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Alabama Arkansas Betting – The SEC West Title Hangs In The Balance… In September

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/23/2010 12:49:41 PM
alabama arkansas betting

Yes, it might be early in the season, but many people think the SEC West will be decided this weekend as champion Alabama takes on its foremost challenger from Arkansas.

NCAA football betting: Alabama Crimson Tide @ Arkansas Razorbacks

Online Betting Odds: Alabama -7.5

Why To Bet On Alabama

Why would you not bet on Alabama in this game? Coach Nick Saban rules the college football world at the moment. His team has won the SEC West each of the last two seasons, and claimed the SEC championship in 2009, en route to the national title in a win over Texas. Saban is working with a young defense this year, but he has quality players to work with. Moreover, Saban is known for his teaching credentials; Alabama wasn’t dominating in its 24-3 win over Penn State on Sept. 11 (the Tide played a far easier game on Sept. 18 when they visited Duke), but the Crimson Tide still kept the Nittany Lions out of the end zone and became extremely resilient whenever they were pushed near their own 20-yard line. Alabama’s defense is rounding into form, while its offense is very formidable. Greg McElroy won a national title in his first year as the Alabama quarterback, and he returns this season along with his chief offensive playmakers: running back Mark Ingram, backup running back Trent Richardson, and highly-touted wide receiver Julio Jones. Alabama’s going to be very tough for Arkansas’ defense to stop in this game. Even if Arkansas is able to score at times, Bama could very well put up 30 points and still carry the day in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Why To Bet On Arkansas

The Razorbacks have circled this game in red and have focused on it throughout the entire offseason. The Hogs played two non-conference cupcakes to start their season, and then began their SEC campaign last weekend with a big win at Georgia. All of that, however, is and has been a mere prelude to this contest, which will shape the contours of the SEC West season and quite possibly decide the division. Auburn – the other prime contender in the division – has to play at Alabama this year, so if Alabama wins this game, it’s really hard to imagine how the Crimson Tide, the defending SEC champions, will lose hold of their division in 2010. Arkansas knows that it must win this game to stop the Tide, and that motivation will enable the Hogs to play perhaps one touchdown better than the point spread will suggest. From a specific X-and-O standpoint, Arkansas needs to turn this game into a pure track meet. Alabama’s defense is quite talented, but it’s also inexperienced compared to the unit that won the 2009 national championship. Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett returned for another season precisely so he could win games like this… and also enhance his NFL draft stock. Mallett has multiple receiving targets to throw to, so as long as he gets good protection from his offensive line, Mallett could very possibly light up Alabama’s secondary and post 35 or more points. It could very genuinely happen.

How The Game Will Play Out

The Arkansas offense will play a solid game, but it won’t quite dominate. That will allow Alabama’s offense – with its better run-pass balance – to score touchdowns while controlling the clock and keeping Arkansas’ offense off the field. Alabama will lean on Arkansas in the trenches and wear down the Hogs late. Alabama knows how to win these games; Arkansas is merely hoping it can pull through. That’s a big difference this week. Take the Crimson Tide.

Alabama Arkansas Betting Pick: Alabama

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