5* COTTON BOWL ATS MASSACRE
Kansas State vs. Arkansas,
01/06/2012 20:00 EDT,
Score: 16 - 29
Point Spread: -8½/-110 Arkansas
While both teams come into this game with a 10-2 overall record, the Razorbacks two losses came against the two teams playing for the National Championship (LSU & Alabama). If there wasn't a rule that one conference could only send two teams to BCS games, the Razorbacks would have been invited.
A lot of people will look at Arkansas' last loss to LSU, where the Tigers crushed the Razorbacks 41-17, but that actually favors Arkansas to cover the large spread, as they are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU loss of more than 20 points.
Defensively Kansas State had their most trouble against offenses who were built around the passing game. The Wildcats finished 99th in the country against the pass, allowing just over 267 ypg. Arkansas features the 13th ranked passing attack in the country, and I expect them to move the ball with ease.
The big concern for people laying this many points on Arkansas is their defense. The Razorbacks finished 75th in the country against the run, while Kansas State ended with the nations 24th ranked rushing attack. While I think the Wildcats will have success running the ball, I don't think they will be able to keep this game within double-digits.
A big reason Arkansas run defense appears to be weak is because they play in the run-heavy SEC. At the same time Kansas State's rushing numbers are inflated because that's really all they do offensively, and there isn't exactly a whole lot of defense being played in the Big 12.
Arkansas is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. Big 12, 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games as a favorite, and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. BET THE RAZORBACKS -8.5!