The Texas Longhorns look to make it a 2-0 to start in the Steve Sarkisian era as they travel to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in one of the more exciting non-conference games of the weekend.
After revitalizing the program in his first year at the helm in 2020, Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman will hope to earn a statement win at home in front of a sell-out crowd at Razorback Stadium.
Will Texas be able to walk into SEC territory and give fans a glimpse of the future? And more importantly, will it be able to cover the 6.5-point spread as a road favorite?
Find out with our free college football betting picks and predictions for Texas vs. Arkansas on Saturday, September 11.
Texas vs Arkansas odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Texas opened as a 6-point road favorite, and the line sits at 6.5 at the time of this writing. The total opened at 58.5 and has already been bet down to 57 at most books. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movement right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full college football odds before placing your bets.
Texas vs Arkansas picks
Picks made on 9/8/2021 at 10:03 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Texas vs Arkansas game info
• Location: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
• Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
• Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Texas vs Arkansas betting preview
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our NCAA football weather info.
Texas: Troy Omeire WR (Questionable), Junior Angilau OL (Questionable), Jared Wiley TE (Probable).
Arkansas: John Ridgeway DL (Questionable), Treylon Burks WR (Probable).
Find our latest NCAA football injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Arkansas is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Texas vs. Arkansas.
Texas vs Arkansas predictions
Arkansas +6.5 (-105)
Arkansas has rewarded bettors handsomely in the Sam Pittman era, going 10-3 ATS in his 13 games as the coach of the Hogs, routinely being labeled as underdogs — but proving to be a rebounding program and headed in the right direction.
The Razorbacks get a stiff test at home against Texas, who have a lot to prove under new head coach Steve Sarkisian after he made the jump from Alabama's offensive coordinator. Say what you will about facing a team from the Sun Belt but the Longhorns took care of business against a ranked opponent in Week 1, handling Louisiana with relative ease.
Defensively, Arkansas' stop unit was much improved last year under defensive coordinator Barry Odom and returns 10 starters. Despite that improvement, however, the fact of the matter is the Razorbacks still allowed 34.9 points per game a season ago and are facing a dangerous Texas offense.
Expect the Longhorns to lean heavily on star running back Bijan Robinson (176 total yards and two touchdowns in the opener) and wide receiver Jordan Whittington (seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown), as the margin for error may be slimmer for the Longhorns in their second game of the season.
Redshirt freshman QB Hudson Card will be making his second career start in a sold-out Razorback Stadium (Full disclosure: I will personally be in attendance for this game, and fully expect the crowd to be rocking). It’ll be the first time since 2017 that Razorback Stadium will be filled to full capacity — expect Card to look slightly more mortal in his second start after going 14/21 for 224 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1.
Has Texas earned enough trust to feel confident laying 6.5 points behind a freshman QB playing on the road against a team that has covered 10 of their last 13 contests?
Not for this bettor. Look for the Razorbacks to be fired up in front of this sell-out crowd — and for Barry Odom to scheme his defense into position to hang close enough to find the cover.
Over 56.5 (-110)
It was the tale of two offenses in Week 1. The Longhorns looked impressive, gaining 435 yards of total offense on 6.4 yards per play against Louisiana. Arkansas, meanwhile, struggled out of the gate to a 17-7 halftime deficit against Rice before waking up and pulling away for a 38-17 victory. It was still an underwhelming performance for the Razorback offense, as it finished with 373 yards of total offense on 5.7 yards per play against a weak opponent from Conference-USA.
Expect both offenses to look improved in their second week of live-game action. Offenses are notoriously slow out of the gate in Week 1 in college football but should feel more comfortable with the first-game jitters behind them.
Despite the concerns with two inexperienced quarterbacks facing off, the total is simply too low in this one. Texas averaged 42.7 points per game a year ago and now have the offensive-inclined Steve Sarkisian running the show. The Arkansas defense, as mentioned above, is improved but still gave up 34.9 points per game a season ago.
These are two teams that are both capable of scoring. In what could be a back-and-forth game that is lined under a touchdown, expect both squads to trade points enough to find the Over.
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