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Arkansas Razorbacks Betting Tips – Hogs Still Can’t Get Past LSU And Alabama

Posted by Blake Frazier on 6/26/2012 4:06:33 PM

Online betting players may have expected Arkansas to take the next step and really push Alabama and LSU in the SEC, but a tumultuous offseason has really broken their momentum and it may be a little longer until the Razorbacks play for a SEC title.

Head Coach: John L. Smith (1st year)
Offensive Coordinator: Paul Petrino
Defensive Coordinator: Paul Haynes
Stadium: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium/War Memorial Stadium
Capacity: 80,000/54,120
National Championships: 1

Offense

The Razorbacks were one of the top offensive teams in the country with the Petrinos, head coach Bobby and coordinator Paul, running the show as they finished 29th in total offense, 13th in passing offense and 15th in points scored. But everything changed when Bobby was fired for a motorcycle accident that uncovered an affair with a former Arkansas volleyball player, and John L. Smith, their former special-teams coach, was handed the reins. Paul likely still has a handle on the offense, but we’ll see if Bobby was really the one calling the shots and he has been known as a great offensive mind. Tyler Wilson is still under center for the Razorbacks and Knile Davis will have to prove that he is fully recovered from an ankle injury that caused him to miss all of last season, because the running game will have to improve.

Arkansas lost three of the top receivers from last season, which could hurt Wilson’s development at quarterback, but the Razorbacks have a few more coming through the pipeline and they’re strong up front. The offense shouldn’t take a huge step backwards, but they will regress a little.

Grade: B+

Defense

Paul Haynes is the new defensive coordinator for a group that finished 47th in the country in total defense, and they were 33rd in points allowed. The Razorbacks were never going to be known as an Alabama or LSU-type of defense, but they have a few players that could suit up for either team. Alonzo Highsmith could end up being the best linebacker in the SEC, and that is saying a lot, and the Razorbacks are also loaded in the secondary with safety Eric Bennett leading the way. The Razorbacks are going to be very tough to throw the ball again in 2011.

The biggest hole that they have to fill comes up front as end Jake Bequette is now in the NFL and the Razorbacks will have to replace his 10 sacks and all-around disruptive presence. No matter how good your secondary is, they can’t defend forever and Arkansas has to figure out a way to get pressure on the opposing quarterback.

Grade: B

Special Teams

Arkansas finished in the top 35 in both kickoff (32nd) and punt (11th) returns, and remember, Smith was the special-teams coach, so this unit could get a little more attention than usual and could affect the college football betting outcome of a game or two this season. They were also 40th in net punting and everyone involved is coming back this year: punter Dylan Breeding, punt returner Marquel Wade and kick returner Dennis Johnson.

Kicker Zach Hocker is also back after finishing 11th in the country in field goals and 17th in total points, and he could be counted on even more if the Arkansas offense struggles this season. Points come at a premium in the SEC and that means every potential field goal is crucial, especially if you’re in a division with Alabama and LSU. This could actually be the best unit on the entire team.

Grade: B+

Prediction

The Razorbacks head into the season with NCAA football betting odds of +550 to come out on top in the SEC, and +2000 to win their second national title. While the schedule is tough, it always is in the SEC and their games against Alabama and LSU will be the defining points of the season for the Razorbacks, whose only losses came against the BCS title-game combatants.
However, these two will visit Arkansas this season.

Still, there may have been too much going on off the field for the Razorbacks to get over the hump in 2012. The Bobby Petrino scandal hangs over the team, but there were also a couple of arrests in terms of players as well and it has been a long offseason. The Razorbacks are still a very good team, but they’ll remain behind Alabama and LSU on the sports betting ladder.

2012 Schedule

September 1st – vs. Jacksonville State (TBD)
September 8th- at Louisiana-Monroe (TBD)
September 15th – vs. Alabama (TBD)
September 22nd – vs. Rutgers (TBD)
September 29th – at Texas A&M (TBD)
October 6th – at Auburn (TBD)
October 13th – vs. Kentucky (TBD)
October 27th – vs. Ole Miss (TBD)
November 3rd – vs. Tulsa (TBD)
November 10th – at South Carolina (TBD)
November 17th – at Mississippi State (TBD)
November 23rd – vs. LSU (2:30 PM ET)

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