Missouri Tigers vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Date and Time: Friday, November 24, 2017, 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
Opening College Football Odds: Missouri -11
Missouri vs. Arkansas TV Coverage: CBS
About the only thing Arkansas fans can be thankful for this holiday season is that they're going to have a new coach to kick around after Friday's season finale is over with. The Hogs aren't going to be in a bowl game this year, and the reason for that is because their attitude really isn't good enough. Bret Bielema's teams have always been tough and hard-nosed, running the ball against anyone in America while playing strong ball at the point of attack on defense.
The Razorbacks lost quarterback Cole Kelley to a suspension after his allegedly picked up a DUI two weeks ago. Austin Allen is now forced to get back under center once again, and that's not a good sign for the team. Last week, he went just 12-for-18 for 125 yards.
But what's worse for the Razorbacks is that they only ran the ball for 97 yards on 33 carries. Amassing 221 yards for the game isn't going to win in the SEC most of the time, and it's a miracle that the team even remotely hung in there against Mississippi State last week in a 28-21 loss.
Missouri looked like a total loss at the outset of the season. The team crushed Missouri State 72-43 to kick off the season then lost five straight games. From that point forward, though, the Tigers have scored 68, 52, 45, 50 and 45 points and have won and covered all five games.
Drew Lock never stopped plugging along this year. His total stats tell the tale of a great quarterback. Lock is completing 58 percent of his passes for 3,247 yards. He's averaging 9.5 yards per pass attempt and has 38 touchdowns against 10 interceptions.
But if we're being realistic, Lock has grown fat on a bunch of bad teams. These last two games against Vanderbilt and Tennessee have seen Lock throw seven touchdowns and just one pick, but he also has completed just 43 percent of his passes in that span.
Lock's completion percentage might stink, but it's because he takes more shots down the field than any other quarterback in America.
Just look at the completion percentages for the Missouri wide receivers:
J'Mon Moore: 17.1 YPC Emanuel Hall: 22.8 YPC Johnathon Johnson: 16.6 YPC Albert Okwuegbunam: 15.4 YPC
When you've got four men who are averaging over 15 yards per catch and are all averaging at least two receptions per game, you've got an offense that can put points on the board from anywhere on the field.
The Razorbacks have allowed 13 touchdowns of at least 30 yards just since October 7, and if they can't figure out how to stop the Tigers from scoring points in bunches, the hosts are going to be in dismal shape.
Missouri vs. Arkansas Free Picks
Two months ago, it would have been blasphemous to think that the Tigers would have a shot at being favored at any of the best online sportsbooks in this game to end the regular season.
Now, it almost seems impossible for Arkansas to get off the mat to rise up for this game. Lock isn't good at all, but he just keeps finding ways to throw bombs all over the place.
The Kelley suspension was effectively the beginning of the end for a team that needed to be put out of its misery. Arkansas isn't suddenly going to find itself on either side of the ball, and if it can run the ball with efficiency, it's going to be as good as dead on arrival.
College Football ATS Pick: Missouri -11 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Missouri 42, Arkansas 21