The second weekend of the 2015 college football season has a number of high-profile matchups, but one of the more intriguing picks on the board is a lower profile night (7:00 pm ET) game featuring the 21st ranked Missouri Tigers (1-0) of the SEC traveling to Liberty Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, AR to take on the hose Arkansas St. Red Wolves (0-1). Missouri finished with an 11-3 record and ranked 11th in the nation at the end of last season after a 33-17 win over Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl to conclude their campaign. Arkansas St. had a 7-6 record last season while competing in the Sun Belt Conference, and concluded the year with a 63-44 loss to Toledo in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
The Tigers opened their season with a 34-3 win at home over Southeast Missouri State. Quarterback Maty Mauk returns after throwing for over 2,600 yards with 25 TDs and 13 INTs last season in his first full season as a starting QB for the Tigers. Last week Mauk had a relatively quiet game against SE Missouri throwing for 181 yards with 2 TDs.
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The Red Wolves began their campaign with a 55-6 loss to USC on the road at the Coliseum. Their offense is led by quarterback Fredi Knighten a dual threat, who threw for 24 TDs with 7 INTs last season while also running for 779 yards and 11 TDs. Knighten had a rough start to his season with only 86 yards passing with 2 INTs last week against USC.
Missouri vs. Arkansas St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Missouri Tigers -10.5
@ Arkansas St.Red Wolves +10.5
Over 58 (-110)
Under 58 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Missouri vs. Arkansas St. Pick:
Missouri leads the all-time series between the two teams 3-0 and owns a 10 game road winning streak which is the 3rd longest such streak in the nation behind only Ohio St. and Florida St. The Red Wolves have won 10 consecutive home openers, the 8th longest streak in the nation. The Tigers are an impressive 14-2 ATS in their last 16 road games, 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 non-conference games and 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall. The Red Wolves are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games, 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games against teams with a winning record but only 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The under is 4-0 in Missouri’s last 4 September games, 8-2 in their last 10 games against teams with a losing record and 6-2-1 in their last 9 games following a straight up win. The over is 4-0 in Arkansas State’s last 4 home games, 7-0 in their last 7 games on fieldturf and 8-1 in their last 9 games overall.
The trends for the total point in opposite directions for both teams, and there is no clear trend that we can use to guide our pick in this game. The trends against the spread for Arkansas State, and in general from the end of last season to the beginning of this season, are not favorable. USC is a top-10 team and last week’s match-up was a tough one for Arkansas St., but the Red Wolves showed nothing at all against the Trojans and they allowed 63 points against Toledo at the end of last season so their defense has not come close to holding anyone in check in quite some time.
Mauk and the Tigers do not boast the firepower that the Trojans do, but he is a veteran signal caller and should be able to put up enough points in this game for the Tigers to cover. Missouri is also a very solid road team against the spread under head coach Gary Pinkel, and a reeling Arkansas St. team provides an enticing betting target. Take the Tigers to cover here.