Can Oral Roberts become the first No.15 seed to reach the Elite Eight?
The Golden Eagles will have that opportunity in a Southern Region semi-final against No.3 Arkansas. The tip-off is scheduled for Saturday at 7:25 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on TBS.
Arkansas (24-6) are back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996 under second-year coach Eric Musselman. The Razorbacks edged Texas Tech 68-66 in the round of 16. Arkansas is averaging 82 points per game, so they’ll be more than comfortable entering a high-scoring game.
Oral Roberts (17-10) averages 81.5 points under fourth-year coach Paul Mills, and they used that high-volume shooting philosophy to beat Ohio State and Florida in the first tournament weekend.
Here’s everything you need to know about betting Arkansas vs Oral Roberts in the 2021 NCAA tournament, including updated odds, trends and our predictions for the Sweet 16 game.
Arkansas vs Oral Roberts odds
- Spread: Arkansas –11.5
- More under: 159
- Moneyline: Arkansas -620, Oral Roberts +460
Three betting trends to watch out for
– Oral Roberts is 8-2 CEP in their last 10 games, and they’ve hit the top in seven of those games.
– The Golden Eagles are 11-3 CEP as an underdog this season. They have covered in their last five games as an underdog.
–Arkansas are 15-6-1 ATS as a favorite this season, but that record drops to 3-4 ATS when the spread is over 10 points.
Key players in Arkansas
Moses Moody, a 6-6 guard, leads the Razorbacks with 17.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, but he’s not the only option to score. Forward Justin Smith had 20 points in the win over Texas Tech, and guards Jalen Tate and Davonte Davis also have double-digit average. Guard JD Notae is a sub that averages 13.1 ppg. and two assists.
Oral Roberts key players
Max Abmas, a 6-1 guard, leads the country with 24.5 points per game. He will remind Arkansas fans of Alex Dillard, a key player on the 1994 National Championship team, with his three-point shooting range. Junior forward Kevin Obanor is averaging 19 points per game. and 9.6 rpg. Abmas and Obanor combined for 113 points in the Golden Eagles’ two tournament wins. This represents 60.8% of the offensive production.
Best Individual Game: Kevin Obanor vs. Justin Smith
Guard play for both teams is strong, but this indoor game will be key. Obanor was a force against the Buckeyes and Gators, and both players were active on the offensive glass. Obanor has fouled four times this season, but can’t afford to get in trouble in this game. Arkansas could test that early with Smith on the block.
Arkansas vs Oral Roberts stats to know
Oral Roberts averaged 63.5 shots in wins over Ohio State and Florida, and that included 70 shot attempts against the Buckeyes. Arkansas, however, is more than willing to play this game. The Razorbacks rank sixth in the country with 64.7 shot attempts per game. Colgate and Texas Tech tried to slow down the Razorbacks.
Get to know… Jalen Tate
Tate, a transfer from northern Kentucky whose older brother Jae’Sean plays for the Houston Rockets, has become an important player for Arkansas this season. The 6-6 guard is versatile on the tip and wing, and it will likely be used to slow Abmas, who hits 43.6% of his 3-point attempts. Arkansas are 15-2 when Tate scores in double digits. It could be the X factor.
Arkansas vs Oral Roberts prediction
This could be the highest scoring game of the Sweet 16 round as both teams want to play at this pace. The Razorbacks have given up 10 or more three points nine times this season, but they’re 8-1 in those games. The hot shot may not matter. Obanor will need to control the game on both ends for Oral Roberts to stand a chance, but Arkansas will withdraw in the second half to advance to the Elite Eight.
Final score: Arkansas 86, Oral Roberts 72