Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Sweet 16 Odds, Prediction, Pick: 2 Ways to Bet This NCAA Tournament Matchup
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Davonte Davis (left) and Moses Moody (right).
Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Odds
Only 117 miles separates two Sweet 16 opponents in Arkansas and Oral Roberts.
These two teams met in Bud Walton Arena on Dec. 20, which begs the question of whether or not that result is a worthy element in the handicap.
Trailing by double digits at halftime, the Razorbacks surmounted a comeback with 10 minutes left in the game to ultimately win 87-76.
There are a number of takeaways from the previous head-to-head matchup.
Davonte Davis logged just nine minutes for Arkansas with one shot attempt and a single steal. Like many other Razorbacks, Davis is playing at a higher clip of minutes and efficiency than what was displayed in December.
Also missing from the box score is freshman Jaylin Williams, who returned to action for the Hogs in January and recorded 28 minutes in the win over Texas Tech in the Round of 32.
The offensive decline for Oral Roberts in Fayetteville can be targeted around foul trouble for Max Abmas. The Golden Eagles’ shooting star recorded his third foul with more than three minutes left to play in the first half. Abmas was limited in minutes and hit just 1-of-4 long-distance shots in the second half.
The foul trouble for Abmas and Deshang Weaver took Oral Roberts out of the second half, ultimately two elements that may not be applicable to this game. Arkansas’ free-throw rate was above season average in that specific game.
Oral Roberts will play with a clean foul slate, while Arkansas will give fresh looks of Davis and Williams to the Golden Eagles’ offensive attempts.
When Oral Roberts Has the Ball
The offensive game plan is simple for the Golden Eagles: shoot from deep as fast as possible.
Despite an offensive adjusted tempo rank of 41st on the season, Oral Roberts’ adjusted tempo is top-25 since Feb. 1.
This is a squad that relies on 3-pointers as much as any team in the country, ranking top-10 in point distribution from long range. The shooting percentage has been below season ranks in victories over Florida and Ohio State, but the sheer number of attempts has washed out any talk of a shooting decline.
The nation's leading scorer put on a SHOW!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2021
Abmas is the leading scorer in the nation and becomes the primary target for Razorback defenders. The role of defending will belong to Davis for the Razorbacks, as the freshman has risen to the 12th-best ranking in individual bayesian defensive ratings. Davis has the fifth-highest change in defensive efficiency over the past 30 days, per EvanMiya.
When Davis is not in the game, Oral Roberts should have plenty of success in shooting from the perimeter. The Razorback perimeter defense continues to drop in efficiency.
Through the beginning of play in February, Arkansas held opponents to 26% from beyond the arc over a 5-game moving average. That same five-game moving average is now 43% thanks to Texas Tech and Colgate.
When Arkansas Has the Ball
One element from the initial matchup that should not change is the advantage on the boards. Arkansas rang Oral Roberts up for 58 rebounds on Dec. 20, 24 of them coming on the offensive glass.
Justin Smith pulled 10 of the offensive rebounds and has been a consistent force in the paint for the Hogs all season. Plenty of double-tap opportunities are coming for Smith and Williams, as Oral Roberts is 332nd in defensive rebounding. The post combination for the Razorbacks wreaked havoc on Texas Tech’s zone.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 21, 2021
When comparing offenses against each other, Arkansas has every advantage with the exception of 3-pointers. The Hogs will be successful in attacking the rim on every attempt after getting the ball up the court.
Florida had an offensive turnover rate of 290th in the country, leading Oral Roberts to its most successful day in steals on the season. There will be no such luck against the Razorbacks, who are 81st in offensive turnover rate.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The true Cinderella of this tournament has been Oral Roberts, but the praying hands may need a double dose of efficiency to pull off the upset.
The Golden Eagles will fire as many long-distance shots as possible, but with a sagging 3-point percentage and the rise of Davis’ defense, this will be a tough ask for Oral Roberts.
— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) March 19, 2021
No matter the score, Oral Roberts will continue to shoot at a lighting pace. That sits just fine with an Arkansas team that is third in defensive tempo thanks to games with Alabama, Auburn and LSU. Any Oral Roberts missed 3-pointer will result in quick Arkansas points.
The projection in this game is Arkansas -12.5 with a total of 161, giving direction to lay the points with Arkansas and the over.
Anyone tracking Razorback basketball knows the Hogs play their most inefficient ball in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Razorback side is recommended, but personally, I am waiting for the Davis bench minutes and an Oral Roberts blitz from the arc for a live wager in the single digits.
The total is certainly worth a play. Both offenses prefer to get the ball up the court fast and shoot early.
Hidden in the advanced stats are the free-throw numbers. Not only is Oral Roberts the top team in the nation in shooting percentage at the line, but Arkansas is also having its second-best season in free-throw shooting over the past 20 years.
This game has fouls and 3-pointers as a recipe for the final 10 minutes, making the over good through 160.
Pick: Over 160 or better | Arkansas -11 or better