#4 Arkansas vs #1 Gonzaga NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Analysis and Odds Favorite

#4 Arkansas vs #1 Gonzaga | NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Analysis and Odds Favorite

No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga perhaps hasn’t looked like the best team in the NCAA Tournament thus far, but the Zags are in yet another Sweet 16 and solid favorites on the NCAAB odds to beat No. 4 Arkansas on Thursday in West Region action.

How to Bet Arkansas vs. Gonzaga NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Arkansas?

Arkansas (27-8) beat No. 13 Vermont by four in Round 1 and then No. 12 New Mexico State 53-48 in Round 2. The Aggies turned the ball over 19 times and were outscored 15-0 in fast-break points. The Razorbacks improved to 17-3 in their past 20 games, which came after opening the SEC season with three consecutive losses.

New Mexico State opened the second half on a 13-4 run to tie the game at 30-30 with 11:45 to play. Neither team scored over the next 3:26 until a Jaylin Williams layup at 8:19. The Aggies took their first lead (33-32) since 9-7 at 9:21 in the first half on a 3-point play. Arkansas answered with 7-0 run to lead 41-33, starting with two Jaylin Williams’ free throws and ending with an Au’Diese Toney dunk at 6:06 which was the last field goal the Hogs would make. The Hogs held the lead the rest of the way.

Arkansas only made five second-half field goals (5-of-24) but was 16-of-18 at the free throw line in the second half. The Hogs forced 19 turnovers thanks to 12 steals overall. It was the eighth time the Hogs had double-digits steals this season.

Arkansas leads the NCAA in both free throws made (613) and attempts (808). The Hogs were 22-of-25 at the line versus New Mexico State It marked the 12th time this season Arkansas has made at least 20 free throws and the 13th time the Hogs have shot over 80% at the line.

JD Notae’s 18 points were his best performance in an NCAA Tournament game. Notae’s eight steals set a career-best mark, passing his previous of high of seven vs. Mercer, and matched the Arkansas record for steals in an NCAA Tournament game held by Darrell Hawkins (1993 vs Holy Cross) and Alvin Robertson, who did it twice (1984 vs Virginia and 1983 vs Purdue).

Arkansas is 21-1 this season when leading at the half (line loss was Vanderbilt) and is 55-3 in such games in the Coach Eric Musselman era. Musselman is 2-9 as a collegiate head coach when scoring less than 60 points in a game, 2-1 at Arkansas. (Arkansas is 2-0 this season including a 58-48 win over Tennessee in Fayetteville.) He is 41-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 60 points, including 21-0 at Arkansas. Also, Muss is 10-0 all-time (8-0 at Arkansas) when holding opponents to fewer than 40 points.

It is difficult to go on a run in the NCAA tournament with limited 3-point shooting (30.5% this season) like the Hogs have. But most of Arkansas’ opponents have failed to play to their potential during the Razorbacks’ current rally.

Why Bet on Gonzaga?

Gonzaga (28-3) found itself down 10 points at the half of Round 2 vs. Memphis but rallied for an 82-78 win. Drew Timmie scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half in the win over a Memphis team that had previously lost just two games over the past two months. Timme hit shots in traffic, shots off the backboard and turnaround jump shots. He was in a groove.

Timme made 10 of 16 shots and grabbed 14 rebounds. Andrew Nembhard added 23 points, Rasir Bolton scored 17 and Gonzaga never trailed after a basket from Timme and Bolton’s 3-pointer with 10 minutes remaining that made it 61-57.  Nembhard, the only consistent free-throw shooter for Gonzaga on the night, made four at the foul line in the final 25 seconds.

Nembhard is seventh in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.18). Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme are 12th and 17th in the nation shooting 60.9 percent and 59.2 percent from the field. Holmgren is fourth with 115 blocks and fourth averaging 3.71 blocks per game. He’s eighth grabbing 8.03 defensive rebounds per game.

The Zags appear in their seventh straight Sweet 16, the longest active streak in the nation, and third all-time. The Zags are 38-21 in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Mark Few with a berth in all 23 seasons. GU has the most wins in the NCAA Tournament since 2017, going 17-4, Michigan is next at 14-4. The Bulldogs’ 22 wins in the tournament since 2015 are also the most, with Villanova and North Carolina second at 18 and Duke at 16.

GU is first in the nation in scoring offense (87.8), scoring margin (21.8), FG percentage (52.6) and defensive rebounds (32.13), second in two-point percentage (61.0), second in FG percentage defense (37.9), third in rebound margin (8.7), assists per game (18.4) and rebounds per game (41.7), fifth in assist-turnover ratio (1.6), sixth in blocked shots per game (5.9).

This is the second all-time meeting between Gonzaga and Arkansas. The Bulldogs won the only other previous meeting, defeating Arkansas, 91-81, in the fifth-place game at the 2013 Maui Invitational. Gonzaga is 16-9 all-time vs. current SEC opponents.

Game Trends

  • Razorbacks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
  • Razorbacks are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 Thursday games.
  • Razorbacks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Bulldogs are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.
  • Bulldogs are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
  • Bulldogs are 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Bulldogs are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.

Expert Prediction

  • Gonzaga 81, Arkansas 72

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