It’s no secret that Arkansas has underachieved under Bret Bielema. The Hogs’ head man is just 25–26 at his current job, and his highest win total is only eight.
Veteran oddsmaker Danny Sheridan thinks the Hogs might have a solid year this year, however, as he could see them being favorites in nine games.
In his appearance on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly on Wednesday, Sheridan said that the uptick is partially due to the ease of their schedule.
“Looking at the schedule this year, you’re talking three cupcakes, so 3-0 for sure with Florida A&M, New Mexico State, and Coastal Carolina,” Sheridan said.
Sheridan said that while he currently thinks the Hogs will be favored in eight or nine games, he has them winning seven or eight straight up.
When asked about why the team has been limited to similar win totals in recent seasons, Sheridan said that Arkansas has made strides through its first three years under Bielema and suffered a disappointment in year four. Sheridan said that this year could be a make-or-break for Bielema, adding, “There’s no excuse when you finish 7-5 and fifth in the West and you’re getting paid $4 million.”
The schedule will be huge if the Hogs hope to bounce back from last season. Sheridan noted that with the Razorbacks’ schedule, which includes those three winnable matchups — TCU, South Carolina and Missouri, a normal team of Arkansas’ talent level should win nine games.
Last season, the Hogs were favored in only four games according to VegasInsider.com, and with Austin Allen in year two, it would be hard to imagine that the team would regress further. It is worth noting that the team was 5-8 against the spread, however, and it lost to Missouri despite giving eight points.