Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Predictions, Odds, Preview

Mar. 27, 2021

NCAA BK Expert

Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Predictions

The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles look to keep their magical run alive in a Sweet 16 battle against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Tip is set at 7:25 p.m. ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, as the pair kick off the TBS coverage on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles are just the second No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16, joining Florida Gulf Coast, who accomplished the feat in 2013. Oral Roberts ousted No. 2 seed Ohio State in overtime in the first round, sending shockwaves through the NCAA Tournament. After slipping behind by 11 points to No. 7 seed Florida in the second round, it looked like Cinderella's slipper would be shattered. The Golden Eagles rebounded and erased the double-digit deficit to pull off their second straight monumental upset.

Oral Roberts has won two games in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1974, when the Golden Eagles reached the regional final before bowing out to Kansas.

Arkansas has had a different path to the Sweet 16, but they're certainly battle tested. In the opening round, they brushed aside Colgate by an 85-68 score to easily cover an 8.5-point number against a good Raiders team many were tabbing as an upset pick. That never came close to fruition, as the Razorbacks shut them down defensively. Then, the Razorbacks topped defending national runner-up Texas Tech by a 68-66 score as two-point underdogs to secure their spot in the Sweet 16.

  • Score Prediction: Arkansas 85, Oral Roberts 77
  • Best Bets - Side: Oral Roberts
  • Best Bets - Total: Over

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Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas Betting Odds

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Handicapping Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas

  • Matchup-Region: South - 15 vs. 3
  • Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Date: Mar. 27, 2021
  • Time-TV: 7:25 p.m. (ET) - TBS

The Golden Eagles head into this game on a seven-game winning streak overall, and they have covered six in a row dating back to Feb. 27. Their last non-cover was an 85-81 win over Western Illinois in the penultimate game of the regular season. ORU has rattled off five straight wins in the postseason, including four straight as an underdog. The most impressive was the win over the Buckeyes in overtime as 15-point underdogs in the first round.

In that win over Ohio State, ORU covered from wire-to-wire. In fact, it was never even close as the Golden Eagles helped bettors cruise to the winning ticket. Oral Roberts was never down by double digits against Ohio State, as the most they had trailed by was eight points.

Against Florida, the Golden Eagles nearly covered wire-to-wire falling off the pace briefly a handful of occasions in the second half when the Gators took a double-digit lead. Midway through the second half, ORU pulled it together and ran away for the cover and straight-up victory.

Arkansas lost in the SEC semifinals against LSU on Mar. 13, falling as a 3.5-point favorite in a 78-71 loss. They're 11-1 SU and 10-2 ATS in the past 12 games. The Razorbacks have won 24 times overall this season, including back on Dec. 20 by an 87-76 score as the Golden Eagles covered a 19.5-point underdogs and the OVER (154) connected. That was a while ago, and things have changed dramatically but still worth noting.

NCAA Tournament Betting Results

1st Rd: Oral Roberts 75 Ohio State 72 (OT), Golden Eagles +15, Under 157
2nd Rd: Oral Roberts 81, Florida 78, Golden Eagles +9, Over 149.5

1st Rd: Arkansas 85 Colgate 68, Razorbacks -8.5, Under 161
2nd Rd: Arkansas 68 Texas Tech 66, Razorbacks +2, Under 140.5

Betting Stats & Analysis - Oral Roberts

18-10 SU, 16-9 ATS, 17-8 O/U

The Golden Eagles have rattled off seven straight victories to get into this position. This includes back-to-back wins in the NCAA Tournament over power conference teams Ohio State and Florida as underdogs of nine or more points, as the OVER/UNDER has split 1-1. ORU has covered six in a row, and they're 9-2 ATS across the past 11 games overall.

Oral Roberts lost against Arkansas in Fayetteville back in late December, but they were able to post the cover, and that's what the public is expecting in this one. There aren't a lot of money line takers for the Golden Eagles, as it's almost a consensus that they have their wings clipped Saturday night and the magical run comes to a conclusion. However, the public is on ORU at a 2-to-1 clip taking the points.

The OVER has hit in three of the past four games, with the lone exception their overtime defeat of Ohio State. In fact, that game against the Buckeyes cashed the UNDER by 10 points. The OVER is 8-3 across the past 11 games overall for ORU, and the OVER connected by nine points in that earlier 87-76 loss to the Hogs around in December.

The Golden Eagles are 4-0 ATS in the past four neutral-site games as an underdog, 19-7-1 ATS in the past 27 against winning teams and 5-0 ATS in the past five overall as an underdog. The trends give bettors a lot of reasons to feel good about the ORU ticket they're holding.

Betting Stats & Analysis - Arkansas

24-6 SU, 19-9-1 ATS, 14-14-1 O/U

The Razorbacks entered their second-round game with a higher seed, but they were underdogs by two against Texas Tech. The lack of respect for Arkansas seemed to spur them on against the Red Raiders in a seesaw affair, which eventually saw them bump the defending national runners-up back to Lubbock.

Arkansas has won 11 of the past 12 games overall, and their last loss in the regular season came at Oklahoma State on Jan. 30 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Razorbacks are a battle tested team which has toughed out victories against strong opponents all season, and they have never been caught sleeping. In fact, all six of their straight-up losses this season were against NCAA Tournament participants.

On a neutral floor, they're 3-1 SU/ATS, all occurring in the previous four games. The UNDER is 4-0 in each of those outings. Arkansas continues to tick off cover after cover against good teams, going 8-1 in the past nine against teams with a winning overall mark. They're also on a 10-2 ATS run, and they're 9-2 ATS in the previous 11 when favored.

As far as the total is concerned, Arkansas has hit the UNDER in eight of the past 10 as a favorite while going 23-8 across its past 31 neutral-site affairs. In the NCAA Tournament, the Hogs have cashed the UNDER in four in a row.

Key Players to Watch

Oral Roberts

Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor have been an amazing one-two punch during the NCAA Tournament and the entire postseason. Abmas is averaging 23.6 PPG with 6.0 APG, 3.6 RPG and 1.4 SPG in his five games in the postseason, including the Big Dance and the Summit League tournament. In addition, he has hit at an 89.5% clip from the free-throw line, too.

Obanor has averaged 20.4 PPG in those five postseason outings, while grabbing 7.8 RPG with an 81.8% mark from the charity stripe. Abmas was held to 11 points and four assists with no rebounds in the first meeting with Arkansas. He had a double-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot.


Justin Smith has been a one-man wrecking crew in the postseason for Arkansas, going for 21.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.8 SPG and 1.3 BPG in his four games. Four players are good for 11.0 PPG or more, with Moses Moody as a nice secondary option with 15.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG.

In that previous meeting with ORU, Smith and Desi Sills each recorded double-doubles. Smith had a team-high 22 points with 17 rebounds and a blocked shot, while Sills went for 16 and 10, while also recording a swat. Smith will be a force to be reckoned with again in this one, while Sills is a depth player who was getting extended minutes at the time.

Oral Roberts is just the second No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. (AP)

Head-to-Head - Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas

ORU and Arkansas are practically neighbors, with Tulsa and Fayetteville separated by a mere 114 miles. Despite that, they have met infrequently on the hardwood over the years. The Razorbacks won the earlier meeting on Dec. 20 by an 87-76 score, and they won 104-69 on Dec. 19, 2017 in the previous meeting. Prior to those two meetings they hadn't played since Dec. 1, 2007, a 62-51 win by the Hogs, also in Fayetteville.