UCLA getting the win last season.


Top 25 NCAA Football Games in 2012: #19 Alabama vs. Arkansas 9/15

September 14th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Top 25 NCAA Football Games in 2012: #19 Alabama vs. Arkansas 9/15
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2012 Top 25 College Football Games of the Year
#19 Alabama Crimson Tide @ Arkansas Razorbacks

Alabama (-20) vs. Arkansas

Razorbacks mascotLast year in the SEC West, there was a point that the Arkansas Razorbacks, Alabama Crimson Tide, and LSU Tigers were ranked Nos. 1, 2, and 3 in the nation. This year though, matters are basically going to start over for these three teams, as they try to work their hardest to get back in the chase for the BCS bowl games and the National Championship Game. Alabama and Arkansas don’t quite have the same type of returning year though, as the Tide had a great offseason chock full of more recruits and high expectations, while Arkansas had to go through the dismissal of its head coach and a totally new scheme to put into place. This is going to be one of the top games in the SEC all season long, and especially since it is so early in the season, it is a game that we are going to watch on the college football betting odds as one of our Top 25 college football games of the year.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Picks & Info
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Date: Saturday, September 15th
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Location: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
Alabama vs. Arkansas Opening Point Spread: Alabama Crimson Tide -6
Alabama vs. Arkansas Current Point Spread: Alabama Crimson Tide -20

The Crimson Tide won the BCS National Championship last year, and this time around, they are going to be favored to do the exact same thing. There are only going to be 12 returning starters from last year’s title team, but at Alabama, the Tide don’t rebuild; they reload. And that’s exactly what we have seen so far this year. The talk of the town in Tuscaloosa is that this is the best offensive line in the country. Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack are anchoring what should be an awesome line to block for QB AJ McCarron and a loaded running back stable. We think that this is a team that has the potential to put up a ton of points like it did last year, and at least at this point in the season, that has proven to be the case. Defensively, the Crimson Tide are always amongst the best team in the land, and this is no exception even though there are only five starters back in the fold. This early in the year though, it should be a bit of a task to ask some of these freshmen and sophomores to come on the road for the first time in what should still be a hostile environment.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Past Games (Since 1995)
2011: Alabama 38 – Arkansas 14
2010: Alabama 24 – Arkansas 20
2009: Alabama 35 – Arkansas 7
2008: Alabama 49 – Arkansas 14
2007: Alabama 41 – Arkansas 38
2006: Arkansas 24 – Alabama 23
2005: Alabama 24 – Arkansas 13
2004: Arkansas 27 – Alabama 10
2003: Arkansas 34 – Alabama 31
2002: Alabama 30 – Arkansas 12
2001: Alabama 31 – Arkansas 10
2000: Arkansas 28 – Alabama 21
1999: Alabama 35 – Arkansas 28
1998: Arkansas 42 – Alabama 6
1997: Arkansas 17 – Alabama 16
1996: Alabama 17 – Arkansas 7

Head Coach Bobby Petrino is out of the loop after some major off the field issues, but the cupboard isn’t nearly bare for the new coach, John L. Smith. There are only seven starters that are back on offense, but the losses of the likes of WR Joe Adams, WR Greg Childs, WR Jarius Wright, and RB Broderick Green won’t hurt the team all that much. QB Tyler Wilson is a senior quarterback now, and the fact that he is going to be out of the fold injured is why this point spread has jumped up by two touchdowns. The offensive line only has three returners, and that could really be exploited against the terrorizing Alabama defense. The defense will be challenged as well, though at least the secondary has three starters that are back. Watch out for LB Alonzo Highsmith, who could be the centerpiece of this lineup, though he could find it tough to get into the Alabama backfield as he did last year against the majority of the SEC. The defense is going to have to keep the Hogs in this game from start to finish, because if the offense’s play last week against Louisiana Monroe was any indication, it is going to be a long, long game for them against Bama.

