The Arkansas Razorbacks and Baylor Bears will square off on Monday night with a Final Four berth on the line. Arkansas has had a relatively easy path to the Elite Eight as two of their three games have been against teams that have been seeded No. 14 or worse. Are they in for a rude wake-up call when they face No. 1 Baylor on Monday? The sports betting oddsmakers seem to think this won’t be a very close contest. However, the Razorbacks have covered eight of their last 10 against teams with a winning record.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs Baylor Bears
Date: Monday, March 29th, 2021 – 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
NCAAB Odds: Baylor -8
Arkansas has done everything they’ve been asked to do to reach the Elite Eight but checking the betting line, you can see that some are still skeptical of them. They played No. 14 Colgate in the opening round and then after a tough test from No. 6 Texas Tech, they again faced a double-digit seed as they played No. 15 Oral Roberts. Of course, as the tournament progresses, most teams will expect to face tougher competition but Arkansas got an easier matchup in the Sweet 16 thanks to Oral Roberts upsetting No. 2 Ohio State and No. 7 Florida along the way.
There’s further skepticism about Arkansas because it’s not as if they’ve been blowing away the competition. Sure, they thumped Colgate in their opener by 23 but they needed a couple of last-second miracles to escape both Texas Tech and Oral Roberts. That doesn’t exactly exude confidence.
On the plus side, it does feel like Arkansas hasn’t really played their best game yet. This team plays well from behind, rebounds well and hits free throws. They’ll need to do all of those things (and preferably not dig a big hole) if they want to beat Baylor.
Baylor has to feel pretty great about where they are these days. They’ve reached the Elite Eight by winning all three of their games by double-digits so far. Better yet, their last win was particularly encouraging as they didn’t shoot the ball all that well. Baylor, the most efficient team from three-point range this season, went just three-of-19 from beyond the arc against Villanova yet still found a way to win. Their defense was stellar in the second half against the Wildcats, giving up just 21 points. They also forced 16 turnovers.
For Baylor, if they just shoot better from three and maintain the same level of hustle and defense, they’re going to win this game. They’re the team that’s looked much stronger in this tournament and they’re likely to show the difference in quality on Monday night.
Razorbacks vs Bears Prediction: Bears 80, Razorbacks 69