Joe Burrow and the No. 1 LSU Tigers (10-0) host the Arkansas Razorbacks (2-8) at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge on Saturday.
The matchup looks lopsided on paper, with the undefeated Tigers hosting a two-win team, but there are a few variables to consider in this one. Can LSU keep rolling at home this weekend? Here’s our game preview, followed by trends and our prediction.
Led by Heisman frontrunner Joe Burrow, the Tigers offense is coming off a 700-yard performance in last weekend’s victory against Ole Miss. Burrow has thrown for 3,687 yards with 38 touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. It will be Burrow’s second-to-last game of the year, and he’ll be looking to put a shine on his Heisman chances. He’ll also be throwing to reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week Ja’Marr Chase, who had 227 yards receiving and three touchdowns last week.
Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron said Monday that his team needs to work a bit more on preparing on the defensive side of the ball: “On defense, we got to coach them better. Starts with me. We have to put them in better positions…we have to make plays when we get in space, make tackles…I know we’re going to get it fixed. The men in our room are going to be fine…We’re going to have a great defense, I know that.”
The Razorbacks have had a turbulent season that saw the team change coaches on November 10th. Barry Lunney Jr. is now the interim coach for Arkansas, and he will be making his debut against the Tigers. Orgeron thinks Lunney could give the Razorbacks a spark: “Obviously they’re going to be fired up. Interim coach, they had an open date, obviously he’s changed things around. He’s going to rally the troops. They going to come out and give their best effort. We know they will.”
Arkansas is averaging 353.5 yards and 22.3 points a game, and they haven’t been able to get anything going this season. Junior running back Rakeem Boyd has been a bright spot for the Razorbacks this season, however. In the team’s last game, a loss against Western Kentucky, Boyd ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. If the LSU defense doesn’t buckle down, he could have his chances. The Tigers allowed over 400 yards rushing in their previous game, so that could be something to watch in this one.
Trends, Pick and Prediction:
Spread: Arkansas +43.5
Odds Shark currently have the Tigers winning the game by a projected score of 58-8, with LSU winning, covering the spread and the total score being under.
The following relevant trends surrounding the game are courtesy of Odds Shark:
• Arkansas is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games.
• The Razorbacks are 0-7 SU in their last 7 games.
• Arkansas is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games against Louisiana State.
• The Razorbacks are 2-6 SU in their last 8 games against Louisiana State.
• Louisiana State is 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 games.
• The total has gone OVER in 10 of Louisiana State’s last 13 games.
• The Tigers are 10-0 SU in their last 10 games.
• The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LSU’s last 5 games against Arkansas.
We’re with Odds Shark on all but one thing–LSU should win handily, but we’ll take Arkansas with the 43.5 points. They have a new head coach who could very well incorporate either a few fresh looks, or perhaps even a new attitude. Look for LSU to dominate, but for Arkansas to have a little fight.
Final Prediction: LSU 52, Arkansas 14