Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST
Arkansas +17 -110 over MISSISSIPPI STATE
Davis Wade Stadium – Starkville, MS
Streaming: SEC Network in the Sports Group
7:30 PM EST. After upsetting LSU at home last week as a 14½-point underdog at kick-off, the Bulldogs of the SEC West have emerged as the flavor of the week, as the market cannot stop singing Mississippi State’s praises after it handled the Bayou Bengals 44-34 in Death Valley. When you beat the defending champs, there is a price to pay and that makes us instant sellers on the Bulldogs.
We would be remiss to not commend Mississippi State for journeying to Baton Rouge and defeating LSU on its own soil. It is a tall order for any team to achieve. However, the mind behind the operation at LSU (Joe Brady), the heart and soul of said team (Heisman Trophy Winner Joe Burrow), and the supporting cast of talented skill players all left town. The Bulldogs had all the motivation in the world to reassert itself in what has been a lop-sided antebellum rivalry and it certainly didn’t hurt that they came to Death Valley with an offensive guru in Mike Leech at the helm, boding the services of a quarterback that is accustomed to playing in offensive-oriented environments. The Air Raid was tailor-made for K.J Costello to succeed. A presiding narrative that has emerged is that “Mississippi State is far better than many expected.”
This week, the roles are reversed. Arkansas steps into this game wearing the title of the tune-up opponent of the SEC West. However, the Hogs have shown that they have the potential to be taking steps forward as well under new Head Coach Sam Pittman. Though the Bulldogs of Georgia did not help their cause by playing sloppy and uninspired in the first-half of its game in Fayetteville, last week, the Hogs led the Dawgs 7-5 at halftime despite being a 27½-point underdog. However, this narrative will be quickly dismissed because UGA would whack the Razorbacks 32-3 in the second half, and the final box score would be considered par for the course. Alas, Arkansas is expected to turn out a similar lacklustre performance this week.
Though the Hogs were handled by Georgia once it got its act together, there were nonetheless positives to be taken from last week’s bout. Arkansas hung around, albeit for just one half, against Georgia and that inspires confidence. The Razorbacks take a big step down in class this week while MSU is riding high and in line for a big letdown. Even if the inevitable letdown does not occur, Florida transfer QB Feleipe Franks will get some relief going up against the Mississippi State defense after facing UGA in the opener. He wasn't spectacular, but he won’t have to be to come in under the price in this one. We cannot overstate the class drop the Hogs will face this week and the data just does not support spotting this many points to such a live underdog.
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Arkansas +17 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)