2021 Arkansas Razorbacks Football Predictions: Season Win Total Picks
2020 Record: 3-7
2021 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 5.5
2021 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: ‘Under’
I have to admit that Sam Pittman and the Arkansas Razorbacks impressed me last season. Sure, they won only three games after back-to-back 2-10 debacles with Chad Morris. But the Razorbacks went 7-3 against a spread, a clear indicator that they were better than people expected, and they took three losses (at Auburn, vs. LSU and at Missouri) by a combined seven points.
I’m intrigued to see if Pittman, who has a no-nonsense, old school approach, can build on last season and get the Razorbacks back to mediocrity in the brutal SEC West. The Razorbacks are just 11-35 straight up over the last four seasons, and they have won four or fewer games six times in the last 10 seasons.
Pittman did lose starting quarterback Feleipe Franks, who had a breakout season in 2020. But they bring back just about everyone else on a group that improved from 21.4 points per game in 2019 to 25.7 last year against an all-SEC schedule. That includes a trio of three-year starters along a beefy offensive line that should be solid.
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Defensively, Arkansas has 10 returning starters and their top six tacklers back in the fold. Second team all-SEC linebacker Bumper Pool is one of four three-year starters in the back seven. The Razorbacks weren’t bad early in the season while giving up just 26.1 points per game. They faded late, though, surrendering an average of 48 points per game in their last four.
Games against Rice, Georgia Southern and Arkansas Pine-Bluff should grant Arkansas three wins. Unfortunately, I can’t find three more on their schedule. The Razorbacks have a tough nonconference game with Texas. And then they have a brutal stretch of three straight road games against Texas A&M, Georgia and Ole Miss. Arkansas also has to play LSU and Alabama on the road late in the year.
That leaves their three most winnable SEC games at home against Auburn, Mississippi State and Missouri (in Little Rock). In order to clear this bar, they would have to sweep that trio. I wouldn’t bet on it.
Pittman seems like he has this program pointed in the right direction. And the Razorbacks could be a sneaky ATS underdog this year. However, until I see them close the gap with the rest of the league, I will have to play them ‘under’.
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