The Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament begins on Monday evening, and the second game of the night includes a matchup between No. 1 seed Baylor and No. 3 seed Arkansas in the South Region. The winner will advance to the Final Four in Indianapolis on Saturday. Baylor is a blistering 25-2 this season, with impressive wins over Wisconsin and Villanova to advance to the Regional Final. Arkansas (25-6) was threatened by No. 15 seed Oral Roberts on Saturday, with wins over Colgate and Texas Tech during the tournament's opening weekend.
The game is scheduled to tip at 9:57 p.m. ET on CBS. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bears as 7.5-point favorites, up from opening at -7, in the latest Baylor vs. Arkansas odds. The over-under for total points expected is set at 147.5. Before finalizing any Arkansas vs. Baylor picks, check out the March Madness college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Baylor vs. Arkansas in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Arkansas vs. Baylor:
- Arkansas vs. Baylor spread: Baylor -7.5
- Arkansas vs. Baylor over-under: 147.5 points
- Arkansas vs. Baylor money line: Baylor -360, Arkansas +285
- ARK: The Razorbacks are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games
- BAY: The Bears are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why Baylor can cover
The Bears have been a top-three team throughout the season and, when accounting for a dip after a COVID-related team pause, Baylor has been even better. Much of that is tied to stellar play on the perimeter, with four highly impressive guards that can put pressure on the opponent on both ends. Jared Butler is an All-American, averaging 16.6 points, 4.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game, and he is also connecting on 39.9 percent of his 3-point offerings. Davion Mitchell is a fellow All-American candidate, scoring 15.1 points and adding a team-leading 5.3 assists per game, all while burying 45.3 percent from 3-point range.
Butler and Mitchell are supported by MaCio Teague (15.7 points per game) and Adam Flagler (16 points in the Sweet 16 win over Villanova), and that quarter keys the Bears to a top-three mark in adjusted offensive efficiency (122.3). Arkansas does have a bevy of impressive perimeter players, but Baylor should have the edge on offense, and the Bears are also a top-six team in the country in both turnover creation rate (24.8 percent) and steal rate (12.9 percent).
Why Arkansas can cover
The Razorbacks are a very strong offensive team with no glaring statistical weaknesses. Arkansas attacks the offensive glass to the tune of a 31.6 percent offensive rebound rate, and the Razorbacks dominated that area of the floor against Oral Roberts. Baylor is a poor defensive rebounding team, and the Razorbacks should be able to generate second-chance opportunities. Arkansas is also above-average in ball security, committing a turnover on only 17.0 percent of possessions, with good marks in 2-point shooting (51.2 percent) and free throw shooting (74.0 percent).
Eric Musselman's team is a top-10 group in the country on the defensive end, limiting opponents to an unsightly 47.6 percent mark in effective field goal shooting. Arkansas also creates havoc with a 20.3 percent turnover rate, and the Razorbacks should be able to hold up on the defensive glass against an aggressive Baylor team. The Razorbacks are above-average in both block rate (13.0 percent) and steal rate (10.5 percent), and Baylor struggles to both free throw creation rate and free throw accuracy, landing outside the top 200 nationally in both metrics.
How to make Arkansas vs. Baylor picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 156 points. It also says one side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Baylor vs. Arkansas? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.