The Arkansas Razorbacks qualified for the program’s 13th Sweet 16 appearance on Saturday, after surviving a 40-minute scare from 12th-seeded New Mexico State.
Eric Musselman’s squad knocked off the Aggies, 53-48, despite hitting a meager 27.5% of their shots from the field and 18.8% of their 3-point tries.
Nonetheless, the Razorbacks found a way into the Sweet 16 for a second straight season, setting up a third-round clash with top-seed Gonzaga on Thursday night in San Francisco.
Arkansas and Gonzaga tip off at 6:09 p.m. Central time on CBS.
Arkansas Among Title Longshots in Sweet 16
The Razorbacks find themselves among the Arkansas sports betting longshots to win the 2022 title, thanks in large part to having to face the Bulldogs on Thursday.
The oddsmakers at BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook give the Razorbacks +5000 odds of winning it all, ranking between 10th and 12th out of the field of 16.
The folks at DraftKings sportsbook, meanwhile, give Arkansas +6000 odds of winning the program’s second title in 2022, ranking in a tie for 11th with the Michigan Wolverines.
Much of that is because Gonzaga is the unanimous betting favorite on each site, with odds ranging from +225 (Caesars Sportsbook) to +240 (FanDuel Sportsbook).
Betly Sportsbook, which is affiliated with Southland Casino in West Memphis, has Arkansas +4000 to win the national championship.
Betly Sportsbook is currently the only mobile sportsbook operating in the state.
Razorbacks Heavy Underdogs Against Gonzaga
Given the national title odds, it’s rather unsurprising Arkansas is a heavy underdog entering Thursday’s Sweet 16.
The Razorbacks find themselves anywhere from +8.5 to +9, which is the second biggest spread of the week behind Friday’s Purdue-St. Peter’s contest.
The Razorbacks average 11.6 points per game less than Gonzaga (76.2 to 87.8). They hold their opponents to 59.5 points per game vs. 75.0 for the Bulldogs.
Another stark difference between the two sides is their field goal shooting, with Gonzaga averaging 52.6% from the field compared to 43.5% for the Razorbacks.
Both teams enter Thursday’s game off surprisingly close second round clashes, with the Bulldogs surviving Memphis, 82-78.
Both squads will have the better part of four days to get their game plans in order before tangling in the Sweet 16.