Vaughn Dalzell breaks down the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks versus the No. 8 seeded Arkansas Razorbacks in the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas vs. Kansas (-4.5): O/U 143.5
This -4.5 point spread is the lowest for a No. 1 seed against a No. 8 seed since 1996 when Purdue laid -2.5 versus Georgia and lost outright.
This spread is fishy and while Arkansas is athletic and fresh off two-straight Elite 8 appearances, Kansas is attempting to repeat as National Champs.
Kansas has lost seven games this season and in six of those seven losses, the Jayhawks allowed the opponent to score 68 or more points. Arkansas' Team Total opened at 69.5, which got my attention.
The Razorbacks only attempted 11 triples against Illinois (made 3), but I expect that to change versus Kansas. Arkansas plays at the 48th quickest pace in the country and Kansas is 69th (51st on offense), so I expect these teams to run up and down the court.
In three Big 12 tournament games, Kansas turned the ball over 43 times! Arkansas just turned Illinois into 17 turnovers, so the Razorbacks should be able to get some fast break points and points off turnovers.
Kansas also ranks 173rd and 179th in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, so Arkansas should be able to neutralize or win that battle, which could lead to more second-chance points and possessions.
I grabbed Arkansas Team Total Over 69.5 at -120 odds and would go to 70.5. I sprinkled Arkansas +4.5 at -120 odds and would go to +4 for a 0.5 unit. I think the Razorbacks can win this game outright.
Pick: Arkansas Team Total Over 69.5 (1u), Arkansas +4.5 (0.5)
OTHER MARCH MADNESS PICKS
Auburn vs. Houston
Duke vs. Tennessee
Arkansas vs. Kansas
Furman vs. San Diego State
MORE ON NCAA TOURNAMENT
Content Hub: Best bets, Underdogs, Previews YouTube: Selection Sunday Reactions
Betting Tools: Live Odds, Player Props, Top Trends, Game Predictions