The first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, as always, delivered some shocking upsets and thrilling endings. We’re now in the Round of 32, where we get to see the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks clash with the No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks for a spot in the Sweet 16.
Let’s take a look at the Arkansas vs. Kansas odds, props, and betting trends, as well as go over our prediction for this contest.
Arkansas vs. Kansas Betting Lines: Spread, Moneyline, Total
Kansas (between -179 and -190 on the moneyline as of Saturday afternoon) is a 3.5-point favorite against the Razorbacks, who bettors can snag at anywhere between +148 and +160.
The betting public is leaning heavily towards the Jayhawks in this one, with 83% of spread tickets and 87% of moneyline tickets at DraftKings being placed on the top seed. The Over/Under total ranges anywhere between 142 and 144 points on legal US sports betting apps.
NCAAB · Sat (3/18) @ 5:25pm ET
|Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas
Arkansas vs. Kansas Betting News
The Razorbacks are one of the more underrated teams in the tournament. They earned a No. 8 seed despite being ranked 19st nationally in adjusted efficiency margin (per KenPom).
Their seeding may be a result of them dropping six of their last nine games before the national tournament, but that’s now in the distance past because they looked really impressive in its 73-63 win over Illinoi in the first round.
Arkansas is going to have to score major buckets if they want to keep up with Kansas’ offense. If this team wants to do that, it’ll have to get inside to either the mid-range or the paint. 64% of Arkansas’ shots come from inside the three-point line, which explains why it ranks outside the top 300 in both three-pointers made and three-point percentage.
They may not be able to put up 80 points with just two-pointers, but they don’t need to because they’re even better on the defensive end. The Razorbacks produce the 28th- and eighth-most steals and blocks, respectively, per game in the nation and ranks 13th in defensive efficiency.
The Jayhawks did what top seeds normally do in the opening round – pounce on their opponent to cruise to the Round of 32. All five Kansas starters finished in double figures against Howard (68-96) last Thursday, including scoring leader and Big 12 Player of the Year Jalen Wilson (20 points).
The 6’8” forward can play both as a smaller five and as a spot-up shooter in the corner, making him one of the most dangerous hoopers in college basketball. He has logged 20-plus points in six straight games.
Unfortunately, Kansas will again be without star coach Bill Self, who has been away from the team since before the Big 12 Tournament. It’ll be interesting how his absence will impact the team against a tougher Arkansas team.
Arkansas vs. Kansas Betting Trends
- Arkansas is 17-16-1 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Arkansas is 4-6 ATS as the underdog, 13-10 ATS as the favorite
- Arkansas is 6-2 ATS at neutral sites
- Arkansas is 9-4 ATS in non-conference games
- Arkansas is 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games
- The total has gone 14-19 on the Over in Arkansas games
- Kansas is 17-18 ATS this season
- Kansas is 14-14 ATS as the favorite, 2-4 ATS as the underdog
- Kansas is 4-4 ATS at neutral sites
- Kansas is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 games
- The total has gone 17-18 on the Over in Kansas games
Arkansas vs. Kansas Betting Pick
Kansas is far more battle-tested and. Meanwhile, Arkansas is a relatively young basketball team that hasn’t done well against the upper echelon of basketball programs this season. The Razorbacks went 2-7 against ranked opponents and haven’t beaten a team even remotely close to Kansas’ caliber this season.
It’s simply unfathomable to see the Jayhawks not reach the Sweet 16, even without Self coaching from the bench. The “blue blood” program has been here and done that far greater than most other schools, including Arkansas.
The game may or may not be competitive for the first 38-or-so minutes because matchup-wise, some of the Jayhawks’ strengths, a la three-point defense, may be rendered useless against a two-point shooting team in Arkansas. However, we trust Kansas to show their experience and play flawless basketball to close and win the game.
Pick: Kansas -3.5 via DraftKings Sportsbook
How to Watch Arkansas vs. Kansas
- Game Day: Saturday, Mar. 18, 2023
- Game Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
- Location: Well Fargo Arena | Des Moines, Iowa
- Channel: CBS