Can Oral Roberts become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight?
The Golden Eagles will get that chance in a South Region semifinal matchup against No. 3 Arkansas. Information is scheduled for 7:25 pm Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on TBS.
Arkansas (24-6) is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996 with sophomore coach Eric Musselman. The Razorbacks outscored Texas Tech 68-66 in the Round of 32. Arkansas averages 82 points per game, so they’ll be more than comfortable going into a high-scoring matchup.
Oral Roberts (17-10) is averaging 81.5 points under fourth-year coach Pail Mills, and they used that high-volume shooting philosophy to beat Ohio State and Florida on the opening weekend of the tournament.
Here’s everything you need to know about betting on Arkansas against Oral Roberts in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, including up-to-date odds, trends, and our prediction for the Sweet 16 game.
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Arkansas vs. Oral Roberts odds
- Spread: Arkansas –11.5
- Below: 159
- Money line: Arkansas -620, Oral Roberts +460
Three betting trends to follow
– Oral Roberts is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games, and they made the trade in seven of those games.
– The Golden Eagles are 11-3 ATS as underdogs this season. They have covered in their last five games as an underdog.
– Arkansas is a 15-6-1 ATS favorite this season, but that record drops to 3-4 ATS when the difference is more than 10 points.
Arkansas key players
Moses Moody, a 6-6 point guard, leads the Razorbacks with 17.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, but he’s not the only scoring option. Forward Justin Smith scored 20 points in the win against Texas Tech, and guards Jalen Tate and Davonte Davis also averaged double digits. Guard JD Notae is a super submarine averaging 13.1 points per game. and two assists.
Oral Roberts key players
Max Abmas, a 6-1 point guard, leads the nation with 24.5 points per game. It will remind Arkansas fans of Alex Dillard, a key player on the 1994 national championship team, with his three-point shooting range. Youth forward Kevin Obanor averages 19 points per game. and 9.6 rpg. Abmas and Obanor combined for 113 points in the two Golden Eagles tournament wins. That’s 60.8 percent of offensive production.
Best Singles Match: Kevin Obanor vs. Justin Smith
Guard play on both teams is strong, but this inside showdown will be the key. Obanor was a force against the Buckeyes and Gators, and both players were active on the offensive crystal. Obanor has committed four fouls this season, but he can’t afford to get into trouble in this game. Arkansas could prove that early with Smith on the block.
Arkansas vs. Oral Roberts Stats to Know
Oral Roberts fired an average of 63.5 shots in wins against Ohio State and Florida, and that included 70 shot attempts against the Buckeyes. However, Arkansas is more than willing to play that game. The Razorbacks rank sixth in the nation with 64.7 shot attempts per game. Colgate and Texas Tech tried to stop the Razorbacks.
Meet … Jalen Tate
Tate, a transfer from northern Kentucky whose older brother Jae’Sean plays for the Houston Rockets, has become a major player for Arkansas this season. The 6-6 shooting guard is versatile on the nose and wing and will likely be used in an effort to slow down Abmas, who makes 43.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. Arkansas is 15-2 when Tate scores two digits. It could be factor X.
Arkansas vs Oral Roberts prediction
This could be the highest-scoring game of the Sweet 16 round given that both teams want to play at that rate. The Razorbacks have conceded 10 or more 3-pointers nine times this season, but are 8-1 in those games. Hot shot may not matter. Obanor will need to control the game on both ends for Oral Roberts to have a chance, but Arkansas will pull away in the second half to advance to Elite Eight.
Final score: Arkansas 86, Oral Roberts 72
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.