The NCAA Tournament is in full swing, and while just eight teams remain, the stakes and intensity of each game mounts. On Monday night we have No. 1 Baylor going up against No. 3 Arkansas in the South Regional Final. Both teams are coming off huge Sweet 16 victories, with Arkansas nearly losing to No. 15 Oral Roberts (the Golden Eagles were just the second No. 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament).
Let’s take at this Baylor vs. Arkansas matchup with an emphasis on the odds, analysis, and betting pick for this Elite Eight game.
Baylor vs. Arkansas Betting Pick
Of the remaining matchups, Baylor-Arkansas possesses the highest seeds going up against one another, which should make it a highly-anticipated game.
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Baylor is one of the three No. 1-seeds remaining, along with Michigan out of the East Region and Gonzaga out of the West Region. Arkansas, on the other hand, is the lone No. 3 seed still alive.
Will Baylor continue this momentum en route to the program’s first Final Four appearance in 71 years?
Baylor vs. Arkansas Odds
Here are the Baylor-Arkansas odds at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Monday morning.
- Arkansas: +8.0 // O148 // +300
- Baylor: -8.0 // U148 // -400
Ironically enough, this matchup has more widespread odds than the No. 12 seed Oregon State vs. No. 2 seed Houston game, which will tip-off prior to this matchup.
The Bears emerged victorious against the spread in its last two tournament games, covering -6.5 against Wisconsin and then -8.0 against Nova. Of course, Arkansas did not cover against Oral Roberts. The Razorbacks entered 11.5-point favorites and won by just two.
A win is a win, particularly this time of year, but it also continued a concerning trend in which the Razorbacks fall behind early.
Why Baylor Can Cover The Spread
Simply speaking, Baylor’s offense carries a significant amount of talent. The Bears are averaging 83.0 points per game this season while the Razorbacks are allowing over 70 points, so look for Baylor to come up big on that front Monday night. The Bears enter as one of the nation’s best three-point shooting teams, and given Arkansas struggled to slow Oral Roberts from the perimeter on Saturday night, this is a matchup that could be exploited.
Everyone is aware Baylor is one of the most talented college basketball teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament. It’s still impressive, however, just how good the team is playing. The Bears have won each of their first three tournament games by double digits (defeated Hartford by 24, Wisconsin by 13, and Villanova by 11) and have rolled through the South Region en route to this game.
The defense is coming up big too — Baylor has allowed under 65 points in each of its March Madness games, including under 55 in two contests.
Also take into account the potential of there being a number of intentional fouls late in this game.
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Why Arkansas Can Cover The Spread
As mentioned before, Arkansas is an outstanding team in terms of covering the spread.
And just like Baylor, the Razorbacks can score some points as well. Ahead of this game, they’re averaging 81.7 points per game and put up 85 against an impressive Colgate team in the round of 64.
Arkansas can be streaky too — the team has won 12 of its last 14 games, and despite the close win over a No. 15 seed Oral Roberts team, it could keep that momentum going on Monday night en route to a victory and Final Four berth, what would be the program’s first in 26 years.
The Razorbacks are additionally 13-7 against the spread when facing teams from some of the top conferences in the country — the SEC and Big 12.
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Baylor vs. Arkansas Prediction
While Arkansas is a talented basketball program, I just can’t get over how it only defeated No. 15-seed Oral Roberts by two and needed a late-game surge to notch the crucial victory. It is indeed March, but that type of performance in comparison to Baylor’s three consecutive double-digit wins in the NCAA Tournament have me believing the Bears will win this matchup by at least nine points.
The Pick: Baylor -8.0
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