No. 1 Alabama has been cruising the whole season and is entering this final weekend of the regular season fresh off an annihilation of LSU. The Crimson Tide will try to keep that momentum going Saturday afternoon against an Arkansas team that has been one of the best stories of the 202 college football season. The Razorbacks are coming off a heartbreaking last-second loss to rival Missouri on Saturday afternoon in one of the wildest games of the season.
The Heisman Trophy hopes of quarterback Mac Jones and wide receiver DeVonta Smith have picked up steam over the last few weeks -- especially for Smith, who caught three first-half touchdowns against LSU and has 11 touchdown catches over the last four games. Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman has led the program out of the abyss in his first season at the helm, and an upset over the top-ranked team in the country would be the cherry on top.
Let's break down the game and make picks straight up and against the spread.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide's offensive prowess is well-documented. So let's show a little love to the defense. It ranked third in the SEC in total defense in November at 263 yards per game and in yards per play at 3.84. That's a stark contrast from earlier in the season when that side of the ball was viewed as more of a liability than a strength. The defense allowed teams to enter the red zone only three times last month, and allowed just one touchdown on those three trips. Simply put, the Crimson Tide have evolved into the most complete team in the country -- and second place isn't even within shouting distance.
Arkansas: Most of the intrigue coming out of Fayetteville this week has been surrounding the quarterback position. KJ Jefferson threw for 274 yards and tossed three touchdowns while adding 32 rushing yards and a score on the ground last week in place of injured starter Feleipe Franks. Pittman hasn't ruled out playing both quarterbacks against the Crimson Tide. Since both excel in different areas, it'll be interesting to see how Alabama coach Nick Saban approaches this from a defensive perspective.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 12 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Razorback Stadium -- Fayetteville, Arkansas
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alabama at Arkansas prediction, picks
I feel like a broken record, but it's nearly impossible to consistently pick Alabama games when it can dial up any score that it wants. You have to factor in the situation when looking at this 31.5-point spread. Will Saban really want to leave his starters out there knowing that the SEC Championship Game vs. Florida is looming next week? I doubt it. That, coupled with the challenge of preparing for two quarterbacks, will be enough to get the Hogs the cover. Pick: Arkansas (+31.5)
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 15? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned over $3,500 in profit over the past four-plus seasons -- and find out.