Arkansas vs Missouri Odds, Picks, Predictions

Opportunities between Arkansas and Missouri

The Battle Line Rivalry never really had much of a bite as a trophy game until last season.

The name was given to the Arkansas-Missouri kickoff as a throwback to the Civil War, when the Mason-Dixon Line once separated the Union and Confederate states. However, the rivalry was a non-event for the Tigers and Razorbacks fan bases.

While Arkansas longs for an old Southwest Conference realignment, the Missouri fan base would rather have Kansas on the schedule. Geographically, the schools are 300 miles apart and most of the five-hour drive takes place on a state highway.

This was an uneasy rivalry until Arkansas native Eli Drinkwitz commented on the current dynamic.

Drinkwitz was absolutely right in his assessment of the rivalry, as Missouri won 6-of-7 leading up to last year’s game. Head coach Sam Pittman used those comments as fuel in the Razorbacks’ quest to secure every rivalry trophy during the 2021 season.

Arkansas dominated Missouri at this spot last year, allowing only one offensive touchdown on the final drive of the game. With Missouri on five wins, this rivalry has enough potential to close out the regular season.

After Ole Miss’s thrashing, the Razorbacks can now find relief in qualifying for the bowling season. KJ Jefferson’s return saw three touchdowns through the air on 17-of-22 passes, but the biggest boost may have been for the ground game.

After two consecutive under-par games, the running back Raheim Sanders returned with a statement. The sophomore running back piled on a season-high 232 yards and three touchdowns against the Rebel defense.

I’ve seen enough Raheim Sanders is officially my 2024 RB1

Last night, Rocket became only the third player since 2000 in the SEC to rush for 200 yards and have 5 receptions in a game

Format speed and versatile he has it all 🚀

— Joe O’Leary (@TheHQNerd) November 20, 2022

Jefferson and Sanders were complemented by a healthy offensive line that welcomed Dalton Wagner on the right hand.

While the offense is in full swing, the Razorback defense put up its best production since the bye week. Arkansas limited LSU to less than 300 total yards while Liberty failed to score a run in the second half. Although Ole Miss put up for 703 total yards, the Rebels only averaged 2.5 points on eight drives past the 40-yard line.

One item to check is linebacker Bumper Pool’s health. The senior ranks second on the team in tackles.

No team has been so unlucky in one-possession games as Missouri. The Tigers are 1-4 in games this season decided by less than a touchdown. Now Drinkwitz must win as the underdog to not only reclaim the Battle Line Trophy, but also make his way to a postseason bowl game.

Missouri has been one of the best defensive teams in college football, finishing top 10 in the trenches and in Havoc.

The front seven are full of chaos makers. Edge Isaiah McGuire has applied more pressure than any defender, while linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper leads in quarterback rush.

The defense was fantastic at putting in quality drives, but explosive plays were the downfall of the Tigers in 2022. Missouri is near last in expected defensive rush points with better position against the pass at 113th.

The chunk plays have come on early downs as the Tigers sit 130th in standard downs explosiveness.

On the other side of the ball, quarterback Brady Cook comes in on a heater after posting six touchdowns against New Mexico State and Tennessee.

The sophomore has as many big throws as turnover-worthy plays, focusing more on Dominic Lovett than any other skill position.

Missouri sophomore WR Dominic Lovett is having a great year..someone to watch for the 2024 draft

Great tracking and extensive hands catch on this TD vs Tennessee 🔥

— RanDynasty (@ran_dynasty) November 12, 2022

Lovett was explosive this season with 2.6 yards per route, but the burner only had one goal in last week’s game against New Mexico State. Drinkwitz had his star wide receiver on the field for 20 snaps, leaving no reason why the sophomore shouldn’t be a big part of the Arkansas game plan.

Arkansas vs Missouri Matchup Analysis

Enable the drop-down boxes below to hide or show how Arkansas and Missouri are statistically similar:

Arkansas Offense vs. Missouri Defense

Missouri Offense vs Arkansas Defense

Pace of play / Other
tackling PFF 96 45
PFF coverage 111 26
SP+ special teams 78 50
Seconds per game 23.8 (19) 27.6 (95)
rush rate 63.2% (10) 56.6% (44)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Arkansas vs Missouri betting

The market opened with many betting on Missouri to move the spread to a field goal after opening Arkansas -5.

The spot certainly dictates maximum effort from Missouri, which needs a single victory over an Arkansas team after a prime-time knockout of Ole Miss to reach a bowl.

The Razorbacks will find ways to score points with the ground game. Missouri has one of the best defenses in the country, but some of the worst numbers in the country for standard down explosiveness and fast expected points. That means Arkansas will march up and down in these areas.

There are reasons to believe that Missouri will be successful on the offense. Lovett and fellow receiver Luther Burden III will be problematic for a secondary Razorback that ranks 111th in coverage.

Arkansas has been terrible at supporting teams, ranked outside the top 100 in Passing Downs Success Rate and explosiveness. The Razorbacks are 117th on the third defense, an indication that Missouri will have scoring opportunities.

The point spread and total are comparable to Action Network’s projection.

The best bet comes on the over, with each defense struggling to stop explosive plays. Look for bad tackles and defensive depth problems for the Razorbacks to keep Missouri in the game. On the other hand, all of Sanders’ hasty props also have value.

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