NCAA Football Free Picks: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Arkansas Razorbacks
(2-0, 0-2 ATS)

Georgia Bulldogs
(1-1, 1-1 ATS)

SEC betting action kicks off for two teams that are trying to get a leg up in a relatively open conference this year, as the Arkansas Razorbacks take on the Georgia Bulldogs “Between the Hedges.”

Head coach Bobby Petrino knows that he hasn’t seen the best out of his Hogs quite yet. That’s awfully scary for a team that ranks tenth in the nation in total offense (509.0 YPG) and fourth in defense (187.5 YPG). Victories of 44-3 over Tennessee Tech and 31-7 over Louisiana Monroe really could have been better, and with four very tough games in a row, Petrino is hoping to see the best of his veteran team. QB Ryan Mallett is going to be the key cog in the lineup to watch. He is completing 73.1 percent of his passes this year for 701 yards and six scores against a pair of picks. Mallett is averaging 10.5 yards every time he drops back to throw the football. The rushing game just isn’t there at this point, but RB Knile Davis, RB Dennis Johnson, and RB Broderick Green are working hard to help Mallett out. If they can each pick up 40-50 yards on the ground every game, the Razorbacks are going to be incredibly dangerous. Look for WR Greg Childs to get a lot of calls in this game. He already has 16 catches in just two games for 172 yards and a pair of scores.

Georgia is still really missing WR AJ Green, and it showed last week in the loss at the South Carolina Gamecocks. Scoring just six points in any game, particularly in the SEC on the road, is a recipe for a disaster. The Bulldogs only accounted for 253 yards of offense. QB Aaron Murray just wasn’t given time to make throws down the field, and especially with his best target missing due to suspension, this isn’t a good thing. Murray went 14-of-21 for 192 yards last week in a very blasé performance. The Dawgs are playing great defense this year, and that’s going to be the key, because an average of 315.0 yards per game offensively isn’t going to cut it. UGA is averaging holding opponents to just 241.0 yards of offense this year, which is good enough to rank 16th in the nation. The Bulldogs rank in the Top 40 in the nation in every major statistical category on defense. Still, without the offense’s help, the ‘D’ will not be able to carry this team through this very tough schedule in the weeks to come.

Both of these teams badly need this game. On paper, there is no question in our minds that Arkansas has the better team. However, we find a bit of irony about how this one could reasonably play out. Last week, Georgia was a ranked team that went on the road in conference against an unranked team, was an underdog, and ended up getting destroyed. This week, the Razorbacks are the ranked team, hitting the road in conference, and are underdogs to an unranked team. Hmm… Our Arkansas @ Georgia free picks are on the hosts.

Selection: Georgia Bulldogs -2.5

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