The 2022 NCAA Basketball Championship goes on with the Sweet 16 matchups Thursday, March 24, so we’re taking a closer look at the West Region showdown from Chase Center in San Francisco, California, to get you the best Arkansas vs. Gonzaga betting pick and odds.
The No. 4 Razorbacks meet the No.1 Bulldogs for the first time since 2013 when Gonzaga beat Arkansas 91-81. According to GT Bets Sportsbook, the Zags are firm 9.5-point favorites this time around, while the totals are listed at 155.0 points.
Arkansas shoots for its third straight W
The Arkansas Razorbacks (27-8; 20-14-1 ATS) exited the SEC Championship Tournament in the semifinals, suffering an 82-64 defeat to Texas A&M as 5.5-point favorites. They bounced back with a 75-71 victory over Vermont in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, while the second round saw Arkansas beat New Mexico State 53-48.
The Razorbacks put on a strong defensive performance against the Aggies, holding their rivals to 34.0% shooting from the field while forcing 19 turnovers. On the other side of the ball, Arkansas struggled mightily, making only 27.5% of its field goals and 18.8% of its 3-pointers.
Senior guard JD Notae leads the charge for the Razorbacks, averaging 18.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per contest. Arkansas tallies 109.9 points per 100 possessions (54th in the nation) and yields 91.2 in a return (14th).
Gonzaga barely survived the second round
The Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-3; 15-15-1 ATS) easily beat San Francisco 81-71 and Saint Mary’s 82-69 to win the West Coast Conference Championship Tournament. They trounced Georgia State 93-72 in the first round of March Madness, but the second-round clash against Memphis brought a lot of drama.
Gonzaga trailed the Tigers by huge ten points at halftime, but Drew Timme stepped up and dropped 21 points on Memphis in the second half. He finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists, while Andrew Nembhard posted 23 points and five dimes.
The Zags boast the highest offensive rating in the country, tallying 122.2 points per 100 possessions. On the other side of the ball, Gonzaga ranks ninth in the nation, surrendering 89.9 points per 100 possessions. Junior forward Drew Timme leads the way for the Bulldogs with 18.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while freshman center Chet Holmgren adds 14.2 points and 9.8 boards a night.
- 14-5-1 ATS in the last 20 games overall
- 4-1 ATS in the last five outings as underdogs
- 1-4 ATS in the last five games overall
- 1-4 ATS in the last five outings as favorites
Arkansas vs. Gonzaga Pick
Both Gonzaga and Arkansas love to play at a fast pace, so I think the Razorbacks will be able to keep it close. Of course, Arkansas needs to bring its best defense and stays aggressive for all 40 minutes. The Razorbacks lack the height to compete with the Zags, but they should be able to play good defense in transition, which is key against this Gonzaga team.
Also, the Razorbacks will have to find a way to the free-throw line. Arkansas leads the nation in free throws made per game (17.5) and ranks 34th in free-throw percentage (75.9%).
Pick: Take Arkansas +9.5 at -110
While the Zags record 72.5 possessions per 40 minutes (6th in the nation), the Razorbacks tally 70.7 (28th). Hereof, we should see some up-tempo basketball, but Arkansas and Gonzaga could easily fail to combine for more than 155 points.
As I’ve mentioned, the Razorbacks have to bring their best D if they want to stand any chance of upsetting the odds. Their offense will certainly struggle in this matchup. Only one of the Razorbacks’ last 11 games has seen more than 155 points on the scoreboard.
Pick: Go under 155.0 points at -110