Alabama @ Arkansas Free Picks (as of August 2012)^^: We know that this could be a tough test for the Crimson Tide early in the year, but we just don’t see how the Razorbacks, with so many changes going on this year, are going to be able to beat the big boys from the SEC West. Arkansas might live to tell about this in the end, but we just don’t think that Wilson is going to be able to get the job done, even at home. Alabama should be able to punish the Arkansas offense, and that could send the end result of this one into a romp for the guests.

Update 9/14/12: Obviously, matters changed in this game when Wilson was knocked out for the biggest game of the year. The Crimson Tide really have looked great and are the top ranked team in the nation. Arkansas will be hard pressed to figure out how to stop this offense, and it will surely have a tough time scoring points. The crowd is literally going to have to be the 12th man on the field for the whole game if Arkansas has a fighting chance.

^^Please Note: The Alabama @ Arkansas picks listed above on our sports betting blog are made by our staff writers. These football picks are based upon the betting lines listed in August 2012 and do not reflect the actual expert handicapping picks at Bankroll Sports. Click Here to receive our premium expert handicappers NCAA Football Picks for the 2012 campaign.

You can purchase our premium Alabama vs. Arkansas picks from our experts on Saturday, 9/15

Top 25 NCAA Football Matchups: #6 LSU @ Arkansas 11/23/12

August 19th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Top 25 NCAA Football Matchups: #6 LSU @ Arkansas 11/23/12
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2012 Top 25 College Football Games of the Year
#6 LSU Tigers @ Arkansas Razorbacks

LSU (-3.5) @ Arkansas

LSU vs. ArkansasThe LSU Tigers and the Arkansas Razorbacks play against each other every single season, and they have always have something special on the line. This one is played the day after Thanksgiving every year, and though things are changing in the SEC, at least this SEC West clash isn’t changing. The Hogs and the Bayou Bengals have had some great battles over the years, last year of which was definitely no exception when they were ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in the nation. This could be the same sort of game this year, though both of these teams feel like they have taken a step backwards. This clash in Fayetteville could be a great college football matchup, and that’s why this is one of our Top 25 NCAA football games of the year.

LSU Tigers @ Arkansas Razorbacks Picks & Info
LSU Tigers @ Arkansas Razorbacks Date: Friday, November 23rd
LSU Tigers @ Arkansas Razorbacks Location: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
LSU Tigers @ Arkansas Razorbacks Spread: LSU Tigers -3.5

The Tigers know that they are going to have one of the best defenses in the country this year, not that that is all that much of an exception from last year. The ‘D’ really didn’t have a bad game last year at all. In the end, it was the offense that failed LSU in the BCS National Championship Game and cost it the season. Now, both of the top corners from last year are gone, and that could be a bit problematic. We know that the Bayou Bengals might have some issues offensively, too. QB Zach Mettenberger is going to be leading the team on the field to start this season, and odds have it, he’ll still be the man that has to stick around with one of the most efficient offenses in the nation. RB Spencer Ware is going to be carrying the ball a ton, and there are going to be a lot of other backs that see the rock as well.

LSU Tigers vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Past Games (Since 1995)
2011: LSU 41 – Arkansas 17
2010: Arkansas 31 – LSU 23
2009: LSU 33 – Arkansas 30
2008: Arkansas 31 – LSU 30
2007: Arkansas 50 – LSU 48
2006: LSU 31 –Arkansas 26
2005: LSU 19 – Arkansas 17
2004: LSU 43 – Arkansas 14
2003: LSU 55 – Arkansas 24
2002: Arkansas 21 – LSU 20
2001: LSU 41 – Arkansas 38
2000: Arkansas 14 – LSU 3
1999: LSU 35 – Arkansas 10
1998: Arkansas 41 – LSU 14
1997: LSU 31 – Arkansas 21
1996: LSU 17 – Arkansas 7
1995: LSU 28 – Arkansas 0

