The No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks will face off against the No. 1 Baylor Bears in the South Region Elite Eight showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday night, so I bring you the best betting pick and odds for this marquee matchup.
The Bears opened as 7-point favorites with a total of 149.0 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Razorbacks are listed as +245 moneyline dogs. Baylor and Arkansas meet for the first time in nearly 12 years, and the Bears had no mercy in their previous encounter, dismantling the Razorbacks 70-47 as 4-point favorites.
Arkansas barely survived the Sweet 16
The Arkansas Razorbacks were massive 11-point favorites for their Sweet 16 matchup with the No. 15 Oral Roberts, and Eric Musselman’s boys certainly didn’t meet the expectations with a narrow 72-70 victory.
It was an awful shooting night for the Razorbacks who went 1-for-9 from beyond the 3-point line. They made just 37.7% of their field goals, but the Razorbacks dominated the Golden Eagles on the glass, posting a whopping 18 offensive rebounds.
Senior forward Jalen Tate led the way for Arkansas last Saturday, accounting for 22 points and six assists. Freshman guard Moses Moody was 4-for-20 from the field, finishing with 14 points and six rebounds, while senior F Justin Smith added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The Razorbacks score 110.8 points per 100 possessions (8th in the nation) while making 45.0% of their field goals (111th) and 33.3% of their 3-pointers (194th). They surrender 89.0 points in a return (8th) on 41.3% shooting from the field (63rd) and 33.2% from downtown (146th).
Baylor outlasted Villanova in the previous round, overcame cold outside shooting
The Baylor Bears leaned on their defense to get them through the Sweet 16. Although they shot only 3-for-19 from beyond the arc, the Bears managed to put on a strong defensive performance and overcome a seven-point deficit from halftime.
Baylor allowed just 21 second-half points. The Bears forced 16 turnovers and tallied eight steals, finishing the game pretty comfortably. Junior guard Davion Mitchell led the way for Baylor with 14 points and a couple of assists and steals in 36 minutes on the floor, while sophomore guard Adam Flagler accounted for 16 points off the bench.
Junior guard Jared Butler (16.6 PPG, 4.7 APG) and senior guard MaCio Teague (15.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG) have been key players for Baylor thus far, but they disappointed in the Sweet 16, combining for 14 points on 6-for-20 shooting from the field.
The Bears tally 122.3 points per 100 possessions (3rd in the nation) on 48.6% shooting from the field (18th) and 40.8% from beyond the 3-point line (1st). They yield 91.8 points per 100 possessions (27th) on 43.1% shooting from the field (164th) and 33.1% from deep (142nd).
- 5-10 ATS in the last 15 NCAA Championship contests
- 4-1 ATS in the last five NCAA Championship games
The Bears survived a bad day in the office in the Sweet 16, as well as the Razorbacks, and I’m expecting both teams to improve Monday. If the Bears put on a good offensive performance, they should win this game, but I don’t feel comfortable with a 7-point spread.
The Razorbacks are not an elite defensive team despite their defensive rating. The Bears have great depth, especially in the backcourt, and Baylor’s 3-point shooting could make all the difference. I’m backing Baylor as a 5-point fave at slightly lower wages.
Pick: Take Baylor Bears -5.0 at -143
The Razorbacks love to play at a fast pace, recording 72.8 possessions per 40 minutes (17th in the country), while the Bears average 68.2 (178th). Although both teams are capable of putting some serious numbers on the scoreboard, I’m going with the under, looking for the Bears to slow down things and lean on their defense once more.
Baylor’s depth will allow them to stay aggressive for all 40 minutes. On the other side, the Razorbacks have to bring their best defense or will be easily eliminated.
Pick: Go under 149.0 points at -110