Arkansas Razorbacks at Texas Longhorns
NCAAB: Friday, November 9, 2018, Fort Bliss, Fort Bliss, Texas, 7:00 PM ET
The inter-conference foes will meet at the neutral location in Fort Bliss when the Texas Longhorns are nominal hosts to the Arkansas Razorbacks as they are looking to open the new NCAAB season with a couple of victories. The last time these schools have met in December 2016, the Razorbacks secured a narrow 77-74 win.
The Razorbacks are hoping to open the new campaign with a win over the Longhorns
Arkansas will open the new season at Fort Bliss and they are looking for the winning start after finishing the last campaign with a 21-11 record in the Southeastern Conference. The Razorbacks made it to the NCAA playoffs but they were stopped by the Butler Bulldogs in the first round and are hoping to move a step forward this time around. Jaylen Barford, Daryl Macon, and Daniel Gafford was the team’s scoring leaders in the 2017-18, but Barford and Macon are not with the team anymore, so Gafford will become the No. 1 man in the offense as he recorded 11.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 2.2 bpg in 22.6 minutes per contest last year.
The Razorbacks had a top 40 offense in the NCAAB in the 2017-18 that averaged 80.5 points per contest (38th), while their defense allowed 75.6 points per game (263rd). Arkansas’ rebounding wasn’t good as they were recording 34.5 boards per game (221st), while they were the 116th when it comes to assists per contest with 14.3 dishes a night. Arkansas was 36th in field goal percentage as they had 47.7 percent from the floor and 14th from downtown with 40.1 percentage, while they were the 153rd with 7.8 three-pointers made per game.
The Longhorns beat the Panthers on the season opener
Texas justified the role of a strong favorite with a win over Eastern Illinois Panthers and even though they failed to cover the spread, the Longhorns were happy to start the new season with a victory. The Longhorns finished the previous year with a 19-14 record in the Big 12 Conference and qualified for the playoffs where Nevada beat them in the first round, 87-83 after overtime.
Matt Coleman III led the Longhorns in a 71-59 win over the Panthers with 13 points, game-high seven assists, and two steals; the freshman Jaxson Hayes added 12 points, four rebounds, and a pair of blocks off the bench, while Elijah Mitrou-Long had an excellent stat line with nine points, six boards, six dimes, and team-high three thefts. Andrew Jones returned to the floor for the first time since he was diagnosed with leukemia in January and the junior guard should have an important role going forward. Texas created a 10-point lead at halftime and they just maintained the double-digit lead in the second half to get a victory.
Cancer survivor and @texasmbb player Andrew Jones was back on the court for the Longhorns season opener yesterday. He scored his first point since leaving for treatment and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Congratulations, Andrew! https://t.co/babyE1wx81 pic.twitter.com/hdeFBrdqjl
— LIVESTRONG (@livestrong) November 8, 2018
The Longhorns had the 238th offense in the NCAAB in the 2017-18 that averaged 71.7 points per contest, while their defense allowed 68.7 points per game (151st). Texas was 148th in rebounding as they were recording 35.8 boards per game, while they were the 308th when it comes to assists per contest with 11.6 dishes a night. Texas was 219th in field goal percentage as they had 43.8 percent from the floor and 331st from downtown with 31.5 percentage, while they were the 228th with 7.1 three-pointers made per game.
- 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 neutral site games
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven non-conference games
- 36-32-1 ATS in the last 69 games in total
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Arkansas won the previous H2H encounter as they defeated the Longhorns on the road in December 2016 and the Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, and even though they lost two of their three top scorers from the 2017-18 season, I am backing them to cover the spread on this one. Texas is not playing well when they are playing on neutral sites, while the Razorbacks will be highly-motivated to open the campaign with a victory, so I am going with Arkansas here.
Prediction: Arkansas Razorbacks +6 (-105)
Full-Game Total Pick
Considering the teams’ respective offenses in the 2017-18, we should expect around 150 points here but I am going with under as under is 5-2-1 in Longhorns last eight non-conference games, while under is 15-7 in Razorbacks previous 22 neutral site games. Arkansas’s offense will be weaker than the last year, while Texas’s offense wasn’t even in the top 200 teams in the country, so I am backing under.
Prediction: Under 150 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The opening half will likely be a tight one but I am giving a slight advantage to the Longhorns who already played one game so far, while Arkansas will play their opening game of the season, so they could be out of form in the opening 20 minutes. The -3 spread is not too high and I expect the Razorbacks to play better in the second half, so I am going with Texas in the first half.
Prediction: Texas Longhorns -3 (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
The total for the first half is set at 70.5, which is a bit low considering the total for the entire game which is 150, so I am backing the rivals to produce at least 71 points in the opening 20 minutes here. Texas’s previous game produced just 66 points but the Longhorns are facing a top 40 offense in country, so I am going with over 70.5.
Prediction: Over 70.5 (-110)