LSU vs. Arkansas Odds
The “Battle for the Golden Boot” has a long history of upheaval since the SEC added Arkansas in 1992.
An AP Top-10 team has lost this rivalry game five times since 2007. From the Miracle over Markham to a BCS knockout, this trophy game usually has national-level implications.
This will be Brian Kelly’s first game of the series, a must win if his Tigers aspire to play in the SEC Championship and potentially make the college football playoffs.
LSU fits the bill in the hangover department after a titanic upset over Alabama as the underdog by nearly two touchdowns. Kelly didn’t hesitate to call a two-point conversion play to end overtime, saying if he had been lucky enough to have a play to beat Alabama, he would have tried “100 times out of 100” .
Now Arkansas and Texas A&M are all that stands between LSU and a trip to face Georgia for the conference championship.
Razorbacks head coach Sam Pittman went on a trophy hunt in 2021, sweeping every rivalry game and ending with a win at the Outback Bowl.
In less than a calendar year, the direction of the on-court product is a far cry from the list that won a New Year’s Day game to start 2022. The Razorbacks are battling for a sixth win to bowl, fresh off of a home loss for Liberty.
Despite a scoreless second half, the Flames never trailed, even after their best offensive weapon was injured in the second quarter.
Arkansas will have other chances for a sixth win, but an early kick against division leader SEC West is a gut test for Pittman and the Hogs.
Brian Kelly had never beaten Nick Saban in over 30 years as a head coach until last week.
It’s by far his one-season masterpiece, even with two previous trips to the College Football Playoffs and a BCS National Championship loss to Saban in 2013.
Kelly hit the transfer portal early and often during the offseason, earning more than 13 players and 15,000 experience snaps – the highest mark of any team entering this season.
A winning path puts the Tigers in the SEC Championship game, but can the former Notre Dame coach avoid a hangover after beating Alabama?
Kelly has avoided letdown scenarios more often than not in her career, a trend that includes Ole Miss and New Mexico this season.
The Tigers thrived under quarterback Jayden Daniels, who torched the Alabama defense for nearly 100 rushing yards with three combined touchdowns.
Youth movement on the offensive line created holes for Daniels on rushing attempts. Half of Daniels’ zone runs have come in the last two games against Alabama and Ole Miss. The former Arizona State quarterback is averaging 4.5 yards after contact and has created 37 missed tackles this season.
But most impressive is a 14:1 touchdown to interception ratio in the air.
Meanwhile, LSU’s defense has struggled at fullback in coverage rankings, but defensive coordinator Matt House is building a fierce trench against opposing offensive lines.
House brought a complicated playbook after several seasons as a linebackers coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. LSU ranks in the top 20 for defensive finishing drives and pass completion rate.
The emergence of linebacker Harold Perkins allowed LSU to utilize multiple personnel, as the rookie lined up in the box, on the line, and against opposing slot receivers.
The Razorbacks suffered an embarrassing loss to Liberty, with many factors contributing to the loss.
The Flames stopped the Hogs in the first quarter, allowing a standard downs success rate of zero.
Transmissions were the center of trouble in Q2, with Razorbacks generating a hit rate of just 17%.
The powerful rushing offense of quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders was stuffed all game. Sanders posted a season-low rush mark after facing a defense schedule that includes Alabama, Cincinnati and Texas A&M.
Sam Pittman on KJ Jefferson’s health: “I think he’s feeling better this week than he did last week, so I expect him to be able to pitch today.”
— Christina Long (@christinalong00) November 7, 2022
The Hogs lit up their opponents through the end of October due to assists in standard tries. With Jefferson at full strength, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles should return to an open playbook in the first downs.
The Razorback defense did its job well, preventing Liberty from scoring in the second half after the Flames lost running back Dae Dae Hunter to injury.
Arkansas coaches did nothing but congratulate Quincey McAdoo, wide receiver turned defensive back.
McAdoo’s emergence is critical for the Razorbacks with an off-court incident keeping one of the best defensive players on the bench against LSU. Safety/cornerback combo Myles Slusher was involved in an incident early Sunday morning, earning a suspension from Pittman for the LSU game.
McAdoo is expected to fill Slusher’s shoes as the Oklahoma junior has lined up at every position this season with a particular emphasis on cornerback.
LSU vs Arkansas Game Analysis
Toggle the drop-down menus below to hide or show the statistical correspondence between LSU and Arkansas:
LSU Offense vs. Arkansas Defense
Arkansas Offense vs. LSU Defense
Pace of play / Other
|SP+ special teams||97||68|
|Seconds per game||26.4 (65)||23.4 (16)|
|Peak rate||52.6% (71)||62.5% (13)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
LSU vs Arkansas betting picks
Throwing away the hangover story about LSU after the win over Alabama, there are upsides for the Tigers offensively.
Arkansas has fallen to 115th in defensive pass rate, a problem that will come against an LSU point offense that is the best in the nation in trick rate..
The Tigers offensive line owns the trench with the fortification of Emery Jones, Miles Frazier, Anthony Bradford, Charles Turner and Will Campbell as the starting rotation.
Snooping around with some numbers this morning, and it’s worth pointing out some jarring changes in #LSU offensive line production.
-LSU ranks #1 in offensive stuff rate (they don’t get blown at the line)
-LSU ranks #5 in allowable pressure rating
— Brody Miller (@BrodyAMiller) November 8, 2022
Slusher’s loss to injury earlier this season allowed plenty of passing attacks to succeed against Arkansas. The Hogs rank 117th in coverage but improved a tackle rating just inside the top 100.
The stats speak for themselves for a defense that allows teams to convert from any down and distance. Arkansas fell hard, ranking in the bottom 10 nationally in passing pass rate and third defense.
The handicap in this game is if an “evil” Jefferson can come back to full strength. There were signs of life from the Hogs passing offense in the second half, as Jadon Haselwood led with eight catches and Matt Landers gained for over 100 yards.
LSU will face an Arkansas offensive line that is sixth nationally in pass blocking, neutralizing a force for the Tigers. Explosive games will be on for Arkansas as LSU ranks 111th in allowing explosiveness against trailing teams.
Action Network projects LSU as the four-point favorite with a total of 65, both close to market consensus.
LSU will be allowed to dictate the pace with an offensive line that creates big holes for the rushing offense. The Tigers dominated scoring opportunities, an area where the Razorback defense continues to falter.
The Hogs will follow with slight success on the ground, looking for explosives in the air against LSU’s secondary.
LSU may need a few playoffs to get the offense going with a local kick at 11 a.m. and temperatures in the 30s.
The wind blows from the open north side of Razorback Stadium with a swirl in the south end zone as sustained winds of 10 mph can limit every kicking game.
Look for a slow-starting game filled with explosive second-half plays as LSU will leave Fayetteville with the Boot thanks to a growing rushing offense.