The game of the week for Thanksgiving weekend (2:30pm ET Friday) in week 13 of the 2011 college football season features two SEC-title and National Championship contenders with the 3rd ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (10-1) traveling to the Bayou to take on the number one ranked LSU Tigers (10-0). Arkansas has won seven straight games going into this highly anticipated matchup, including a 44-17 tune-up over Mississippi St. last week in which they covered a 13 point spread. LSU destroyed Ole Miss by a score of 52-3 on the road last week to easily cover the 30.5 point line. Arkansas is 7-4 ATS this season while LSU is 8-3 ATS in 2011.
The Razorbacks can throw the football in Coach Bobby Petrino’s spread offense with quarterback Tyler Wilson under center, they rank 10th nationally in passing offense with 316.9 yards per contest and 13th in scoring offense with 39.3 points per game. The Arkansas’ defense ranks 30th in points allowed with 21.2 per game, and 44th in total defense with 360.3 YPG surrendered. LSU despite being a team led by their defense get the most out of their offense, ranking 14th in the nation in scoring offense with 37.9 PPG while ranking only 74th in total offense with 378.2 YPG. The LSU defense has been their meal ticket this season though, ranking in the top ten in points allowed with 10 per game (2nd), total defense with 247.9 YPG (2nd), rushing yards allowed with 89.6 per game (4th) and pass defense with 158.3 YPG allowed (5th).
Arkansas vs. LSU Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Arkansas Razorbacks +12
@LSU Tigers -12
Over 52 (-110)
Under 52 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.com
Arkansas vs. LSU Pick:
Arkansas is 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games overall and 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games against a team with a winning record. LSU is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 SEC games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against teams with winning records. The over is 4-0 in the Razorbacks’ last SEC games and 26-10 in their last 36 games on grass. The over is 3-1-1 in LSU’s last 5 SEC games and 3-1-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite. In head-to-head play, the road team is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between the two teams and the Razorbacks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. The over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings at LSU and 4-1 in the last 5 meetings overall. Arkansas won last season by a score of 31-23 at home and covered the 3.5 point line, they have won 3 of the last 4 meetings with LSU overall.
With what is widely acknowledged to be the best defense in the country, LSU has shut down some dynamic offenses this season including Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia. The Tigers have earned their #1 ranking by playing and beating the best. Arkansas is certainly one of the most dynamic offenses in the country, but the Razorbacks were held to only 226 total yards and 14 points against the only top-flight defensive team they faced all season (and their only loss), Alabama. LSU is very much like Alabama in that they employ a smash-mouth attack on offense (212.6 YPG rushing), and play an attacking and hard-hitting style of defense with some of the best athletes in the country. Arkansas is much more of a finesse team and they do not matchup well with that style as evidenced by their lopsided loss to the Crimson Tide on the road. This will be an even stiffer road test for Petrino’s crew, and the games have been high-scoring in recent years with the over coming in for 4 of the last 5 games. The scoring could be very one-sided in this one though, so the recommendation here is to take LSU and give the points.