The Hogs had their chance last year at the BCS National Championship Game, and though they ran through the rest of their schedule to 11 wins without a defeat, they weren’t able to take down either LSU or Alabama, and they quite frankly didn’t come close on either account. This year, the game against the Bayou Bengals is going to be at home, where Arkansas doesn’t lose all that often, and that is going to make this all the more special of a game, especially after last year’s beat down in Baton Rouge. QB Tyler Wilson has to remember what it was like going against the LSU defense, which totally shut him down and held the Razorbacks down to just 17 points, and he has to know that he is going to have to do more than that to win this game this year. His receivers should be fine by the time this one kicks off, unlike the problems that could come early in the year against Alabama. Defensively, the Hogs aren’t going to be allowing 41 points in this game again, and that should make matters all the more palatable for Wilson and this offense as well.

LSU @ Arkansas Free Picks^^: There are a few things that we really have to consider here when we back Arkansas. For starters, this game is in Fayetteville, where the Hogs have won back to back games against the Bayou Bengals. Secondly, and perhaps as important as anything else, if you take away last year’s game, six straight meetings were decided by eight points or fewer, and four of those six were decided by three points or fewer. Needless to say, that means that we are going to want these points on our side, and we think that we are going to have the team that can win this game outright as well.

^^Disclaimer: Our college football picks by our sports blog writers are independent of those from our Expert NCAA Football Handicappers. All NCAA football odds and lines in our Top 25 are from the month of August, and those lines could and likely will change by the time the game kicks off.

You won’t want to miss our LSU @ Arkansas picks when our expert college football handicappers have them posted on the week of 11/23/12.

2012 NCAA Football Top 25 Games: #12 Arkansas @ Texas A&M 9/29

August 16th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2012 NCAA Football Top 25 Games: #12 Arkansas @ Texas A&M 9/29
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2012 Top 25 College Football Games of the Year
#12 Arkansas Razorbacks @ Texas A&M Aggies

Arkansas (-3.5) @ Texas A&M

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M FootballDating all the way back to the days of the old Southwest Conference, the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies have been bitter rivals with one another. They were separated by conferences when the Big 8 and the SEC pillaged the Southwest, but they renewed their rivalry in 2009. Now though, they are back in the SEC West together, and the stakes really couldn’t be higher than they are right now. No matter how good or bad either of these teams turn out to be, every year, this is always one of the best games on the college football schedule, and that’s why it is our #12 game of our Countdown to Kickoff: The Top 25 Games of the College Football Season.

Arkansas Razorbacks @ Texas A&M Aggies Picks & Info
Arkansas Razorbacks @ Texas A&M Aggies Date: Saturday, September 29th
Arkansas Razorbacks @ Texas A&M Aggies Location: Kyle Field, College Station, TX
Arkansas Razorbacks @ Texas A&M Aggies Spread: Arkansas Razorbacks -3.5

The Hogs know that this is going to be a year with a heck of a schedule. The team has games in conference against Alabama and LSU at home, and Auburn, Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Mississippi State on the road. It’s not going to be easy to say the least. This is going to be a crucial game, because in all likelihood, Arkansas is going to be 0-1 already in the SEC, as its opener comes at home against Alabama on September 15th. Lose this one, and the likelihood is there that there is no chance whatsoever to get to the SEC Championship Game. Last year, this was the game in which QB Tyler Wilson really proclaimed his presence. He threw for 510 yards and three TDs, and he did so on the comeback trail, leading the team from down 35-17 at halftime to win with 25 second half points. Of course, the bad news is that most of Wilson’s receivers are now gone, but at least he is back and ready to give it another go at the Aggies. Remember that last year at that point, the Hogs were still trying to figure out how to find receivers aside from WR Greg Childs, and WR Jarius Wright had 13 grabs for 281 yards and two TDs. Someone else is bound to step up.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Texas A&M Aggies Past Games (Since 1995)
2011: Arkansas 42 – Texas A&M 38
2010: Arkansas 24 – Texas A&M 17
2009: Arkansas 47 – Texas A&M 19

