Last Updated Mar 19, 2022, 8:21 PM

New Mexico State Aggies vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Picks, Predictions, Odds

WAC tournament champion New Mexico State will face Arkansas from the SEC in the Round of 32 after both teams secured tense narrow wins Thursday night. This game is at the KeyBank Center Buffalo, New York, scheduled for 8:40 PM ET, though that time will be adjusted according to the preceding game in Buffalo between Richmond and Providence.   

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Score Prediction

Arkansas 70, New Mexico State 62

Best Bet

Under 139 (-110)

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NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES vs. ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS PREDICTIONS

Buffalo provided two exciting finishes Thursday night as New Mexico State held on for an upset against Connecticut despite being challenged late in the game, while Arkansas narrowly beat Vermont in a very tight finish. New Mexico State will face roughly the same underdog price as they did in the 5/12 pairing in the Round of 64, now facing the West #4 seed Arkansas. It was the first NCAA Tournament win for Chris Jans who led the Aggies to the tournament in 2018 and 2019 as well. 

The Aggies led Connecticut by 14 points early in the second half but the Huskies stormed back and were tied at 52-52 at the five-minute mark and 58-58 at the two-minute mark. The well-traveled Teddy Allen had a legendary performance to lead the Aggies scoring 37 and going 13-13 from the line with several clutch free throws as the only player on the team to attempt a free throw in the 70-63 win. Allen narrowly avoided getting a technical foul at multiple points late in the game with his high-energy showmanship, but it was unquestionably one of the best individual performances of the Round of 64. 

Many pegged Vermont as a serious upset threat to Arkansas as the Razorbacks will be a greater favorite in this round after closing as just a 4.5-point favorite in the Round of 64. Arkansas fell just short of that number with a 75-71 final score, even after bringing the lead to nine points in the final minutes. Stanley Umude led Arkansas with 21 points and he and JD Notae hit late free throws to hold off the upset threat. The back-and-forth result was nothing new for Arkansas under Eric Musselman, with Arkansas trailing by double-digits in three NCAA Tournament wins last season on its way to the Elite Eight.

NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES vs. ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS BETTING ODDS

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NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES vs. ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Saturday, March 19, 2022
  • Matchup: No. 12 vs. No. 4
  • Region: West
  • Venue: KeyBank Center
  • Location: Buffalo, New York
  • TV-Time: TNT - 8:40 p.m. ET

NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 27-6
  • ATS: 18-12
  • O/U: 17-13

The Aggies had wins over Davidson and Washington State away from home in the non-conference season as this group was respected as a serious threat to win a game in the tournament. Now with an opportunity to make a Sweet 16 appearance for the WAC, New Mexico State will likely need a more complete offensive effort as Allen made some very tough shots while being a big part of the Aggies shooting nearly 65 percent in making 11 of 17 3-point shots. 3-point defense is a strength for New Mexico State, holding Connecticut to around the 30 percent season average for the defense, but that type of success on offense can’t be counted on against one of the top defenses in the SEC. 

Turnovers are a red flag for New Mexico State with poor relative rates on both sides of the ball. Forcing turnovers is not a strength for Connecticut who had an 11-8 edge in turnovers against New Mexico State but it is an area where Arkansas can create extra opportunities, fourth in the SEC in creating turnovers and second in the SEC in fewest giveaways. New Mexico State is just a 70 percent free throw shooting team as well, as the perfect performance at the stripe from Thursday will be difficult to replicate as well. 

New Mexico State is capable of slowing down the pace of this game however and breaking up the preferred up-tempo pace for Arkansas. The Aggies are now 10-7 ATS vs. winning teams this season and 5-0 ATS as an underdog. New Mexico State is 7-5 ATS in road games and 5-1 ATS in neutral site games. This Buffalo venue has lost many of the northeastern teams it started with, but presumably a Providence-heavy crowd will turn support to the underdog in this contest. 

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 26-8
  • ATS: 20-13-1
  • O/U: 21-13

Arkansas is 20-13-1 ATS this season, riding a great late season run of success even if they finished just short of the number vs. Vermont. That includes a 7-2 ATS record in road games and a 3-4 ATS record in neutral sites. Arkansas is 11-5-1 ATS vs. winning teams, taking on a quality schedule in the SEC, though the non-conference schedule grades somewhat poorly for the Razorbacks. Arkansas did not defeat a top 50 team in the non-conference season, losing by 22 to Oklahoma in its only opportunity. 

After starting 0-3 in SEC play, Arkansas won 13 of the final 15 SEC games before getting one win in the SEC tournament. Close losses and close wins were common for Arkansas as 19 of 34 games have been decided by 10 or fewer points, with Arkansas producing only two top 100 wins by more than 10 points this season. 

Arkansas is not a quality 3-point shooting team, hitting less than 31 percent on the season. Arkansas still took 21 3-point shots in the Round of 64, hitting at a slightly above average rate making 7-21. Arkansas did lead Vermont substantially in rebounding and free throws in the four-point win and committed only five turnovers, a promising sign trading a low-turnover Vermont team for a higher-turnover New Mexico State team. Despite some wild shots and suspect possessions being common for Arkansas, this team has good experience and has played in a number of tight games on big stages the past two seasons.

New Mexico State has won 1H in eight of its last nine games. (AP)

INSIDE THE STATS - NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES

  • Record: 27-6
  • PS/G: 73.2 (119th)
  • PA/G: 65 (50th)

INSIDE THE STATS - ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

  • Record: 26-8
  • PS/G: 76.9 (42nd)
  • PA/G: 68.6 (165th)

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • NMST: Teddy Allen - F (19.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
  • NMST: Sir'Jabari Rice - G (12.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
  • ARK: J.D. Notae - G (18.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
  • ARK: Stanley Umude - G (12.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg)

NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES vs. ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS BETTING CONCLUSION

Vermont was not able to slow the pace of play considerably against Arkansas with the game reaching 146 points despite a dramatically slower season pace for the Catamounts. Both teams had decent success from 3-point range and there were 30 points scored at the free throw line in a game with only 11 combined turnovers. A path to victory for New Mexico State will likely necessitate keeping the pace down and trying to force Arkansas to fire on long range shots where they struggle. Connecticut shot well on its inside looks against the Aggies but ultimately only attempted 51 field goals in the game. 

New Mexico State is going to see its 3-point success rate and its perfect free throw percentage from the Round of 64 diminish in this game and after having 11 turnovers vs. Connecticut while being bailed out on a few other possessions with tough-shot makes and fouls, the Aggies are likely head to a higher number of empty possessions vs. Arkansas. 71 against Vermont was the highest scoring allowed by Arkansas in any of its four tournament wins the past two years and this game has far more potential to be a lower scoring grind than a shootout. 

MARCH MADNESS PICK RESOURCES

NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES vs. ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS BETTING TRENDS

  • New Mexico State has won 1H in eight of its last nine games.
  • New Mexico State has allowed 72 points or less in 17 of its last 18 games.
  • Arkansas has seen 146 total points scored in seven straight games.
  • New Mexico State has won 22 of its last 26 games.
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