NCAAB Oklahoma Vs. Arkansas Odds, Picks, Predictions (12/10/22)

It’s sadly the first Saturday without a full college football slate of the season but don’t fret, we have college basketball to make up for it. In one of the premier games of the slate, the Oklahoma Sooners take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in a Big 12-SEC showdown. Arkansas has looked every bit of the preseason championship contender status and will look to continue to roll against the Sooners. Can Oklahoma pull off the upset?

Oklahoma Vs. Arkansas Odds

Oddsmakers were surprisingly high on the Sooners chances of pulling off the upset, opening them at +2.5. Bettors are not as confident, taking the Razorbacks up to -4 in some shops as of writing. This comes as little surprise as the Razorbacks have looked to be the superior unit with projections having them at -4.5.

As for the total, this is a matchup of stylistic differences as Oklahoma is a more balanced attack while Arkansas hinges their success on their defense. Oddsmakers lean more towards a defensive showdown, opening the total at 133.5. Bettors have been split, not being able to budge the number in either direction with uncertainty of the offensive success against two above average defenses.

Oklahoma Vs. Arkansas Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Arkansas -4

With Arkansas playing elite level basketball, especially on the defensive end, I will have to side with them at -4 or lower in what could be a slugfest. While their offense has been well above average with a 47th ranked Adjusted Offensive Efficiency rating, it’s their ninth ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency that has carried the brunt of success.

They now get a limited dimensional scoring unit in the Oklahoma Sooners who have had to rely on the scoring production of two players, Grant Sherfield and Tanner Groves. With no one else being in double digit scoring, this makes Oklahoma’s offensive success vulnerable should the Razorbacks smother their leading scorers.

Worse yet from the Sooners, they may be unable to crack the Razorback defense as they possess a limited scoring threat down low and hit from deep at a low rate. With Arkansas specializing in clogging the paint with their length and athleticism, they force opposing offenses into low quality shots that lead to prolonged stalled out possessions. 

Points should come at a consistent rate for the Razorbacks who excel at quality looks at the rim when abusing their size advantage over inferior opponents. Should the Razorback defense limit the Sooners, we may see Arkansas pull away earlier and set a scoring pace that Oklahoma will be unable to chase after.

Oklahoma Vs. Arkansas Key Matchups

Can Arkansas use their size advantage and get out in transition? How will Oklahoma find perimeter scoring production?

Arkansas transition offense vs Oklahoma defense

I fully expect Arkansas will be able to set the pace by locking up the Oklahoma defense and generating Havoc. By smothering the Sooners into taking low quality shot selections, Arkansas should have zero issue crashing the boards and getting out in a hurry.

This plays as a massive advantage for the Razorbacks as they play at one of the fastest tempos in basketball and will want to counter punch with high quality looks at the rim in transition. A majority of their scoring is from their guards, a group capable of getting down the court from outlook passes from the bigs and putting the Sooners on their heels.

Oklahoma three-point shooting vs Arkansas perimeter defense

As previously mentioned, offensive production may be hard to come by for the Sooners as Arkansas has major defensive advantages in this matchup. Oklahoma does not possess enough scoring threats for Arkansas to focus on, let alone generate consistent three-point shooting to stretch out the defense.

They will even struggle to attack the middle as Arkansas’s height will force low quality looks at the rim. If Oklahoma wants to get the upset, then they will need to find success from deep as they are severely limited in other scoring chances in this matchup.

Verdict

With Arkansas possessing a huge defensive advantage and using that to generate offense, I will back the Razorbacks at -4 or lower in what will be an exciting Big 12-SEC showdown.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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