College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks for Missouri vs. Arkansas: Bet the Razorbacks To Cover Spread
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Eric Musselman of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
- After its first loss of the season, No. 12 Missouri looks to bounce back at home against Arkansas.
- Arkansas continued its unblemished start to the season with a big win over Auburn on Wednesday night and looks to add to that on Saturday.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down this game and gives us his top betting pick below.
Missouri vs. Arkansas Odds
|Missouri Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Arkansas Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+265 /-330 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||145.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 12 p.m. ET|
The Arkansas Razorbacks look to remain unbeaten Saturday when they host the one-loss Missouri Tigers.
Missouri’s perfect season came to an end Wednesday when it was blown out by seventh-ranked Tennessee. The Tigers were one of the surprise teams during the non-conference schedule but came back down to earth when their offense turned the ball over 21 times against the Volunteers.
Can the Tigers put that loss behind them and keep up with Arkansas’ offense?
The Razorbacks are a perfect 9-0 after beating host Auburn on Wednesday. Arkansas played a fairly easy non-conference schedule, so going into the Auburn game it was unclear if Arkansas was legit. The Razorbacks’ offense showed out, putting up 97 points and 1.29 points per possession.
Missouri is the highest-rated team Arkansas has played this season, so we’ll see if this team is legit.
When Missouri has the ball
The Tigers’ offense has sputtered the last two games, as they weren’t able to break the 60-point mark against Bradley and Tennessee. The main reason is that Missouri has built a house with all of its bricks from 3-point range.
The Tigers have made six 3-pointers total over the course of their last two games, shooting 16% from deep. That’s a big problem because almost 40% of Missouri’s field-goal attempts are coming from three-point range.
However, the Tigers’ offensive identity isn’t shooting a bunch of threes. It’s getting the ball inside as much as possible because they’re shooting 54.2% from inside the arc. So, if they stop settling for three-point attempts, they might be able to get past 60 points for the first time in three games.
Arkansas Head Coach Eric Musselman essentially has a whole new roster this season, but his defense has been stellar through the first nine games. The Razorbacks are excelling defending in the paint, where they are 17th in the country in 2-point percentage allowed. Arkansas is allowing a 23.1% offensive rebounding rate, which is a massive improvement from last season when they allowed 31.4 percent.
The good news for the Razorbacks is the one area where they’ve somewhat struggled is actually Missouri’s weakness on offense. Arkansas allowed Auburn to shoot 51.7% from three-point range and have struggled defending the deep ball this season.
However, since Missouri has found issues from deep, its weakness most likely won’t be exposed.
Keys for Missouri on offense
For the Tigers to be successful on offense, they have to do three things:
- Get the ball down low: stick to what you are good at and don’t settle for three-point shots.
- Find a way to the free-throw line: Arkansas’ two-foul participation rate is almost 20%, so if they can get some of their starters in foul trouble, it might able to take advantage of the Razorbacks’ bench.
- Take care of the ball: Turning the ball over as it did against Tennessee is never going to win you a game, especially against a team like Arkansas.
Keys for Arkansas on defense
For Arkansas to shut down Missouri, it will have to do two things:
- Keep the Tigers off the glass: Missouri is grabbing offensive rebounds at a 31.1% rate, so Arkansas needs to continue rebounding at a high rate.
- Force Missouri to shoot a ton of 3s: Obviously, the Tigers are terrible from 3, so if the Tigers end up taking 20-plus three-pointers in this game, Arkansas is going to win this game.
When Arkansas has the ball
Musselman runs a pace-and-space offense, which allows the Razorbacks to play at one of the fastest tempos in the country. The Razorbacks attempt a ton of 3-pointers but are connecting at a low percentage of only 34.6%. However, the Razorbacks excel from inside the arc, as they shoot over 56%.
Two reasons why Arkansas’ offense is top-25 in terms of offensive efficiency is because they take care of the ball and crash the offensive glass. The Razorbacks are top-20 in turnover percentage and offensive rebounding percentage, per KenPom.
The main reason the Tigers have started the season 6-1 is because of their defense, which ranks inside the top 30 in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. The Tigers basically excel at only one area on defense, which is defending 3ball.
Their opponents are shooting only 26.4% from beyond the arc, which should come in handy against an Arkansas team that takes a ton of 3s.
Key for Arkansas on offense
Attack the rim. The Razorbacks need to play to their strengths to be successful on offense, which is shooting a high percentage from inside the arc and crashing the offensive glass.
If they settle for a ton of threes, that could allow Missouri to pull off the upset.
Keys for Missouri on defense
Defend the paint. The Tigers must keep the Razorbacks off the offensive glass and force them into a bunch of long-range shots. Otherwise, Arkansas is going to put up 80-plus points on them.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I think Tennessee exposed how fraudulent this Missouri team is on offense and it won’t be able to keep up with Arkansas offense. As long as the Razorbacks don’t settle for a lot of 3-pointers, they should be able to score at the rim with ease against the Tigers.
I’ll take the red-hot Razorbacks offense at -5.5 to cover at home.
Pick: Arkansas -5.5 or better.