The SEC/Big 12 Challenge brings an intriguing matchup between the Arkansas Razorbacks (14-6) and No. 17 Baylor Bears (15-5).
The Razorbacks have temporarily righted the ship with back-to-back home wins after dropping four consecutive games. A road win against Baylor would certainly instill confidence in Eric Musselman’s team.
Baylor is riding high with five straight wins and is fresh off a 75-69 victory over Kansas. Can the Bears keep rolling?
Check out our college basketball picks and predictions for Arkansas vs. Baylor on Saturday, January 28 to find out.
Arkansas vs Baylor best odds
Arkansas vs Baylor picks and predictions
Arkansas got back in the win column against Mississippi by a score of 69-57 before throttling LSU 60-40. This leaves the Razorbacks in an uncertain spot, as they’ve certainly shown signs of weakness at points and have been hampered by knee injuries to impact contributors Nick Smith Jr. and Trevon Brazile. Still, this a difficult team to beat and they play great defense.
The Hogs rank No. 22 in KenPom, checking in at 60th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 13th in adjusted defense efficiency. They’re surrendering just 65 ppg while holding opponents to 41.7% shooting, so defense is clearly the calling card this year. Ricky Council leads the way with 16.8 ppg while Anthony Black (12.8 ppg) and Davonte Davis (10.2 ppg) also average double figures.
Baylor checks in at No. 16 in KenPom led by an explosive offense that ranks second in adjusted efficiency. The Bears have perhaps the strongest trio of guards in the country in Keyonte George (16.9 ppg), Adam Flagler (16.1 ppg), and LJ Cryer (14.2 ppg). They’re averaging a cool 79.4 ppg on the season, and one of those three guards has led the team in scoring in every game this season except for one.
The defense leaves a bit to be desired. Baylor is allowing 69.3 ppg and ranks 91st in adjusted defensive efficiency — the lowest ranking on either side of the ball for both teams. The Bears rank 215th in field goal defense (43.8%) and 152nd in 3-point defense (32.9%).
I’ll be targeting a player prop with Saturday’s best bet: Arkansas guard Anthony Black to go Over 23.5 combined points, rebounds, and assists. The freshman guard has seized the reins for his team and is commanding a high usage rate as the leader of the offense. He’s gone over this mark with ease in each of his last three games while averaging 28.3 combined points, rebounds, and assists, cashing this number in four of his last five games. Now, he matches up with a Baylor team that has a weakness on the defensive end. Arkansas will need Black to have a big game to stay in this against Baylor’s elite guard play.
My best bet: Anthony Black Over 23.5 points + rebounds + assists (-115 at DraftKings)
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Arkansas vs Baylor spread analysis
Baylor is a -6.5 favorite at the time of this writing.
This is a fun interconference matchup between two good teams. Arkansas is in a funny spot after ending a four-game losing streak that put this season’s outlook in danger. Do the Hogs have their mojo back? It’s tough to say right now. Baylor is riding high after five straight wins and just looked very impressive in a six-point win over Kansas.
Baylor has won seven of its nine games in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge and is undefeated at the Ferrell Center. Scott Drew’s squad has been on fire lately in the betting markets, going 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games.
Arkansas has been on a mission to set its bettors’ money on fire, going 2-6 ATS in its last eight games. The Razorbacks have been a losing bet on the road lately, failing to cover the spread in each of their last four road games.
Baylor is my preferred side, although 6.5 points is a lot to play in a game where the underdog has a much better defense. That keeps me away from making the Bears and official play and my money won’t be on a side in this matchup.
Arkansas vs Baylor Over/Under analysis
The total opened at 147.5 before quickly taking some money to the Under. Currently, the total resides between 142 and 144.5 as there has been some fluctuation. It’s evident this line is headed downward before it eventually settles.
Arkansas has been very profitable to the Under this season, posting a 13-6-1 mark. The Razorbacks are 7-2-1 to the Under in their last 10 overall, and the losses of Smith and Brazile have emphasized this team’s offensive shortcomings.
Baylor is 11-9 to the Over this season, which should come as no surprise considering this team’s elite offense and subpar defense.
I’m not in a rush to play any Arkansas Overs until given a good reason to believe otherwise. This team has been dead set on playing to the Under all season long, and any total above 140 is going to make me automatically consider the Under.
While Arkansas will need to be on its A-game defensively against such a lethal opponent, at least the Razorbacks have the requisite length to potentially cause Baylor some issues. Black, Council, and Davis will hope to use their length to disrupt a potent offense, and Musselman is not likely to entice his team into a track meet in this matchup. I lean Under.
Arkansas vs Baylor betting trend to know
Baylor is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games overall. Find more college basketball betting trends for Arkansas vs. Baylor.
Arkansas vs Baylor game info
|Location:||Ferrell Center, Waco, TX|
|Date:||Saturday, January 28, 2023|
|Tip-off:||4:00 p.m. ET|