Head Coach Kevin Sumlin knows that this is going to be one of the biggest games of his entire season this year. Just getting to a bowl game is going to be tough as could be, knowing that the team has to go 7-5 just to make it thanks to the fact that it has a pair of FCS teams on the slate. The Aggies might be 4-0 at this point (and that’s only if they avoid the upset at SMU and find a way to beat Florida in their SEC opener), but from here, there just aren’t all that many wins that we see on the schedule. With QB Ryan Tannehill gone, Texas A&M is going to struggle to find a pass happy offense. QB Johnny Manziel looks to be the man that is going to have the job at the outset of the season, and this is a heck of a lot to be putting on the back of a redshirt freshman in the SEC. There are going to be some growing pains for sure, and this is one of those games that could turn out to be a vital one in the youngster’s career. The entire offensive line is back in front of Manziel, which should help out quite a bit, and the defense brings back eight, but those eight were embarrassed in the second half by these Razorbacks last season.

Arkansas @ Texas A&M Free Picks^^: Even though this game is going to be played in College Station, we just don’t see how the Aggies are going to be able to keep up with the Hogs. Matters can really only get worse, not better for Texas A&M. If it loses to either Florida or SMU, its stock is going to slide. No one really figures on Arkansas beating the Tide, but if it did, that would be a huge boost in its stock as well. We can only see this point spread going up, not down, and for that reason, we are going to jump on board right now with the Razorbacks.

^^Note: These college football picks are independent of the picks of our Expert NCAA Football Handicappers. These NCAA football picks are made as of 8/12/12, though we will keep the college football matchup page updated for this clash on the week of the game.

When the Arkansas @ Texas A&M odds are on the board on the week of 9/29, we will have our college football picks that you won’t want to miss!

Cotton Bowl Odds: Arkansas vs. Kansas State Predictions 1/6/12

January 2nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Cotton Bowl Odds: Arkansas vs. Kansas State Predictions 1/6/12
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A day off in the bowl betting bonanza on January 5th won’t stop us from enjoying another fantastic game on the college football bowl schedule on the 6th. The Kansas State Wildcats and Arkansas Razorbacks were both good enough to be BCS quality teams this year, and they are going to face off in the 2012 Cotton Bowl.

Cotton Bowl: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Cotton Bowl Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Cotton Bowl Date/Time: Friday, January 6th, 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Cotton Bowl Television Coverage: FOX

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2011-12 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: Collin Klein has to have the biggest heart on the field
Say what you want about Klein. We know that he isn’t a great passer. We know that he stands very little chance of completing even 60 percent of his passes in any game that he plays. We know that he looks to run first and then throw the ball. We know that, for a mobile quarterback, he has a miserable yards per carry average right around 4.0. However, with all that being said, you can’t measure a kid’s heart, and that’s exactly what Klein has. This is a man that carries the ball over 24 times per game out of the quarterback spot, and he isn’t doing a heck of a lot of sliding or running out of bounds. There’s a reason that he led the team in scoring with 26 TDs on the campaign and why he came up with 1,099 rushing yards. Klein has the ability to do some real damage, and though his offense’s numbers aren’t all that impressive in totality this year, he just finds ways to keep putting points on the board, a trait that has to show to beat the Hogs.

Cotton Bowl Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Arkansas Razorbacks -7.5
Kansas State Wildcats +7.5
Over/Under 62.5
Click Here to Bet The Cotton Bowl Picks!

Key #2: The Razorbacks cannot let their special teams beat them
The Hogs were only beaten twice this year, once by the Alabama Crimson Tide and once by the LSU Tigers. Both games were on the road, and they were against the two best teams in the country. There was no shame in either defeat, but both games shared a common bond: Bad punt coverage. Against Alabama, WR Marquis Maze had 125 punt return yards, including an 83 yarder that came all the way back for a touchdown. That took a 17-7 game and made it 24-7. The Hogs were beaten 38-14. Against the Bayou Bengals, DB Tyrann Mathieu had two massive punt returns and totaled 115 yards on two runbacks. One went for 92 yards and a TD. From that point on, LSU outscored Arkansas 34-3.

