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Kansas vs Arkansas Predictions, Odds & Lines – Jayhawks 3.5-Point Favorites in Round of 32

George Nassios

by George Nassios in College Basketball

Updated Mar 17, 2023 · 10:01 AM PDT

Kansas' Jalen Wilson celebrates a basket
Kansas' Jalen Wilson celebrates scoring during the NCAA men's basketball tournament first round match-up between Kansas and Howard, on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at Wells Fargo Arena, in Des Moines, Iowa. 0316 Kansas Howard 018 Arw
  • A spot in the Sweet 16 is on the line when No. 1 Kansas takes on No. 8 Arkansas in a second-round clash on Saturday, March 18th
  • Kansas smashed Howard 96-68 in their first round contest, while Arkansas took down Illinois
  • Check out the Arkansas vs Kansas odds below, plus our best bet and prediction for this contest

Don’t be fooled by the seedings when No. 8 Arkansas ((21-13, 17-16-1 ATS) goes up against No. 1 Kansas (28-7, 17-18 ATS) on Saturday, March 18th at Wells Fargo Arena. These two sides are much closer in competition level than you might think.

Tipoff for this second-round West region game is at 5:15 pm ET and can be seen on CBS. Coming off a 20-point loss to Texas in the Big 12 tournament, Kansas rebounded in a big way, destroying Howard by 28 points in their NCAA tourney opener.

Arkansas vs Kansas Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Arkansas Razorback +3.5 (-110) +133 O 143.5 (-110)
Kansas Jayhawks -3.5 (-110) -184 U 143.5 (-110)

Surprised at the narrow 3.5-point spread favoring the Jayhawks? Don’t be. According to KenPom, Arkansas ranks 19th in the nation in adjusted efficiency while the Jayhawks rank 9th, the lowest overall ranking of any No. 1 seed in this tournament.

The over/under total stands at 143.5 points. Although Kansas scored 96 points on their own in their first round victory, easily topping the over, they had gone under the betting line in the college basketball odds in their six previous contests.

 

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Arkansas Two Wins Away from Third Straight Elite Eight

Coming off back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, it’ll be a tough road to make their way back to that spot in their quadrant of the March Madness bracket this time around with that journey now needing to go through the West region’s top seed.

Big things were expected of Eric Musselman’s squad entering this season. The Razorbacks were ranked 10th in the preseason AP Top 25, but really struggled in league play, finishing with an 8-10 record.

Putting their conference play behind them, the Razorbacks defense played a huge role in their first round 73-63 victory over Illinois. In the first half, Arkansas forced nine Illinois turnovers leading to 13 points and held their opponents to just 8-of-29 shooting (27.6%) to help build a 10-point lead at the break.

They withstood a late surge from the Fighting Illini helped in large part by clutch free throw shooting, going 15-for-17 from the charity stripe in the 2nd half, led by Ricky Council IV who scored a game high 18 points, 11 of which came from the line.

Kansas Marches Along Without Bill Self

One big question facing Kansas before Saturday’s contest will be whether or not they’ll have Bill Self back on the sideline. The Jayhawks head coach was released from the hospital on Sunday after a five day stay following a stent procedure on his heart that forced him to miss last week’s Big 12 tournament and the Jayhawks tourney opener.

While they had no issue without their court boss in an easy opening win over Howard, the Razorbacks pose a different kind of challenge. Missing the century mark by just four points, they’ll have a much tougher time getting buckets against an Arkansas squad that has limited opponents to 70 points or less in 11 of their last 16 games.

On the flip side, a dedication to D is what makes this Jayhawks squad a contender in the odds to win the NCAA tournament. They rank 7th overall in adjusted defensive efficiency this season according to KenPom, so this will likely be a matchup where defense will take center stage.

Arkansas vs Kansas Head-to-Head Stats

Razorbacks
VS
Jayhawks
74.8 (110th) Points/Game 75.6 (91st)
67.2 (97th) Points Allowed/Game 68.2 (128th)
47.5 (33rd) FG% 46.4 (73rd)
32.1 (301st) 3PT% 34.8(151st)

Arkansas vs Kansas Pick and Prediction

Kansas had the sixth-shortest Final Four odds prior to the tournament tipping off at +350, while the Razorbacks owned +1400 odds to make it to the final weekend.

Our feeling is that sportsbooks have nailed the point spread head on, but the wager we love in the Arkansas vs Kansas odds is the under. Both teams rely on defense to win and the trends for both sides point to them going below the total established on the betting line.

Arkansas has hit the under in 10 of their last 14 games following an ATS win, while the under is 6-0 for Kansas following a straight up victory. Combining to go over 143.5 points will be an extreme deviation from the norm for both squads, so take the under in what should be a tenacious affair.

Pick: Under 143.5 (-110)

 


March Madness second-round predictions (March 18):

March Madness first-round predictions (March 17):

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