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Arkansas vs. Baylor Predictions & March Madness Elite 8 Picks: Bears To Maul Razorbacks

NCAA Tournament handicapper Brandon Hurley is back with his expert pick for Arkansas vs. Baylor in the Elite 8 round at March Madness
Brandon Hurley
Mon, March 29, 6:15 AM EDT

March Madness Elite 8 Picks

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Baylor Bears

Baylor ranks 3rd on offense and 27th on defense, per KenPom. Arkansas ranks 47th on offense and 10th on defense. Both teams come into this matchup after tough wins on Saturday. Arkansas barely beat 15 seed Oral Roberts in a game where they were down 12 in the second half. The Razorbacks got some lucky bounces and favorable calls from the officials late in the game that helped them get the win. Baylor played one of their worst halves of basketball all year in the first half last game against 5 seed Villanova. They were down 7 and only scored 23 points in that first half. They completely flipped the script in the 2nd half out scoring Villanova 39-21 and ended up winning by 11. That momentum and shooting by the Bears in the 2nd half on Saturday is what I’m backing on Monday night.

The difference in this ball game will be Baylor’s 3 point shooting vs Arkansas 3 point defense. Baylor is one of the best 3 point shooting teams in the country ranking 2nd in 3 point shooting %. Arkansas is 138th in defending 3, but have been worse defending it in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas has allowed opponents to shoot 44.4%, 50.0%, 25.8% from 3 in their tournament games thus far. Oral Roberts shot the worst shooting 8/31 from 3 in their last game, but it was a lot of missed open looks by ORU not tough perimeter defense. Baylor should get plenty of open looks from 3 in this one and I fully believe they will take advantage of this. Baylor has shot 33.3%, 47.1%, and 15.8% from 3 in their tournament games. They average 40.8% on the year. Baylor is well over due for an offensive explosion from 3. Arkansas offense won’t keep pace with this Baylor offense. Baylor ranks 2nd in 3 point shooting %, 43rd in 2 point shooting %, and 6th in Offense Effective FG %. Arkansas ranks 188th, 108th, and 129th in these categories. Baylor’s defense is so-so statistically, but they defend the 2 point shot the best ranking 121st. The 2 point shot is what Arkansas does the best. Also, Baylor’s defense ranks 3rd in forcing turnovers. I expect this experienced Baylor bunch to speed up Arkansas and force some key turnovers.

Arkansas is lucky to be here after close call wins over Texas Tech and ORU while Baylor looks like they have returned to pre-Covid dominant form. As long as Baylor can get back to their average 3 point shooting %, I think they run away with this one. Arkansas will get down in the 2nd half and try to shoot their way back into the game. This is not their strength and will be their downfall. Betting Baylor to win and cover -7 is the play. Best of luck!

The Pick: Baylor -7 @ -110 (Click To Bet)

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Baylor Bears Betting Data 

Team Point Spread Moneyline
Arkansas +8 +300
Baylor -8 -360

Baylor have been a popular team for OddsChecker bettors throughout March Madness and this Eltie 8 game is no different. 64% of ATS bets have been on Baylor -8 and 80% of moneyline bets have been on the Bears.

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NCAA Tournament Expert Picks

Baylor -7 @ -110 (Click To Bet

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