ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS VS. LSU TIGERS
Rankings: LSU (24th CFP; 29th S&P+) | Arkansas (92nd S&P+)
Records: LSU (6-3, 3-2 SEC) | Arkansas (4-5, 1-4 SEC)
Game Time: 11 a.m. CT
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Spread: LSU opened as 16.5-point faves. The line is up to 17.
O/U: The total started at 58, but has since been cut down to 55.
Records ATS: Arkansas (2-7 ATS) | LSU (4-5 ATS)
LSU leads the all-time series against Arkansas 37-22-2.
The Tigers are currently on a one-game win streak, having defeated the Hogs last year, 38-10, in Fayetteville. Prior to that, LSU suffered consecutive losses to Arkansas in 2014 and 2015.
Since 2000, the Fighting Tigers are 10-7 against the Hogs. The most memorable contest of this century was, of course, the triple OT thriller 10 years ago, in which Arkansas won 50-48.
LSU, though, was #UndefeatedInRegulation that year.
Last season, LSU bucked a typical trend that plagued them in years past. After their usual defeats to Alabama, the Fighting Tigers were typically woeful, going into ruts that plagued them throughout November. Their response to last year’s 10-0 defeat was a 3-1 stretch that included their 29-9 win over Louisville in the Citrus Bowl.
The year before, they dropped games to Ole Miss and, aptly, Arkansas, who they will meet again on Saturday morning. This series has been a bit lopsided in recent years, with LSU winning four of the last six contests heading into this year’s tilt. It hasn’t exactly been close in these last six games, either. While LSU edged Arkansas by four and seven in 2012, they had 24 and 28-point beatdowns, too. The Hogs weren’t prone to this either. Their two wins were each by 17 points, including a 17-0 shutout in 2014.
This season, it would probably pretty ghastly for LSU to drop this one. Arkansas hasn’t been particularly great this year. They have just one SEC victory in five tries, which was caused by a meltdown by Ole Miss. Their average margin of defeat in their four losses in conference is just a hair over 24. So Arkansas isn’t just losing — they’re losing ugly.
It’s easy to understand why this is happening. The Hogs’ defense just hasn’t been capable enough. They’re 116th in Finishing Drives on defense, 111th in Success Rate, and 99th in Explosiveness. Teams’ average field position against Arkansas is at the 29.9 yard line, ranking them 87th in the country. They’ve been bad at stopping the run and bad at stopping the pass. While their rushing game is one of the best in the country and their passing game has just been okay, defensively, they just haven’t gotten the job done.
That could be exactly what LSU needs as they head into this game. The Tigers’ offense has been a bit stagnant, though their metrics indicate they might be better than some give them credit for. The ground game is what it always is. Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams have packed a serious punch, both rushing for over 500 yards this season and at or over 5.2 yards per carry. They have 12 touchdowns between each other, six apiece.
Arkansas has no slouches themselves on the ground, and they will test the Tiger defense. Devwah Whaley, David Williams and Chase Hayden have all been solid. Williams leads the bunch with 431 yards and five touchdowns. Hayden, a freshman, has the team-high in yards per carry at 5.3. Whaley has been asked to do the most, racking up 92 rushing attempts. Each has their own style, and each is deft in their own way. An LSU run defense that, for the most part, bottled up Alabama’s spectacular unit last week will be tested once more this time around.
You should lean towards LSU here, given that they’re home and Arkansas just hasn’t been great. Arkansas has been a terrible bet ATS, and while LSU hasn’t been too much better, they are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 and 4-1 straight up. While it’s been a wonky 1-4 in the last five against the Hogs... don’t expect this one to be.
LSU 28, Arkansas 7