NCAA Tournament Betting Preview-Elite 8: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Baylor Bears – Monday, March 29, 2021

by Spooky Express | March 29, 2021 |

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Baylor and Arkansas will meet in the Elite Eight after both trailing at half-time by seven in their Sweet Sixteen game. The Bears will be looking for their first trip to the Final Four in three attempts. The Razorbacks were last in a Final Four in 1995.

Baylor won against Hartford, Wisconsin and Villianova to advance. Arkansas has defeated Colgate, Texas Tech and Oral Roberts on their way to the Elite Eight. 

Baylor Betting Preview

If you have been following college basketball all season, it is no surprise that Baylor is one of the final eight teams left. Gonzaga and the Bears have been one and two in almost all rankings and analytics all season long.

While Baylor’s offense has been the better of the two units this season, the defense has taken it to another level during the tournament. All three opponents have scored 63 points or less.

Baylor is led by Jared Butler. Butler leads the team in scoring (16.6) and steals (2.1). He is shooting 39.9% from behind the arc.

MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell are also averaging more than 14 points a game. Butler, Teague and Mitchell are all elite defenders.

Baylor is ranked 2nd by Kenpom. The offense is 3rd in efficiency and the defense ranks 27th.

Arkansas Preview

This will be Arkansas’ coach Eric Musselman’s first trip to the Elite Eight and the Razorbacks first trip since 1995. Musselman has Arkansas playing fast, but they do not sacrifice on defense. The Razorbacks are 17th in tempo and 9th in defensive efficiency.

Freshman Moses Moody leads the Razorbacks at 17.0 points per game. Moody is shooting 36.7% from behind the arc.

Justin Smith is the team’s second leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and is the team’s leading rebounder (7.3). Smith is shooting 57.5% from inside the arc. 

Kenpom ranks Arkansas 17th overall. The defense ranks 9th in efficiency and the offense is 46th. 

The Line

Mybookie has Baylor as a 7-point favorite. The total is set at 149 points.

Free Betting Pick

The Bears got off to a bit of a sluggish start against Villanova before overwhelming them in the second half. Arkansas is really only playing seven guys, so they are going to have the same issues in the second half.

The Razorbacks love to go up tempo, but I think they may play with less pace than usual to try and hide some of their bench issues. This Baylor defense is relentless, and I can see turnovers being an issue for this young Arkansas team.

The one big weakness for the Razorbacks defense is three-point defense. Going against the second best three-point shooting team in the nation is going to expose that. I like Baylor to cover and I have an eye on the under as well. I may wait and see if it gets bumped to 149.5 and then take the under.

Baylor 77, Arkansas 68

Spooky Express Free Pick: Baylor -7

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