Saturday evening features two great Elite Eight March Madness games, which are sure to provide NCAA Tournament fans with great entertainment. The No. 4-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks are playing the No. 2-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the West Region matchup. Tip-off is 8:49 p.m. EST from the Chase Center in San Francisco, making this a true neutral-site game. The sports betting industry’s best betting tool OddsShopper will have up-to-the-minute odds on both matchups (Arkansas vs. Duke & Houston vs. Villanova)throughout the day so be sure to stay tuned in order to lock in your bets with the best possible odds. Let’s break down what could be Coach K’s final game, go over some of the best Elite 8 college basketball picks today and give an Arkansas vs. Duke prediction.
College Basketball Picks Today: 2022 March Madness Elite 8 Predictions
Arkansas vs. Duke Prediction
The Razorbacks are fresh off of a game where they took down the No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga Bulldogs. This game saw a monster defensive performance from a well-coached Arkansas team where they held the Bulldogs to just 68 points. The main question heading into tonight’s matchup is: can Arkansas guard J.D. Notae shoot 9-for-29 and beat Duke? The answer to that is probably no. One thing is for sure, head coach Eric Musselman will have his guys ready to go on the big stage, looking to pull off another upset against a blue blood program. An under-the-radar plus to the Arkansas game is its efficiency on the defensive glass, where it currently holds a 74.8% defensive rebound rate. Clearly, they’re extremely talented in keeping teams off of the offensive glass and limiting second chance points.
Duke is coming off of a close game against Texas Tech, which saw it go on stretches in the second half where it just could not miss. In the second half, the Blue Devils shot an unbelievable 71% against arguably the best defensive team in the country. Duke relied on a balanced attack from its starting five, seeing all five players scoring in double-figures. Freshman Paolo Banchero is leading the team averaging 17.2 points per game, and with his recent success and big-time shot making, he has cemented himself into a top 5 pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Duke has also seen an uptick defensively, where center Mark Williams in averaging 4.3 blocks per game thus far in the tournament, giving Coach K and the Blue Devils a reliable defensive big.
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On paper, this game appears to give edges to both teams in different facets and should be close right until the end. One interesting note on this game is the experience of these teams, where Duke is featuring multiple freshmen playing against an Arkansas team with many upperclassmen who experienced an Elite Eight run just one year ago. The NCAAB betting lines currently see a Duke team favored by four points with an over/under of 147.5, and with that being said, the play tonight is the Razorbacks plus the points. Although Duke has a storybook run happening with the retirement of Coach K on the horizon, I believe this Arkansas team is going to give Duke all it can handle. Four points in an Elite Eight game is just too much in this particular matchup; and given Arkansas and its No. 1-ranked free-throws-made-per-possession number, let’s trust a well-coached, experienced team who can hit free throws in late March.
Best College Basketball Pick Today: Arkansas Razorbacks +4 (-110)
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