New Mexico State vs. Arkansas Odds, Picks: 2 Bets for Saturday’s March Madness Matchup
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: JD Notae (1) and Jaylin WIlliams (10).
New Mexico State vs. Arkansas Odds
|New Mexico State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Arkansas will look to down another double-digit seed in the West Region when it takes on New Mexico State on Saturday.
The Aggies knocked out fifth-seeded UConn thanks to an electric 11-of-17 performance from long distance while outrebounding one of the best teams in the Big East.
New Mexico State had a 35% post-game win expectancy with its stellar perimeter shooting and perfect mark from the free-throw line, per ShotQuality.
The Razorbacks are coming off of a challenging game against Vermont, a non-covering grind that included 40 total personal fouls.
The key to beating the Razorbacks is getting into a shallow bench when guard JD Notae is in foul trouble. Head coach Eric Musselman adjusted, putting Davonte Davis on the point and keeping the Catamounts’ second-half push from becoming an upset.
Arkansas ranks 314th in bench minutes, an issue that may persist the longer the Razorbacks are in the dance.
The Aggies finished the season ranked 174th in shooting from the 3-point line, a stark contrast from the hot shooting against UConn. New Mexico State is a team that prefers half-court offense, running cuts and looking for off-the-dribble 3-pointers.
The Aggies are a top-50 offensive rebounding team thanks to the senior Johnny McCants.
That's some hustle, Johnny McCants ⚡ @NMStateMBB pic.twitter.com/tRZM2NOcRj
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 17, 2022
Head coach Chris Jans prefers a slow-paced offense, ranking 292nd in average possession length.
The Aggies have a distinct advantage against the Razorbacks in getting to the line, as the Hogs are 222nd in defensive free-throw rate. Although New Mexico State prefers half-court offense with post-up, cut and dribble 3s, the Razorbacks have better defensive efficiencies with a tougher strength of schedule.
Defense has been a liability for the Aggies in a number of losses this season. New Mexico State ranks near dead last in steal rate. An average height of 43rd has directly contributed toward a top-25 rank in defensive effective field goal percentage.
The Aggies have won and covered four straight games, quickly turning into one of the hottest teams remaining.
Foul trouble limited the Razorbacks’ star player Notae, an issue that plagued the Hogs in the SEC Tournament. Sixth man Chris Lykes played a total of six minutes in relief of Notae, but inefficiency led to Davis, the 2021 Elite Eight MVP, taking over ball-handling duties for Arkansas.
When Notae is not in foul trouble, he’s one of the best players in the nation, ranking 92nd in steal rate and serving as the go-to shooter for the Hogs.
Crunch time defense. JD Notae. pic.twitter.com/iE434udEEH
— 4 Seed Hogs 🐗 (@RazorbackMBB) November 24, 2021
Arkansas is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, ranking top-50 in turnover rate, protecting the rim and defending the catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
Offensively, the Razorbacks can struggle until center Jaylin Williams dominates from the key. Musselman prefers the Razorbacks to finish at the rim, and they own a rank of 61st in frequency in that area.
New Mexico State vs. Arkansas Betting Pick
The Aggies did have one of the more outrageous box scores from the first round, generating a perfect rate from the charity stripe and above 50% from beyond the arc.
New Mexico State cannot generate turnovers, ranking 278th defensively, which may lead to increased efficiency from Lykes and Davis handling the ball.
The issue persists on the offensive side, as the Aggies are 311th in turnover rate. Arkansas will capitalize in taking the ball away from New Mexico State in transition.
While the Razorback defense will excel in applying pressure, the offense may have a few hurdles to cross. Arkansas will look to get in transition and attack the rim, evidenced by an average offensive possession rank of 45th and a rim-attacking rate of 61st.
New Mexico State is 15th in the nation in rim protection, which may force Arkansas into uncomfortable 3-pointers and mid-range jumpers.
The Hogs will advance to the Sweet 16 with a narrow cover thanks to their free-throw proficiency.
Pick: Under 139 or Better · Arkansas -6.5 or Better
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