Arkansas beat #13 Vermont and #12 New Mexico State with solid defensive outings to reach this stage, whereas Gonzaga used two inspiring second-half performances to get past #16 Georgia State and #8 Memphis.
Here’s how the two rivals stack up against each other with an Elite Eight berth on the line.
Arkansas is one of the few popular teams in NCAAB and NCAAF odds; their team is predicated on attacking the basket and making free throws on one end, and playing stingy defense. They have speed and athleticism that could trouble a Gonzaga team that prefers to impose its will against relenting opponents slowly.
Gonzaga, on the other hand, was one of the most popular betting picks heading into the tournament because of their individual talent and how well they function as a team. Mark Few has his boys looking like they can waltz their way through the tournament and choose when and where to turn it on, as they have shown in the second halves of their first two matchups.
Most point spreads have the Bulldogs as a nine-point favorite over the Razorbacks in Arkansas vs. Gonzaga betting, based on their resume and current level of play. Arkansas can definitely not afford to play the way they did against NM State in the previous round, at least on offense, if they want to cover the spread, much less pull out a victory.
Gonzaga was 15-14-2 against the spread this season and 4-5 ATS at neutral venues. They have been favored in every contest they have played in but, notably, have not covered the spread in either of their two tournament appearances this season.
Arkansas, on the other hand, went 20-15 ATS and were 4-1 ATS as an underdog and against ranked teams this season. They are 3-5 ATS at neutral locations and, like the Bulldogs, did not cover the spread in either of their appearances during the first weekend of tournament play.
Despite some similarities, Arkansas has a better track record in spread betting this season— but just like every game, styles make fights.
Arkansas has a realistic path to cover the nine points if they can run in transition and put the pressure on a Gonzaga team that is not used to being challenged. If they are forced to play in the half-court and let the Bulldogs run their highly-efficient offensive sets, they will get blown out from the start.
Gonzaga will want to get freshman sensation Chet Holmgren involved early after being somewhat taken out of the Memphis game. The 7-footer has guard skills and can shoot, and although he is a phenomenal shot-blocker, he can get bullied in the paint— and he is going to get a heavy dose of drives to the basket.
The best bet, Arkansas vs. Gonzaga betting? A nerve-wracking cover from Arkansas; Gonzaga moneyline hits too.