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Texas Tech vs Arkansas Odds and Picks

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Mar 19, 2021 · 4:22 PM PDT

Mac McClung Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech's Mac McClung (0) dribbles the ball around Oklahoma's Elijah Harkless (24) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)
  • Arkansas pulled away from Colgate to advance to the second-round in the South Region where they will face Texas Tech at 1:00 pm ET on Sunday
  • Texas Tech has won nine games in the last three NCAA Tournament after beating Utah State in the first round
  • Check the odds, analysis, and betting prediction below

No. 3 Arkansas (23-6) advanced to a second-round South Region game against Texas Tech with an 85-68 victory over Colgate. It was the Razorbacks’ first NCAA Tournament victory since 2017 and only their third since 1999.

After a lackluster first half, No. 6 Texas Tech (18-10) handled Utah State 66-53 to move on. The Red Raiders are the defending NCAA Tournament runners-up, having lost to Virginia 85-77 in overtime the last time the event was held in 2019.

Texas Tech vs Arkansas Odds

Team Moneyline at DraftKings Spread Total
Texas Tech Red Raiders -109 PK (-110) O 140.5 (-109)
Arkansas Razorbacks -109 PK (-110) U 140.5 (-112)

Odds as of March 19.

Arkansas has won 10 of its last 11 games, losing only to LSU in the SEC tournament semifinals, and are 9-2 ATS in that stretch.  Since a blowout 90-59 loss at Alabama on Jan. 16, the Razorbacks are 13-2 straight up and 11-4 ATS.

Texas Tech lost its last two regular-season games and five of its last eight, although every loss was to a team that is seeded fourth or better in the NCAA Tournament. The Red Raiders are 4-7 ATS in their last 11.

Following the Same Script

Arkansas and Texas Tech used the same blueprint in their first-round victories, using decisive runs to blow past their opponents. Arkansas did it twice.

The Razorbacks trailed 33-19 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half before scoring the final 17 points of the half as Colgate missed its final eight field goal attempts.

After Colgate tied it at 56 with 10 minutes to play, Arkansas used a 17-4 run to put the game away, holding the Raiders without a field goal for 6:11 while forcing five turnovers.

Colgate, which was second in NCAA Division I with an 86.3 scoring average, shot 39.7% from the field and committed a season-high 22 turnovers. Arkansas had 13 steals, five by Justin Smith, who also had two blocked shots.

Texas Tech’s Red Raiders used a 24-4 run early in the second half to build a 49-35 lead, and the Aggies never were closer than eight again. Utah State’s 22 turnovers led to 28 Texas Tech points. The Red Raiders had eight turnovers.

These Guys Can Coach

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman opted to go to a smaller group early against Colgate, replacing 7’3 starting center Connor Vanover two minutes into the game in order to put a smaller, quicker group on the floor.

Six-foot-seven Justin Smith used his quickness around the basket to score a career-high 29 points. He added 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and made 11-of-13 free throws.

Reserve guard JD Notae had 14 points and five rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes, also benefitting from the personnel grouping.

Liking his five on the court, Texas Tech coach Chris Beard kept leading scorer Mac McClung on the bench for nearly five minutes in the middle of the Red Raiders’ 24-4 push over Utah State. Terrence Shannon Jr. scored all 10 of his points in that run.

Musselman, who has brought NBA-style game preparation and game-planning to his stops at Nevada and Arkansas, has taken his last four teams to the NCAA Tournament. Nevada made the tournament in 2017-19 and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2018.

Beard is 9-2 in the NCAA tournament with TTU. He took the Red Raiders to the Elite Eight in his second season in 2018 before a run to the title game in 2019.

By the Numbers

Arkansas is 16th and Texas Tech is 19th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin, and the Razorbacks are rated ninth in adjusted defensive efficiency and 17th in tempo. They average 82.4 points per game, seventh in NCAA Division I, and have a plus -11.7 scoring margin.

Texas Tech is 21st in adjusted defensive efficiency and has a plus-9.6 scoring margin.

Both Musselman and Beard are masters at getting a team prepared to play, and both teams play exceptional help defense. Arkansas freshman small forward Moses Moody is projected to be a lottery pick in 2021 NBA draft if he leaves school. It is never wise to go against Beard, but the Razorbacks’ personnel edge gives them a slight advantage.

The pick: Arkansas -.5 (-110)

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