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Key #3: Tyler Wilson has to shred a very suspect secondary
In fairness to the Wildcats, they had to play a schedule this year that included taking on Robert Griffin III, Seth Doege, Landry Jones, Brandon Weeden, and Ryan Tannehill. If we had to play those five guys, who will combine for over 20,000 passing yards when the bowl season is said and done with, we would have a secondary with some suspect numbers as well. However, Wilson is another one of these quarterbacks that could inch near 4,000 yards when the season is said and done with. He has 3,422 yards and is averaging a rock solid 8.4 yards per pass attempt this year, and he has a great set of receivers that can really spread the field all over the place. Wilson also did a nice job taking care of the pigskin on the campaign, throwing just six picks against 22 TDs. KSU’s secondary can be had; just look at the 505 yards and five TDs that Jones came up with when the Oklahoma Sooners came to Manhattan. Wilson just has to take advantage of it if the Razorbacks are going to have a shot at beating the Cotton Bowl odds.

Click Here to get the best college football picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our Cotton Bowl picks and the NCAA football picks for the rest of the bowl game odds.

College Football’s Top 25 Games in 2011: #6 Arkansas @ LSU

August 15th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on College Football’s Top 25 Games in 2011: #6 Arkansas @ LSU
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Current Arkansas @ LSU Game Odds Can Be Found Below
2011-12 Top 25 College Football Games of the Year
#6 Arkansas Razorbacks @ LSU Tigers

The Hogs and the Razorbacks seemingly always put on a great show, and it never seems to matter what the records are between the two. Upsets happen in this series all the time, but this year, the winner of this one might be well on their way to the SEC Championship Game, while the loser is likely going to end up in a situation where it has no chance to get into the BCS.

Arkansas Razorbacks @ LSU Tigers Picks & Info
Arkansas Razorbacks @ LSU Tigers Date: Friday, November 25th
Arkansas Razorbacks @ LSU Tigers Location: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Arkansas Razorbacks @ LSU Tigers Spread: LSU Tigers -8

The Hogs really got some bad news this week when they learned that RB Knile Davis was likely out for the season. If he doesn’t end up playing in this one, it could be a rough go for the Razorbacks. Davis accounted for 1,322 rushing yards and 13 scores last season, and he averaged 6.5 yards per carry. WE just don’t have the confidence that QB Tyler Wilson is going to be able to get the job done. If Ryan Mallett were still here in Fayetteville, we’d feel a lot different. The Arkansas defense under Head Coach Bobby Petrino definitely has a lot of work to do, though this should be a much easier challenge than most others will be in the SEC.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. LSU Tigers Past Games (Since 1995)
2010: Arkansas 31 – LSU 23
2009: LSU 33 – Arkansas 30
2008: Arkansas 31 – LSU 30
2007: Arkansas 50 – LSU 48
2006: LSU 31 – Arkansas 26
2005: LSU 19 – Arkansas 17
2004: LSU 43 – Arkansas 14
2003: LSU 55 – Arkansas 24
2002: Arkansas 21 – LSU 20
2001: LSU 41 – Arkansas 38
2000: Arkansas 14 – LSU 3
1999: LSU 35 – Arkansas 10
1998: Arkansas 41 – LSU 14
1997: LSU 31 – Arkansas 21
1996: LSU 17 – Arkansas 7
1995: LSU 28 – Arkansas 0

The Bayou Bengals have just a heard of potential tripping points this year on the schedule, but this is the last building block towards an SEC title. The Hogs have done their share of keeping LSU out of the SEC Championship Game and the National Championship Game in recent years, and Head Coach Les Miles and company hope to avoid a similar fate this season. The trouble is going to come with an offense that was only able to put up 23 points last year against a rather questionable Arkansas defense. QB Jordan Jefferson has yet another year under his belt, but he just hasn’t shown signs of improvement. If the ‘O’ doesn’t get more production than it did last year in Fayetteville, don’t think for one second that the Bayou Bengals are getting out of this one so easily.

