No. 15 Oral Roberts has been the best story of March Madness thus far and they have no plans on going home anytime soon. After knocking off No. 2 Ohio State and No. 7 Florida during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, they turn their attention to No. 3 Arkansas in the Sweet 16.
Let’s take a deep dive into Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas matchup with a look at the odds, analysis, and betting pick for this compelling matchup.
Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Betting Pick
It goes without saying, but anyone who put their faith in Oral Roberts in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament must be doing pretty well right now. The Golden Eagles were heavy underdogs against the Buckeyes and the Gators, but still managed to pull off the upset. Will the Razorbacks be more of the same or is this the end of the line for Oral Roberts?
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Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Odds
Here are the latest odds on Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Oral Roberts +11.5 (-110) // +425 // O 158.5 (-110)
Arkansas -11.5 (-110) // -625 // U 158.5 (-109)
Oral Roberts find themselves as the second-biggest underdog of the weekend. Undefeated Gonzaga is a 13-point favorite over Creighton on the other side of the bracket.
Still, don’t count out the Golden Eagles because of this double-digit point spread. They were 16.5-point underdogs against Ohio State and Florida was laying -9 in the second round. Obviously, Oral Roberts covered both of those massive spreads by winning the games outright. Does anyone have the guts to take the moneyline on this one at +425?
Arkansas is not a plucky underdog like their counterparts, but they have had an impressive run up to this point as well. They took down Colgate, one of the best mid-majors in the country, before edging out Texas Tech in the second round.
The Razorbacks are deep, athletic, and they can score in bunches. This could prove to be a problem for Oral Roberts.
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Why Oral Roberts Can Cover The Spread
Simply put, Oral Roberts can put the ball in the basket. They have one of the best offenses in the country and Max Abmas is a massive reason for their success. Abmas led the country in scoring this year and scored 29 and 26 against Ohio State and Florida, respectively.
The Summit League Player of the Year and Tournament MVP is a threat to pull it from anywhere once he is over the halfcourt line. His ability to stretch the defense opens up tons of space for his teammates to cut, move, and find the soft spots in the defense.
Abmas is the team’s best player, but Kevin Obanor is not far behind him. Obanor is taking advantage of all the attention Abmas is commanding. The junior forward is averaging 29 points and 11 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament.
Stopping that two-headed monster is a lot easier said than done. If Abmas and Obanor continue their hot shooting, Oral Roberts will not only cover this spread, but they will have a chance to win this one.
Why Arkansas Can Cover The Spread
Speed, physicality, and depth — those are the reasons why Arkansas will be able to cover this massive spread. The Razorbacks are deep with NBA talent on the roster and we already saw what they can do when their backs are against the wall in an NCAA Tournament game.
In the first round, Colgate, one of the best offensive teams in the country, led Arkansas 33-19 with fewer than four minutes left in the first half. The Razorbacks ended the game on a 66-35 run to rout the Raiders by 15.
When Arkansas ramps up the pressure, they tend to take lesser teams out of their rhythm. Teams with deep benches can withstand this pressure, but depth isn’t exactly Oral Roberts’ biggest strength. The Golden Eagles, for the most part, go with a six-man rotation. Only two guys came off the bench in their win over Florida for a combined 23 minutes of action.
If Arkansas successfully turns this game into a track meet, they should be able to cover this spread.
Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Prediction
Everything about this game points to Arkansas winning big. They have had an entire week to prepare for the upstart Golden Eagles and for almost every NCAA Tournament Cinderella, the stagecoach eventually turns into a pumpkin.
However, this spread is too high for us to go with the Razorbacks. Oral Roberts has proved that they have the offensive firepower to hang with any team in the country and even though they might not win this game, they will cover.
Pick: Oral Roberts +11.5
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