Oklahoma vs. Arkansas Odds & Predictions: Bet Saturday’s Favorite
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Graham (Arkansas)
Oklahoma vs. Arkansas Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The SEC meets the Big 12 as the No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks are set to take on the Oklahoma Sooners. While these two teams appear far apart on paper, styles make matchups, and we are in for a good one here.
After a solid run in the NCAA tournament last March, Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks have gotten off to a scorching hot start. They have passed nearly every test thus far, with their only loss coming to a stout Creighton team.
The Sooners have yet to be tested like the Razorbacks but have taken care of business thus far. The Sooners have bounced back nicely from a season-opening upset against Sam Houston State, but this will be their tallest task to date.
Can the Sooners play up to their competition, or will the Razorbacks prove to be too much? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
When you look at this Oklahoma team, it’s clear who stands out–Grant Sherfield has come in and become the guy.
Sherfield has been locked in through the first nine games of the year as he enters averaging 17.1 points per game after scoring 20 or more points in three of the last four games.
However, what’s been most impressive from Sherfield is his shooting from beyond the arc. He is currently shooting 56 percent on 3s, and while that is unsustainable, the Sooners need that threat as they are 221st in 3-point Field Goal Rate.
It would be wise for the Sooners to try and stretch out this Razorbacks defense as they will be at a size disadvantage. The Razorbacks are the third-tallest team in the country and have been excellent at defending the paint.
If the Sooners can’t extend Razorbacks, it will be very difficult for them to create quality looks. As a result, we should see their Effective Field Goal Percentage fall quite a bit in this matchup.
While the Razorbacks’ size will cause issues on the defensive end, it will also be their most significant edge on offense. Arkansas is a team that has played to this edge, as 43 percent of their field goals have been close twos.
Though what makes this Arkansas team so dangerous is that they have size throughout with athletic guards and forwards. Their leading scorer, Ricky Council IV, has done an excellent job of penetrating, creating, and converting high-percentage looks.
That is the plan for the Razorbacks. They will get the ball inside and use their size, length, and skill to convert.
Over 59 percent of their points have been two-pointers this season. That is the 25th-highest percentage in the country.
They have made nearly 55 percent of those close looks and have only been blocked on five percent of their attempts. The Sooners have been solid at defending inside the arc, but they have yet to face a team that presents as much size as Arkansas does.
Oklahoma vs. Arkansas Betting Pick
This game opened with Arkansas as 2.5-point favorites, and that line is right on point as KenPom has Arkansas as three-point favorites, and Bart Torvik has them as 1.7-point favorites.
However, the last factor in this matchup is the tempo. These two teams play at contrasting paces, but either tempo favors the Razorbacks.
If Arkansas is forced to play more in the halfcourt with Oklahoma, that will only accentuate their size advantage as they can work the ball inside. They’ll also have more opportunities for second chances.
However, it will be even more of an edge if the Razorbacks can get out and run. They have far more athleticism on their roster than the Sooners and will burn them in transition.
So while the Sooners have proven to be up to the task thus far, they have bitten off a bit more than they can chew in this matchup.