Ole Miss vs. Arkansas NCAAF Week 12 Best Bets: Plenty to Play for in Fayetteville Showdown

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Malik Hornsby #4 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball against the LSU Tigers. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/AFP.

Ole Miss and Arkansas meet in an SEC West divisional matchup on Saturday evening, and, while a spot in the College Football Playoff may not be on the line, there is still plenty at stake for both teams.

Ole Miss saw a 7-0 start to the year begin to fray with two losses in the last three games, while Arkansas has lost two straight and is still looking to become bowl eligible.

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Ole Miss Rebels vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Saturday, November 19, 2022 – 07:30 PM EST at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

Bowl Eligibility

The stakes may not be high on the scale by which SEC West teams’ seasons are measured, but both Ole Miss and Arkansas have plenty to play for when the two teams meet in Fayetteville on Saturday evening.

Teams in the West—annually one of college football’s toughest divisions—generally open the season with visions of a College Football Playoff in mind. For Ole Miss, the goal stayed within reach for two months, as the Rebels opened 7-0, including a win over then-Top 10 Kentucky. Things have frayed at the edge a bit since then, however, as Ole Miss has lost two of the last three.

The Rebels are now in third place in the division, a game and a half out of first. But, at 8-2, 4-2 in the SEC, Ole Miss still stands a chance at one of the best seasons in school history and a berth in a high-profile New Year’s Bowl.

Arkansas, who opened October in the midst of a three-game losing streak, is now trying to avoid losing three in a row for the second time this season. The Razorbacks were upset at home by Liberty, then lost to then-No. 7 LSU, also at home. Despite the hard times, Arkansas is still just a win away from bowl eligibility, at 5-5.

Ole Miss: Monitoring Health

The biggest question mark for Ole Miss will be the status of running back Zach Evans. The TCU transfer has 692 rushing yards and seven touchdowns this year and forms a strong ground game tandem with true freshman Quinshon Judkins, who has 1,171 yards and 15 touchdowns.

They are the only Power Five duo to each have 690 rushing yards and help give Ole Miss the No. 3 rushing offense in all of FBS.

Evans only had six carries last week against Alabama, however, before suffering a concussion. His status for Saturday was still up in the air early this week, and coach Lane Kiffin said he wasn’t sure if Evans would be cleared to play. “That has been an issue statistically scoring-wise when he goes out and not kind of having that 1-2 punch,” Kiffin said.

While quarterback Jaxson Dart may not get Evans back, there’s a chance he’ll have tight end Michael Trigg, who has three touchdowns on the year. Trigg dressed for last week’s game but didn’t end up playing. “He came back and practiced last week,” Kiffin said. “I don’t think he was fully prepared to play in the game from all that time off and coming back. So, he may be this week.”

Arkansas: Defensive Stand

Despite the back-to-back losses, Arkansas’ defense has shown reason to hope. The Razorbacks shut out Liberty in the second half of their game two weeks ago and held a potent LSU offense to 13 points.

After allowing 31.9 points per game through eight games, which ranked No. 111 in the nation, Arkansas has allowed an average of 17 points in the two losses. The Razorbacks also went from 311.9 passing yards allowed (No. 129) to 155, and from 459.9 yards of total offense (No. 121) to 296.

The Razorbacks do need more from the offense that has only managed 29 points in the last two weeks. One problem has been an injured quarterback. KJ Jefferson was slowed by injury against Liberty and missed the LSU game, but all indications are he’ll be back.

"It sounds like KJ will be back just from what they've said," Kiffin said. "I feel like (Arkansas coach) Sam (Pittman) doesn't play a lot of games in the media. He just kind of says what it is with injuries and stuff. I think he's been pretty open, and they expect him back."

The Picks

Ole Miss scored 24 against Alabama and 20 against LSU, so they’re used to facing high-quality defenses this season. Arkansas’ defense will be a test, but nothing the Rebels haven’t seen before.

The Ole Miss offense figures to have a better time of it than the struggling Arkansas offense will against a Rebels’ D.

Following the NCAAF odds, look for Ole Miss to win in a relatively low-scoring game for your college football picks.

NCAAF Pick: Ole Miss -2.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Ole Miss -2.5 (-110)
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NCAAF Pick: Under 60.5 (-109) at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review)

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Under 60.5 (-109)
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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.