NCAA Football: Texas Longhorns vs Arkansas Razorbacks Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/11/2021

by James Q

Tuesday, Sep 07, 2021

NCAA Football:  Texas Longhorns vs Arkansas Razorbacks Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/11/2021

Game Time:  7:00 pm ET, Saturday, September 11th, 2021
Venue:  Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Where to Watch:  ESPN


Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Spread: Texas -6.5; Over/Under:  57 points
BetMGM:  Spread: Texas -6.5; Over/Under:  57 points
PointsBet:  Spread:  Texas -6.5; Over/Under:  57 points

Season Record

Texas: 1-0  (Big-12)  (for now)
Arkansas: 1-0 (SEC)  (never leaving)
Larry delivered an 8-2, +$5,036 ($100/unit) 'beatdown' to the oddsmakers the 1st week of CFB 2021.  Get Larry Ness’s picks, they’re available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.


Texas vs Arkansas Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
Texas was 7-3 in 2020.  5-3 in the conference they are abandoning by 2025 if not sooner.  Their losses were to TCU, the Oklahoma Sooners (who will elope with them to the SEC), and the Iowa State Cyclones.  All three games were super close.  By 2 points, 7 points in overtime, and 3 points.  A couple of touchdowns and this team could have been in the College Football Playoffs… instead they had a disappointing season that ended in the Valero Alamo Bowl where they beat the Colorado Buffaloes 55-23.  The bad Covid year turned into a wasted year for Texas.
The Arkansas Razorbacks finished 2020 3-7 in 6th place in the SEC West Division.  They got smacked by everybody with a free hand.  They lost to Georgia, Auburn, Texas A&M, Florida, LSU, Missouri, Alabama.  They did win three against Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Tennessee.


Offensive Analysis

Texas beat the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 38-18 in game 1 of the season.  They got 224 yards passing, 2 TD, and 0 INT from Hudson Card the Freshman starting quarterback (whose name sounds like a Bruce Willis bad movie character).  Austin always buzzes with excitement when a Freshman starts.. The progression is supposed to be: good freshman season, great sophomore season that falls just short, and then a Heisman Trophy and National championship Junior Season that leads into Top 3 pick in NFL draft.  That’s the Austin, Texas fantasy for Freshman starting quarterbacks.  He’ll get his second win by scoring a bunch of unanswered points in an easy road test against a lame Arkansas squad  whose odds to win an SEC championship is +10000 and that is being overly kind.  Hudson got help in game 1 from RB Bijan Robinson who posted 103 yards 1 TD, WR Jordan Wittington who grabbed 7 catches for 113 yards 1 TD…. and they were just tuning up.
Arkansas won their first game also.  They beat the Rice Owls 38-17.  All the people who shovelled dirt on Arkansas in 2020 should remember that the grave wasn’t completely dug in 2020.  This team could be the resurrection of a program that has a relatively new coach who hasn’t yet got his own recruits in place and had to chalk up a new offense under Covid restrictions last season.  A tall order.  QB KJ Jefferson had 128 yards through the air with 1 TD and 1 interception.  KJ is a sophomore and will be there for the long haul with this program. RB Trelon Smith added 102 yards and 1 TD, WR Tyson Morris and WR Treylon Burks both had 42 yards in the game.  Treylon on the short routes, Tyson on the long ball.

Defensive Analysis

In preseason rankings Oklahoma was ranked #1 defense in the Big-12, Texas was ranked #2 in the Big-12.  They will both leave the Big-12 far behind and it will be a long time before they are  ranked this high again in the same conference with Alabama.  But who cares when all that MONEY comes pouring in!    Steve Sarkisian hired Pete Kwiatkowski out of Washington (remember a really young SS was first a head coach in Washington?).  Pete has the luxury of plugging in returning CB’s D’Shawn Jamison and Josh Thompson… he has two linebacker transfers Ray Thornton from LSU, Ben Davis from Alabama… when at first you can’t recruit poach poach poach.  The defense should be strong and ready.  As will most defenses since the Covid eligibility extension has added a year to every college player’s career.
The Arkansas defense returns all but 1 starter from last season.  The coaching staff has pledged to make the defensive unit more flexible and they will work in 3 defensive lineman who have transferred in.  Defensive Coordinator Barry Odom will try new things in coverage as well.  It should all be fun, it’s just not going to work against Texas.  They may again hear the boos in Reynolds Razorback Stadium but just for this week.


Team1 vs Team2 Prediction

Our prediction for Saturday Sept, 11th is Texas 37 - Arkansas 17  
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NCAAF Betting Trends


Texas is 56-22 against Arkansas all time.

Texas is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games.
The total has hit OVER in 6 of Texas' last 9 games played on a Saturday.
The total has hit UNDER in 6 of Arkansas' last 7 games at home.
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Arkansas' last 10 games in September.


Key Injuries

Texas:  Nothing new reported.
Arkansas:  LB Treshawn Chamberlain (arm) Day to Day; DL Kenneth Orji (knee) Unknown

Players to Watch

Texas:  Hudson Card.  The Freshman QB will be the star of the show until Bijan Robinson steps up his per game average.
Arkansas: WR’s Treylon Burks and Tyson Morris.  One of these guys is going to have to establish as the WR1.  I know, I know team play is important… but Texas has about 1 CB per year that a strong WR1 can smoke if they get sent on the right route.  From then on the WR has to get separation and make things happen.  

Notable Quotes

“The beauty of first games is there's always things to work on,....I think for us, the majority of the corrections we need to make coming out of this game are very fixable. That's going to be really important not only for this week but moving forward down the road, but this week, more importantly, facing a really good opponent.” -Steve Sarkisian's coach speak.  Never make waves.
For the first time since 2017, Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will be filled to full capacity when the Arkansas Razorbacks host rival Texas on Saturday night”  - From the Arkansas Razorback’s ticket selling site.  It is promoting a “stripe-out Texas” promotion where each section will alternate red and white t-shirts.  So if you are going to the game make sure to wear BLUE.

Starting Lineups

Texas:  QB Hudson Card, RB Bijan Robinson, WR Xavier Worthy, WR Joshua Moore, WR Jordan Wittington, TE Cade Brewer, 
Arkansas:  QB KJ Jefferson, RB Trelon Smith, WR Tyson Morris, WR DeVion Warren, WR Treylon Burks, TE Blake Kern

Statistical Leaders

Passing: Hudson Card  
Rushing: Bijan Robinson 
Receiving:  Jordan Wittiington 

Passing: KJ Jefferson
Rushing: Trelon Smith
Receiving Tyson Morris, Treylon Burks
Texas:  New head coach Steve Sarkisian, first season with Texas Football.  He has come a long way since his career flamed out as a young head coach at storied USC.  He did the right thing.  He joined the Alabama staff as an offensive coordinator and over 2 seasons distinguished himself and his offense. He took home the 2020 Broyles Award for best assistant coach in college football.  He picked a big program with lots of boosters and fans to make his return.  Also the city of Austin is booming which alone will attract prospects.
Arkansas:  Sam Pittman, after winning his first of this season, is 4-7 as Arkansas head coach.  He’ll need to keep bailing until he has righted this ship.

Weather Forecast

Sunny.  High of 94*, 0% chance of precipitation (that’s a weatherman LOCK).

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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