The Arkansas Razorbacks are coming off of true heartbreak. Leading #1-ranked Alabama 17-7 at halftime two weeks ago the visiting Crimson Tide had a late, late score to shatter Razorback hearts. But, a LOT is still to be played for in Fayetteville. And, this weekend is no different. The Bobby-Petrino coached team take their show on the road to the heart of Texas to take on a capable Texas A&M team. The game will be played in Arlington, Texas but do expect a horde of Razorback and Aggie fans alike. With Gus Malzahn calling the plays for Arkansas, you can bet there will be yardage, yardage and more yardage. He certainly hasn’t disappointed this year and quarterback Ryan Mallett has been outstanding. The Razorbacks currently rank second in the country and passing yards and 18th nationally in total yards. The fact their defensive rankings (23rd in total yardage, 15th in pass defense, 13th in points allowed) is testament to the work being done by Petrino. The Razorbacks, with only one loss, certainly have a lot to play for and this week should be a good test amongst BCS foes. A telling statistic maybe Mallett’s passing. With the 2nd best passing offense in the country, statistically, Mallett has thrown for 1438 yards and 10 touchdowns to go with a terrific 68.8 % completion rate. It bodes well as they go up against an Aggie pass defense that comes in 68th in the country.
The Aggies have a little heartbreak of their own. After going into Stillwater, Oklahoma and playing the host Cowboys so tough they were undone with a last-second 40-yard field goal by Oklahoma State kicker Dan Bailey as they lost 38-35. It’s tough to take any loss but especially one where you score five touchdowns on the road including a 14-0 lead in the first quarter—let alone 21-7 up at halftime. But, such is this life of an Aggie player on September 30th. Move ahead to their matchup with Arkansas and Aggie fans will be under the assumption they will be able to move the ball with star quarterback Jerrod Johnson. Johnson has thrown for 1274 yards and 12 touchdowns over four games. The offense—notably the passing game— has been super this year. Texas A&M is 6th in the country in total yardage while 5th in passing yardage. Couple that with their scoring rate of 39.5 points per game (14th nationally) and you can understand why a lot of people might be tuning into what could turn into a righteous old shootout.
Arkansas has an outstanding passing game and a great quarterback. Texas A&M has an outstanding game and a great quarterback. While both teams have capable defenses—the Aggies especially against the run—there is no reason to think there won’t be some points scored in this matchup. Arkansas has a lot to play for in the SEC while the Aggies could still have a terrific season—especially as rivals Texas aren’t off to the best of starts. Look for a very, very entertaining game and a lot of points to be scored. The over is 4-0 for Arkansas in their last four games on grass while Texas A&M is 7-2 in the over for their last 9 October games.
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Vs. Texas A&M +5.5
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Arkansas vs. Texas A&M Prediction for Week 6:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) –Simply put: Arkansas is a better team. They have a great quarterback but an outstanding coaching staff and an improving defense. The neutral game should breathe life into them, as a rowdy crowd should be on hand for a game that used to be called the “Southwest Classic.” Consider that the Razorbacks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on grass and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win it seems like a good wager that they will pull it off again. Texas A&M’s pass defense is a tad too porous to back them versus a pass offense like Arkansas.
Game Total Prediction– I don’t know why but a small part of me thinks that Arkansas can really run away with this game. They’ve had a week off to prepare for Texas A&M and their egos will need a boost after a crushing loss to Alabama. Texas A&M is a good team but they might find the going a bit tougher against a defense like Arkansas as opposed to that of Louisiana Tech. We think they’ll be able to move the ball—no question—but 62 points is an awful, awful lot.
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