After an unforgettable first weekend, it’s on to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The regional semifinal action tips off on Saturday with four games across both the Midwest and South Regions. The third matchup of the day pits the best Cinderella story of this year’s NCAA Tournament against a high-octane SEC offense. There are sure to be fireworks when 15-seed Oral Roberts takes on 3-seed Arkansas for the right to advance to the South Region final. The Sweet 16 betting odds favor the Razorbacks by double digits ahead of this matchup.
The following offers a comprehensive breakdown and betting preview of Saturday’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game. Read on for vital game information, team statistics, trends and predictions for the Oral Roberts vs Arkansas matchup.
Oral Roberts vs Arkansas Sweet 16 Game Info
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (18-10, 10-5 Summit) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (24-6, 13-4 SEC)
Date: Saturday, Mar. 27, 2021
Start Time: 7:25 p.m. EST
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse — Indianapolis, IN
Oral Roberts vs Arkansas Betting Odds
Odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
Moneyline: ORU: (+420) | ARK: (-640)
Spread: ORU: +11 (-105) | ARK: -11 (-115)
Total: 158.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | College Basketball Betting Overview
Oral Roberts Basketball Outlook
It’s a virtual guarantee that far more people have become aware of and familiar with Oral Roberts University in the past week than ever before. The Golden Eagles, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have taken the NCAA Tournament bracket by storm with upsets of mighty college basketball programs in each of the first two rounds. After getting past 2-seed Ohio State in the First Round, ORU rallied in the final seven minutes to take down 7-seed Florida and reach the Sweet 16. Not bad for a team that finished fourth in the Summit League season standings and ranks outside of the top 300 in scoring defense.
Of course, if you can’t stop your opponents, you’re going to have to outscore them to win games. Guard Max Abmas is the focal point for Oral Roberts offensively. His per-game average of 24.5 points was the best mark in the entire country this season. Forward Kevin Obanor wasn’t far behind, averaging 19.0 points per contest to go along with a team-leading 9.6 rebounds. Both Abmas and Obanor absolutely showed out last weekend. In the overtime win over Ohio State, the duo combined for 59 of the Golden Eagles’ 75 total points. Paul Mills’ squad isn’t afraid to play with pace and shoot the 3-ball. This offensive game plan is eerily similar to that of their Sweet 16 opponent.
Oral Roberts KenPom Ratings
- Overall Efficiency Margin: +3.89 (No. 128 in NCAA)
- Offense: 109.1 (No. 66 in NCAA)
- Defense: 105.2 (No. 239 in NCAA)
- Tempo: 71.5 (No. 46 in NCAA)
Arkansas Basketball Outlook
If anyone still has questions regarding Eric Musselman’s ability to coach, I’m not sure if there’s any hope for you. The guy literally squeezed toothpaste onto the floor after knocking off 14-seed Colgate in the First Round! Aside from that, the turnaround that he has led at Arkansas in just a few short years is nothing short of remarkable. The Razorbacks play fast and score in bunches. A 14-point first-half deficit in their NCAA Tournament opener against Colgate was erased in a jiffy. One 17-0 run later and the Razorbacks were headed to the locker room with the advantage and never looked back. Arkansas outlasted a game Texas Tech team in the Second Round to earn a 2-point win and advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
The Razorbacks are led by future NBA lottery pick Moses Moody. The 6’6” freshman guard is a pleasure to watch. After averaging 17.7 points per game this season to lead the team, Moody proved up to the task in his first-ever NCAA Tournament last weekend as well with 15 points and 6 rebounds in the win over Texas Tech. Justin Smith made his presence felt in the opening weekend as well. He led Arkansas in scoring in each of their first two games with 29 points against Colgate and 20 in the win over the Red Raiders.
Arkansas KenPom Ratings
- Overall Efficiency Margin: +22.09 (No. 15 in NCAA)
- Offense: 111.4 (No. 37 in NCAA)
- Defense: 89.3 (No. 10 in NCAA)
- Tempo: 72.9 (No. 17 in NCAA)
Oral Roberts vs Arkansas College Basketball Betting Trends
- Oral Roberts 2020-21 Betting Trends: 18-21-1 ATS; 18-22 to the Over
- Arkansas 2020-21 Betting Trends: 20-16 ATS; 17-19 to the Over
- Oral Roberts is 6-0 ATS in their last six games.
- Oral Roberts is 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.
- Arkansas is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games.
- The over is 7-2 in Oral Roberts’ last nine neutral site games as an underdog.
- The under has hit in eight of Arkansas’ last ten games as a favorite.
Oral Roberts vs Arkansas Stats
- Oral Roberts is averaging 79.3 points per game (PPG) this season (No. 18 in NCAA)
- Oral Roberts is surrendering 77.4 PPG on the season (No. 308 in NCAA)
- Arkansas is averaging 82.0 PPG this season (No. 5 in NCAA)
- Arkansas is surrendering 70.4 PPG (No. 169 in NCAA)
Oral Roberts vs Arkansas Prediction
Like anyone else, I’d love to see the magic carpet ride continue for Oral Roberts. Unfortunately, I’m just not sure that the Golden Eagles will have any kind of answer for the run-and-gun Arkansas offense in the Sweet 16. Points will be at a premium for both sides in this game. Metrics and statistics for both clubs suggest that they have fared much better offensively than defensively this season. One number that really jumps out is Arkansas’ rating of 10th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency. Despite ranking outside the top 150 in scoring defense, the KenPom metric would suggest that perhaps the Razorbacks are a bit better defensively than the box scores might suggest.
The total is a lofty one for this game at 158.5, but I’m still inclined to back the over. Arkansas should easily surpass 80 points and perhaps even eclipse 90 against the porous Oral Roberts defense. The Golden Eagles will be left to keep up, something that many analysts don’t see them doing given their decision to lay double-digit points with the Razorbacks. I’m not going to join them. Max Abmas is truly a special offensive player, and if the 3-pointers are falling, there’s no reason that the Golden Eagles can’t keep up. Add it all up and there’s room to bet on a shootout while steering clear of picking a side altogether.
Pick: Over 158.5 (-110 at Bovada Sportsbook)