Arkansas Razorbacks vs. LSU Tigers
Date and Time: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Opening College Football Odds: LSU -17
Arkansas vs. LSU TV Coverage: ESPN
A 1-8 Coastal Carolina team that doesn't look anything like an FBS roster has absolutely no business coming to Fayetteville and giving Arkansas any sort of a scare. Instead, the Razorbacks were down to their last play plenty of times after falling behind 38-25 at the outset of the fourth quarter.
As it was, a Cole Kelley touchdown run with 1:55 to play proved to be the difference in a 39-38 victory last Saturday.
Wins are wins, but Arkansas is in a boatload of trouble right now. This offense is actually somewhat respectable at 29.9 points per game, but conceding 36.1 points per game is a disaster. Conceding 52 to Auburn and 41 to Alabama is one thing, but the fact that this squad has now surrendered 50 to Texas A&M, 24 to New Mexico State, 48 to South Carolina, 37 to Ole Miss and 38 to Coastal Carolina is something else completely.
Ed Orgeron constantly feels like he's on the hot seat no matter where he's coaching nowadays. He was as good as a lame duck after losing on homecoming to Troy to end September, yet the month of October was significantly more kind to the Bayou Bengals. LSU picked up narrow wins over Florida and Auburn, then went on the road and beat Ole Miss handily.
November started with a bit of a lull in a 24-10 loss at Alabama, but no one realistically can fault Coach O for losing by 14 points on the road against the No. 2 team in America.
These last three games of the season, though, are a far different story. The Tigers expect to beat both Arkansas and Texas A&M at home, and losing at woeful Tennessee would be dreadful at best.
Let's give credit where credit is due to the LSU rushing game. The fact that this team came up with 151 yards on 42 carries against Alabama is a true accomplishment, and it further emphasizes just how far this team has come over the course of the last month or so.
This offense revolves a lot around misdirection plays, sweeps and other forms of deception, but Matt Canada has dialed down the gimmicks and has done a lot of pounding the rock right up the gut again.
Darrel Williams and Derrius Guice have combined to run the ball at least 29 times in each of LSU's last four games, including pounding the ball 44 times against Ole Miss to the tune of 379 yards.
If the Tigers can keep the ball moving on the ground like that against an Arkansas team that has been flat up front all year long, this could turn into an ugly result.
Arkansas vs. LSU Free Picks
LSU isn't the type of team you want to be laying 17.5-points with all that often at your favorite online sportsbook. Still, for as bad as Arkansas has been on the defensive side of the ball, it's hard to see this club failing to score in the 30s.
The Tigers have also turned the corner defensively this year, too, keeping four straight foes to 24 points or fewer. The stats don't suggest this has been a dominant defense, but it isn't going to take a dominant effort to cover this spread. A merely solid performance holding the Razorbacks in the low-20s should do just fine.
College Football ATS Pick: LSU -17.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: LSU 40, Arkansas 20