Both teams are in need of a win on Saturday afternoon when the no. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks play host to the Auburn Tigers in an SEC West showdown. At home, the Razorbacks are listed as five-point favorites. There is also an over/under of 54 points.
The season began as a dream for Arkansas, but things have changed after back-to-back losses. Big wins over Texas and Texas A&M have been somewhat canceled out by losses to Georgia and Ole Miss. However, the Hogs were only a two-point conversion short of beating Ole Miss last week, so they’ll feel confident about getting back on track quickly.
Of course, Auburn will have the same mentality despite getting blown out by Georgia 34-10 last week. That being said, the Tigers needed to come from behind to beat both Georgia State and LSU in recent weeks. They also lack a win over a ranked team this season despite being 4-2 at the midway point of the season.
Time to Nix It
The Tigers have been led all season by a dynamic rushing attack led by Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter. However, quarterback Bo Nix continues to be inconsistent, throwing just one touchdown pass in his last four games while averaging just 6.5 yards per pass on the season. While Nix has been known to show up in big moments, he’s also completed just 58% of his passes this season, which is why the Tigers have to lean on their running game.
In fairness, the Auburn defense has played well this season, coming up with stops that have allowed the Tigers to come from behind in two of their wins. Even last week against Georgia, the Tigers were able to hold their own despite getting little support from the offense. However, there have been some holes in the Auburn secondary that are a little concerning.
Other than Georgia, no team has found the formula for stopping Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson. He’s emerged as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, averaging 9.8 yards per pass and 5.3 yards per carry on the ground. Of course, with wide receiver Treylon Burks and a solid running back tandem in Trelon Smith and Raheim Sanders, Jefferson has plenty of help around him.
Meanwhile, the Arkansas defense has played better than most anticipated heading into the season. Granted, the Razorbacks gave up 52 points last week and had some trouble with Georgia the previous week as well. But the Hogs gave up 21 points or less in their first four games of the season, including a win over a potent Texas offense, so there’s no denying that the Arkansas defense is capable of putting up some resistance.
Despite last week’s loss, Jefferson got the Arkansas offense back on track, which isn’t necessarily the case with Nix and the Auburn offense. The Razorbacks have already proven themselves against quality opponents, while the Tigers are a little fortunate to be 4-2. Bet on Arkansas to win and cover at home this week.
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