Arkansas Razorbacks @ LSU Tigers Game Odds @ 5Dimes Sportsbook (as of 8/15/11):
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Arkansas Razorbacks (+8) @ LSU Tigers

Sugar Bowl Picks: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

January 3rd, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   1 Comment »

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The Ohio State Buckeyes could be reaching the end of an era this week at the Sugar Bowl, where they are going to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. There are storylines galore to analyze before making our NCAA football picks in this one, and we have the three keys to the game that you have to watch out for here at Bankroll Sports!

Key #1: The Buckeyes have to let the off the field issues stay off the field
Though we know that QB Terrelle Pryor, WR DeVier Posey, and RB Daniel Herron are amongst the five players that have vowed to come back for their senior seasons next year, we aren’t so sure that that is going to be the case. These five juniors, all of which are eligible to go to the NFL Draft next year if they please, were at the center of a scandal in which they were suspended for the first five games of next season. Head Coach Jim Tressel and company were lucky to find out that none of the top Buckeyes were suspended for the biggest game of the season in the Sugar Bowl, though. That being said, nothing is stopping these players from hopping out of Columbus right after this game is over, never getting punished for their actions. All of these distractions could be a tremendous key in this game. If OSU isn’t focused, it is going to be punished by a well disciplined bunch of Razorbacks. The Buckeyes also have to forget about that the Big Ten was dominated on New Year’s Day is bowl games. They are a totally different team this year than the rest of this conference was, and they can’t let the conference’s 2-5 record stop them.

Sugar Bowl Odds at BetUS Sportsbook
Ohio State Buckeyes -3.5
Arkansas Razorbacks +3.5
Over/Under 57
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Key #2: This Buckeye defense has to be as nasty as advertised
After watching the TCU Horned Frogs take down the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl, we’re not really so sure about this argument, but this Ohio State defense really could have been the best in the nation this year. The Buckeyes held teams to just 251.6 yards per game this year, and though this was a country mile away from what the Horned Frogs allowed, it was still easily good enough to finish second in the land. OSU ranked No. 6 or better in the land in every single major defensive categories this year. Allowing 13.3 points per game this year, and this was a stat that would have been a lot better had this unit not been victim to a number of special teams and offensive blunders. We also have to remember that this was a fairly brutal schedule this year, and the only team that scored more than 24 points against this ‘D’ was the Wisconsin Badgers.

Key #3: Ryan Mallett has to continue spreading the ball around to the rest of his offensive weapons
Mallett was one of the most unheralded quarterbacks in the nation this year, and we are somewhat bothered by the fact that he really has fallen off of the map as a potential top NFL prospect. We’re not so sure that he isn’t the best signal caller in the land as a pure passer, and that includes Heisman Trophy winner QB Cam Newton in his own conference. Mallett completed 66.5 percent of his passes this year for 3,592 yards and 30 TDs against 11 picks in the toughest conference in America. The recently declared QB Blaine Gabbert for the Missouri Tigers is supposedly a Top 20 pick in the NFL Draft, and he might be up into the Top 5 when push comes to shove. This is really the chance for Mallett to shine against one of the best defenses in the country, though. We also have to remember that Mallett hasn’t had WR Greg Childs since the end of October. Still, there are going to be six receivers on this team that end up with more than 600 yards for the season assuming that TE DJ Williams has at least 11 yards for the game. There are a ton of speed burners on this team right now. WR Cobi Hamilton is averaging 19.6 yards per reception to lead this team, but WR Jarius Wright is at 18.9 yards per catch as well. WR Joe Adams is at 16.9 yards per catch to boot. This is why Mallett is averaging almost ten yards per time that he drops back to throw the pigskin. If that keeps up, the Hogs have a great chance at pulling off the upset.