Arkansas guard Moses Moody (5) passes the ball against Georgia during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
- Arkansas is a 4.5-point favorite over Auburn in SEC play on Wednesday (Jan. 20th, 9 pm EST)
- The Razorbacks defeated the Tigers 97-85 on the road three weeks ago
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
After starting the season scorching hot, the Arkansas Razorbacks have stumbled over the past few weeks, dropping four of their past five. Arkansas (10-4, 2-4 SEC) will look to resume its winning ways on Wednesday (Jan. 20th, 9 pm EST) when they host rival Auburn (8-6, 2-4 SEC) in conference play.
Auburn vs Arkansas Odds
|Auburn Tigers||+4.5 (-104)||+184||Over 154.5 (-110)|
|Arkansas Razorbacks||-4.5 (-118)||-220||Under 154.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 19th at FanDuel.
These two teams met three weeks ago at Auburn, with the Razorbacks emerging as 97-85 winners. Online sportsbooks are expecting a similar performance on Wednesday, as Arkansas opened as 4.5-point favorites, in a game that features a total of 154.5.
2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Five Razorback players scored in double figures in their first meeting with the Tigers led by Desi Stills’ 23 points. They shot 49.5% from the field, forced 19 turnovers and got to the free throw line 31 times. At that point in the season, the victory improved Arkansas to 9-0, but it’s been mostly downhill ever since.
Entering the new year 9-0. pic.twitter.com/vuK4waEQxw
— Arkansas Razorback Basketball 🐗 (@RazorbackMBB) December 31, 2020
They’re 1-4 since then, suffering losses to the four highest ranked teams they’ve faced all season. Last time out, they suffered a 31-point loss to #18 Alabama, producing a season-low 59 points. They shot 33.3% from the field and an uncharacteristic 23.8% from 3. Perhaps it was an off night, or perhaps it was a product of excellent defense by the Tide, but for whatever reason they just couldn’t get anything going on offense.
The final score. pic.twitter.com/CgSb8FTXex
— Arkansas Razorback Basketball 🐗 (@RazorbackMBB) January 16, 2021
That game marked the first time they’ve been held below 68 points and just the fourth time they’ve failed to reach 75 points. They rank 12th nationally in points per game (85.2), ninth in total rebounding and third in field goal attempts. They nearly hung 100 on the Tigers in their last meeting, and Auburn’s defense has shown little improvement since.
Can the Tigers Keep Up?
The Tigers have allowed 74 points per outing since they last faced the Razorbacks, which is actually 2 points more than their season average. They rank second last in the SEC in points surrendered and are allowing opponents to make 44% of their looks.
They are fresh off back-to-back wins for the first time in a month, although the level of competition should be noted. Victories over a down Kentucky program and Georgia aren’t exactly moving the needle, and the Tigers have beaten just one team ranked inside the top-75.
Auburn can score however, ranking second in effective field goal percentage in conference play, and third in 3-point makes. They crash the boards hard, shoot a high percentage from the charity stripe and only one SEC team boasts a higher assist rate. They’ve produced at least 85 points in six of 14 outings this season and can definitely do their part to help this game get over the total.
Over and Out
Arkansas may be struggling at the moment, but it’s important to remember all four of their losses were against quality competition. Versus top-40 teams this season, the Razorbacks have a -65 point differential, but against programs ranked outside the top-40 it’s been a completely different story.
Tonight’s Top 3️⃣: Young Gun’s Edition
— Arkansas Razorback Basketball 🐗 (@RazorbackMBB) January 9, 2021
They’re 10-0 in those matchups, with a +260 point differential. The Tigers enter play rank 76th in the nation, which means it should be all systems go for the Razorbacks attack. Seven of the last nine Arkansas games have gone over the total, and there’s no reason to believe this contest will be a low-scoring affair.
Pick: Over 154.5 (-110)
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.