UConn vs Arkansas Odds
Viva Las Vegas! We have a terrific West Region Sweet-16 matchup between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the UConn Huskies. Not only will this be a great battle on the court, but it will also be quite the coaching matchup between Eric Musselman and Dan Hurley.
Both of these teams are extremely physical, so we could be in for an instant classic that comes down to the final minutes. However, I do think one of these teams has a significant edge over the other.
So, let’s break down these teams and offer up a betting prediction for Arkansas vs. UConn.
The Huskies have been one of the most impressive teams in the NCAA tournament and have a great matchup in this spot. Their second-half performances in both games have been nothing short of spectacular.
In this matchup, I just flat out think the Huskies are a better version of the Hogs. They can match their physicality and their elite defense can go toe-to-toe all night long.
The biggest discrepancy in this matchup is the offenses. UConn has the edge offensively as it’s third in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. The Huskies’ excellent ability to shoot from beyond the arc — and at the free-throw line — can easily be the difference here.
As much as I admire Arkansas’ physicality, I think Adama Sanogo and Donovan Clingan will overmatch what the Hogs bring to the table.
The Huskies should also find themselves at the free-throw line pretty frequently in this spot since Arkansas is one of the worst teams in the country in foul rate (335th).
The Hogs put on a defensive clinic down the stretch in their Round of 32 win over Kansas and will need to put forth a similar effort if they’re going to come out with a victory here.
Arkansas is 15th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and also ranks inside the top 25 in block and steal percentage. That will be key in this particular matchup, as the Razorbacks are going against a UConn team more than capable of piling up points.
I’m concerned about this Hogs offense going up against the Huskies’ elite defense.
The Razorbacks have yet to find their groove behind the arc and are one of the worst teams in the nation in 3-point percentage (317th).
If the Hogs manage to find themselves in the bonus early, I’d still question if that would be a reliable source of offense because they’re not a great free-throw shooting team (266th).
Potential NBA lottery pick Nick Smith Jr. has been one of the strangest storylines of this tournament, and it’s still a big question as to if he’s going to get a full workload against the Huskies.
Musselman seemed discouraged with Smith’s performance in the first half against Kansas, so Smith found himself on the bench for the majority of the second half.
The Hogs will have to slow down the tempo and put up a stellar defensive performance in order to steal a win.
UConn vs Arkansas Betting Pick
I’ve been high on UConn all season. If it didn’t miss a million 3s (or two million, I lost count) against Marquette in the Big East Tournament, the Huskies probably would’ve gone onto win the entire thing.
I like Arkansas, but the Razorbacks have shown numerous times that they tend to crumble down the stretch.
UConn is a much better version of Arkansas, and I think it will be able to exploit Musselman’s aggressive approach.
The line has already steamed up a bit, but I still love UConn at its current number.
Give me the Huskies all day, and take them to move onto the Elite 8.
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