Alabama football continues its SEC grind with a homecoming matchup against Arkansas on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.
After outscoring two SEC opponents, 125-3, No. 1-ranked Alabama (6-0 overall, 3-0 SEC) dealt with a tougher test against Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide downed the Aggies, 27-19, but there were plenty of lessons to be learned from the narrow victory. This is the closest Texas A&M has played Alabama since the Johnny Manziel era four years ago, when the Aggies lost a shootout to the Tide at Kyle Field.
It was the type of game Alabama needed. The Crimson Tide didn’t have to lose to learn some lessons. Alabama isn’t going to beat every team 59-0 or 66-3. These are the type of games that build character.
Saban wasn’t happy with how his team responded. Alabama probably took its foot off the gas for a second, which allowed Texas A&M to creep back into the game.
Alabama should get back to its blowout ways against Arkansas (2-3, 0-2) on Saturday.
Alabama-Arkansas betting odds
Alabama is a 30-point favorite, according to MyBookie. The over/under is 56 points.
Alabama-Arkansas betting picks
Marq Burnett: Alabama 41, Arkansas 6
The worst thing that could have happened for Arkansas is having Alabama struggle against Texas A&M. With that game out of the way, Alabama should be highly motivated to prove a point this Saturday.
Look for Alabama to put on a show for homecoming and put a spanking on the Hogs.
Chris Kirschner: Alabama 52, Arkansas 7
Arkansas is truly a horrific football team. If it wasn’t for Missouri, you could make the case that the Razorbacks are the worst team in the SEC. I think Saturday is going to get really ugly fast, especially after Alabama’s close win over Texas A&M where the team looked vulnerable for the first time this year. You better believe that the Crimson Tide are going to want to start fast and not let up on the gas come Saturday . It’s going to be a bloodbath.
Christopher Walsh: Alabama 45, Arkansas 10
This game is extremely difficult to predict due to the uncertain status of Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen due to a shoulder injury. He’s a gutsy player, but remember Alabama pounded him last year while notching 6 sacks and 12 hurries to go with 6 turnovers created and 5 passes broken up. Regardless of who starts, look for the Crimson Tide to bring the pressure and make things extremely difficult for the Razorbacks.
Mike Bambach: Alabama 51, Arkansas 3
Not to poison the well, but Arkansas allowed an average of 49 points in SEC losses to South Carolina and Texas A&M (in OT). Alabama might get 49 points by halftime and will extend the national’s longest home winning streak to 16 games.
Ryan Fowler: Alabama 52, Arkansas 10
Arkansas will have to pay the price for Alabama playing so sloppy against Texas A&M. I have seen nothing in the numbers to convince me that this game will be somewhat close. I think Alabama’s celebration of homecoming will include a roasting of the Arkansas Razorbacks. I also look for Alabama’s passing attack to get cranked up this weekend.
Matt Speakman: Alabama 42, Arkansas 6
Arkansas is coming off of a blowout loss where the Razorbacks had 4 turnovers and allowed 2 sacks in the loss. Arkansas will either be playing a banged-up Austin Allen or redshirt freshman Cole Kelley. Either way, its going to be hard for Arkansas to move the ball against a defense that has pressured the quarterback fairly often in its last two games. Alabama should have no trouble against Arkansas, returning to the same form we saw against Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
Alabama-Arkansas betting preview
- Heavy favorite: Alabama opened as a 29.5-point favorite against Arkansas, according to VegasInsider.com. That’s a ton of points, and there’s a chance it’s too low.
- Series history: Alabama leads the all-time series 17-8 (after vacations). The Crimson Tide won the meeting last season, 49-30.
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