Arkansas Razorbacks Heavily Favored to Win NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Opener

Arkansas Razorbacks Heavily Favored to Win NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Opener
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Arkansas Razorbacks are back in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, a year after reaching the program’s first Elite Eight in a decade-and-a-half and the first time since mobile Arkansas sports betting came online.

Head coach Eric Musselman’s bunch enters March Madness with a 25-8 record, drawing the fourth seed in the West Region.

Their first-round opponent, 13th-seeded Vermont, is one of the hottest teams in college basketball — winning all three of its America East Conference tournament games by more than 30 points.

The Catamounts are appearing in their eighth Big Dance and most famously beat fourth seed Syracuse, 60-57, in the first round of the 2005 tournament.

Arkansas and Vermont tip off at 8:20 p.m. Central time Thursday on TNT from Buffalo, N.Y.

Arkansas a Slight Favorite Over Vermont

Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook have the Razorbacks listed at -5 against Vermont.

Southland Casino’s Betly Arkansas, the state’s first active mobile betting site, has Arkansas as a 4.5-point favorite.

BetMGM has the biggest number in favor of Arkansas at -5.5.

The Razorbacks' best moneyline odds come on BetMGM at -225. Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook have Musselman’s bunch at -220, while FanDuel Sportsbook has them at -210.

Analytics sites, such as KenPom.com, have Vermont at No. 59 in the country, ahead of Power Five at-large tournament teams like Miami (62nd overall) and Rutgers (74th).

The Catamounts enter the tournament off wins over New Jersey Institute of Technology (98-59), Binghamton (74-42) and UMBC (82-43) in the America East Tournament. Vermont went 17-1 in conference play and suffered losses to Maryland (68-57), UNC-Greensboro (54-51), Providence (68-58), and Hartford (75-74) this season.

Razorbacks Among NCAA Title Dark Horse Teams

Entering the 2022 tournament, the Razorbacks find themselves among the second tier of teams when it comes to title odds.

Arkansas is listed anywhere from +5000 (Caesars Sportsbook) to +8000 (DraftKings Sportsbook).

The Razorbacks have won one national title in school history, doing so under legendary coach Nolan Richardson in 1994.

Arkansas also finished as the national runner-up in 1995, in addition to qualifying for the Final Four in 1941, 1945, 1949, 1990, 1994, and 1995.

If the Razorbacks win Thursday, they’d play either Connecticut or New Mexico State on Saturday.

From there, they would likely face No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga in the Sweet 16.

For now, Razorbacks fans have three days to get their wagers in on the NCAA Tournament opener.

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Contributors

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetArkansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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