Maui Invitational Semifinal Odds, Picks | How to Bet Creighton vs. Arkansas
Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Nembhard & Trey Alexander (Creighton)
Creighton vs. Arkansas Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Creighton Blue Jays played a nearly perfect second half against Texas Tech on Monday in Maui.
Meanwhile, the Arkansas Razorbacks took care of business and defeated Louisville by 26 points.
Five-star recruit Nick Smith Jr. is still day-to-day, so this is a huge loss if he cannot play in the Razorbacks' first major test of the season.
Creighton, however, has really only one major issue: it cannot defend the 3-point line. This could have became a major issue for the Bluejays against Texas Tech, but it never came to fruition in the double-digit victory.
Luckily for them, Arkansas almost entirely produces points inside the arc.
Arkansas thrives off of forcing turnovers — it forced 22 against Louisville on Monday. However, Creighton ranks 13th in the NCAA in turnover rate at 13.3%.
Since Creighton has the versatility to manufacture points in more areas than Arkansas, the Bluejays could win in a tight one and cover the spread in this Maui Invitational semifinal duel.
Greg McDermott has his best team in some time. The Bluejays have four players averaging at least double digits: Ryan Kalkbrenner, Arthur Kaluma, Trey Alexander and Baylor Scheierman.
This does not even include Ryan Nembhard.
The Bluejays have a very well-rounded lineup, and this is why they are in the talks to possibly be a one-seed come NCAA tournament time.
This team jumps off the page because of its shot selection. The Bluejays shoot over 61% from inside the arc and 36.6%, as a team, from 3-point range.
Sure, they do not get to the free-throw line all too often, but since they are so efficient otherwise, they have not needed to. Their eFG% ranks 16th in the NCAA.
Photo by CBB Analytics
The Bluejays crash the glass at the 10th-best mark in the nation and rank 58th in offensive rebounding. This will come in handy against the Razorbacks, who can rarely crash the offensive glass.
Creighton does have a couple of players who can get to the line. Kaluma has 18 free-throw attempts thus far this season. Alexander, Nembhard and Kalkbrenner all have at least nine.
The Jays may shoot a collective 68.1% from the line, but Arkansas ranks 310th in fouling on defense. The Bluejays will get some time in the bonus.
The fouling for the Razorbacks is an aftershock of how aggressive this defense is. They turn over opponents at the fifth-best rate in the country. They have six players averaging at least one steal per game, three of which are averaging at least two.
They also rank 23rd and 20th in 3-point defense and 2-point defense, respectively, so Creighton will have its hands full.
Here's a perfect example of the how aggressive this team is, even after scoring a bucket:
Great sequence from Arkansas. Tough finish from Ricky Council IV followed by a steal and slam from Anthony Black pic.twitter.com/CqsQ02mAvi
— Nikola Jovic Enthusiast (@MiaHeatFilmRoom) November 12, 2022
Still, Creighton barely turns it over. No one on the Bluejays is averaging more than 1.5 turnovers per game.
Creighton wore down a Texas Tech defense that's comparable to Arkansas. Here's an example of how crisp Creighton’s offensive sets can be:
Interesting duel of style here in the @MauiInv opener between Texas Tech’s physicality and Creighton’s offensive firepower. Baylor Scheierman showing off early with a trio of deep threes & casual cross court skip-passes. Intrigued by the long-term potential of TT’s Jaylon Tyson. pic.twitter.com/NKTa9diCZ1
— League Him (@League_Him) November 21, 2022
Creighton vs. Arkansas Betting Pick
It's hard to back Arkansas, especially without Smith. If Smith plays, this game will be tighter, but the fluidity of the Creighton offense should remain dominant throughout this game’s entirety.
Yes, Eric Musselman will be examining Creighton’s first-half blunders from Tuesday, but expect McDermott to have the Bluejays ready to play a clean game of basketball and show off their offensive prowess.
Take Creighton at +2, and play them to -1.5.