Opening line for Auburn-Arkansas game comes with huge asterisk
The early betting lines for the SEC’s first weekend of college football came out Monday. Auburn is a three-touchdown favorite in their season-opener at home against Arkansas, according to VegasInsider.com.
That minus-21 is clearly based on the assumption that quarterback Tiger Nick Marshall will start against the Razorbacks despite being issued a citation of possession of marijuana back on July 11.
The bookies probably won’t see much action placed on the Auburn-Arkansas game until Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn announces what Marshall’s status is for the opener.
Vegas would need Malzahn to publicly announce well in advance of the Aug. 30 contest what he plans to do with Marshall if they want significant money wagered on the game. In all likelihood though that won’t be the case. When it comes to officially announcing suspensions or any other disciplinary action, Malzahn has a track record of waiting until the last minute.
Marshall was issued his citation nine days before he was scheduled to appear at SEC Media Days. Malzahn announced the night before Auburn was scheduled to address the media in Hoover that Marshall would not be in attendance. Its been 18 days since Marshall was issued his citation and 32 days since Marshall’s teammate Jonathon Mincy was arrested for second-degree marijuana possession. Nothing has been issued from Auburn concerning the status of either.
With 32 days from kickoff Malzahn has plenty of time to make a decision. He might have already made up his mind just hasn’t told anyone. He could tell the team or just the two quarterbacks Friday when camp opens. Malzahn could keep it quiet right up until game time as a form of gamesmanship to keep the Razorbacks guessing.
In Fayetteville last year, Auburn jumped out to a 28-3 lead against Arkansas en route to a 35-17 win. Tre Mason rushed for 168 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
Only Auburn faithful that have money to burn or those that have an immense amount of trust in backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson to deliver a 21-point win against an SEC West opponent would dare drop money on the season-opener as it stands right now.