Arkansas vs. Georgia College Football Week 5 Picks and Odds Breakdown

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Christopher Smith #29 of the Georgia Bulldogs. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images/AFP

ESPN’s College GameDay will visit Athens where Georgia will host Arkansas. Here is the betting analysis for the game. Top Sportsbooks have released their NCAAF odds for Saturday’s game between Arkansas and Georgia.

Both teams are undefeated, despite the fact that Arkansas had to face Texas and Texas A&M and Georgia had to play Clemson. Arkansas is ranked eighth, Georgia second. For reasons that I will explain, you should play the total for this game.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Saturday, October 2, 2021- 12:00 PM EDT at Sanford Stadium

Arkansas' Defensive Line 

Typically, Arkansas' defensive line is populated by a nose tackle lining up across the opposing center along with a defensive tackle and a defensive end. That nose tackle is John Ridgeway, one of three transfers who managed to out-push Arkansas' returning personnel for a starting position on the defensive line.

At 6-6, 320 pounds, Ridgeway is an absolute monster in the middle, a very effective space-eater who makes life a lot easier for the linebackers behind him. Ridgeway's teammates, fellow defensive linemen Tre Williams and Markell Utsey will change where they line up, situating themselves either against the opponent's tackles or against its guards.

These variations keep opposing offensive linemen guessing because they affect the shape of the whole front seven as linebackers attack different holes depending on where the defensive linemen line up. Of Ridgeway's two teammates, Williams is the more quantifiably successful.

In his last year at Missouri, he ranked second on the team in quarterback hurries. Fittingly, he distinguished himself during offseason training with his ability to get to the quarterback. This year, he's amassing sacks -- of which he has four in four games so far -- instead of just quarterback hurries.

Georgia Run Offense vs. Arkansas Front Seven 

Knowing about the Razorback front seven is important for our sports betting because it allows us to identify the obstacle confronting the Bulldog rush attack. Georgia certainly likes to run the ball a lot: the Bulldogs rank 49th nationally in run play percentage.

This preference makes sense given the variety of quality running backs that Georgia can mount. In contrast, the wide receiver has been a position of weakness for the team over the course of recent years. Clemson, the team that it opened the season against, was Georgia's only redoubtable opponent in terms of run defense (and in general).

The Tigers, whose run defense ranks similarly to that of Arkansas, had Georgia running east-west a lot, deterring Bulldog running backs from progressing north-south when they wanted. Arkansas' run defense will pose a difficult challenge for Georgia not simply because it ranks five spots ahead of Clemson. The Razorbacks rank 39th in limiting opposing rush yards per game.

They are well-tested, having limited Texas to 3.4 YPC on 41 rush attempts. Texas' rushing totals were extremely low in view of the fact that this team, despite the game against Arkansas, ranks seventh nationally in amassing 267.8 rush yards per game.

Against Arkansas, Longhorn running back Bijan Robinson suffered by far the worst performance of his season as he ran for 69 yards on 3.6 YPC with close to a third of his rushing yardage coming on a single player. The same sort of problem is observable in the Aggie rush attack.

In its last game, against the Razorbacks, Texas A&M's Isaiah Spiller accomplished 28 rushing yards on 11 carries while his one big run got him to 95 rushing yards.

Given the stoutness of its defensive line and the way that Razorback linebackers support this unit, it is very difficult to mount a consistent rush attack against the Arkansas defense. I don't see what Georgia has shown to make one think that the Bulldogs can run on Arkansas.

Tight Ends

In the passing game, the Bulldogs rely most of all on a tight end, Brock Bowers. He leads the team in both receptions and yards. Know for your best bets that Arkansas is well-tested with respect to covering tight ends after playing Texas A&M, which features the physically extremely impressive Jalen Wydermyer, the team's second-leading receiver.

Against the Hogs, he mustered one reception for 18 yards, his worst game of the season.

Arkansas Offense vs. Georgia Defense 

The Razorbacks are extremely dependent on running the ball. They own the nation's seventh-highest run-play percentage. Georgia's run defense, however, is stacked, for which reason it ranks ninth nationally in limiting opposing rush yards.

One key element is Nolan Smith, who was the nation's number one recruit in the Class of 2019. Another key element is Jordan Davis, the monstrous space-eater who is surprisingly able to hunt down opposing ball-carriers outside of the tackles.

In order to run the ball even close to how it wants to, Arkansas will require finding a balanced offense. A one-dimensional offense is simply too uncomplicated for Georgia's star-studded run defense. However, quarterback KJ Jefferson suffered a knee injury in his last game against the Aggies.

While Jefferson is still a better runner than passer, the Razorbacks were desperate to have him close out the game because he is a tremendously better thrower than Malik Hornsby, who completed one of three passes for seven yards in Saturday's game. For the above reason, expect a low-scoring grinder for your NCAAF picks.


NCAAF Pick: Under 49 -108 with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

Under 49 -108
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.