The No. 4 Arkansas Razorbacks are the lone survivor out of the SEC in the NCAA Tournament and they will test their will against the No. 1 overall seed in the Big Dance, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, in the West Region’s Sweet 16 on Thursday.
The Razorbacks leaned on defense to overcome a wretched effort on offense versus New Mexico State in the Round of 32 but will have to play perfect on both ends of the floor to upset the mighty Bulldogs, who are giving nine points to the Hogs in the March Madness odds.
Check out our free March Madness picks and predictions for Arkansas vs. Gonzaga tonight, March 24.
Arkansas vs Gonzaga Odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Gonzaga opened as low as -8.5 and has been bet up as high as -9.5 with early play laying the favorite. The total hit the board at 154.5 points and has climbed as high as 156.5.
Arkansas vs Gonzaga Predictions
Predictions made on 3/22/2022 at 11:12 am ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
Best March Madness 2022 bonuses
If you’re signing up for a new sportsbook for March Madness, here are two of the best bonuses available:
USA: New users at FanDuel can bet $5 on any March Madness tournament game and win $150 in site credits (30/1 odds) — regardless of if your bet wins or loses! Sign Up Now
Canada: Opt-in and bet a total of $10 on NCAA Tournament markets at BetVictor and receive $100 in free bets! Opt In Now
Arkansas vs Gonzaga game info
• Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
• Date: Thursday, March 24, 2022
• tip-off: 7:09 p.m. ET
Arkansas vs Gonzaga betting preview
Arkansas: No injuries to report.
Gonzaga: Kaden Perry G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 6-2 in the Razorbacks’ last eight NCAA Tournament games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Arkansas vs. Gonzaga.
Arkansas vs Gonzaga picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Razorbacks were putrid versus New Mexico State this weekend, scoring a mere 53 points and shooting a collective 28% from the floor. Luckily, they were able to lock down a one-dimensional Aggies offense by throwing constant double teams at Teddy Allen and pressing NMSU’s other guys to step up.
It’s safe to say, 53 points ain’t gonna cut it against the Zags. Arkansas is very much in pick your poison mode with the Bulldogs boasting five legit scorers in double figures on the season, including a towering frontcourt featuring Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren – a problem on both ends of the floor.
The Razorbacks’ big man Jaylin Williams can only guard one guy at a time and if he matches up with Gonzaga’s freshman standout Holmgren, expect the versatile 7-footer to operate more in the midrange and perimeter, to stretch the Arkansas interior and create space inside . Holmgren is a solid shooter from around the key and will make foes pay for not respecting his range from him.
If the Bulldogs can suck Williams away from the rim, the Zags guards can attack the hoop and Timme can thrive in extra space, going after a defense that has allowed its tournament foes to score 39% of their points in the paint.
The Razorbacks’ rotation is very guard-centric and beyond Williams at 6-foot-10, the next productive forward is Trey Wade at 6-foot-6. Williams had mixed results against bigger SEC schools like Mississippi State and LSU and did find himself in foul trouble in matchups with those taller teams.
Defensively, Gonzaga’s length is a problem for an Arkansas offense that thrives on getting into the paint and shooting high percentage shots, and drawing fouls. New Mexico State had a longer team and limited the Razorbacks to just 31% shooting on 2-point field goals while blocking four shots.
If it wasn’t for them converting NMSU turnovers into transition buckets and scoring 22 of 24 free-throw attempts, the Hogs would not be making the trip to San Francisco.
prediction: Gonzaga -9 (-110)
Along with our March Madness best betting sitescheck out the best bonuses available for the tournament.
The best plan of attack for Arkansas is to push the tempo and try to beat Gonzaga’s bigger defense down the floor before it can get set. That’s what we saw from Duke and Alabama in their wins over the Bulldogs in non-conference play.
The Razorbacks’ biggest speed bump will be stopping the Zags from scoring high percentage looks on the other end and having to start possessions by inbounding the ball.
They will also have a tough time getting any “extra buckets” against the Bulldogs, who are among the best teams at limiting turnovers as well as the premier defensive rebounding team in the country.
That puts pressure on the Hogs to be much improved in the halfcourt. They have plenty of speed but don’t move the ball as well as the Blue Devils or Crimson Tide, who forced Gonzaga to move around in the halfcourt.
The Razorbacks own an assists per field goal made ratio of 0.531 (120th) and have posted assist totals of 12 and 10 against Vermont and NMSU.
To add to those halfcourt woes, they are not a stellar shooting team, making only 30.5% of their shots from deep on the season and connecting on just 10-for-27 from beyond the arc in two NCAA Tournament games.
They won’t stretch the Gonzaga interior and would need Williams to make looks from deep to be really effective, and he’s a dismal 1-for-7 from 3-point range in postseason play.
While the Bulldogs’ tempo and firepower have this Over/Under number on the high end, they’ve played at a slower pace in the postseason. Gonzaga rallied against Memphis’ transition attack in the Round of 32 by shifting that game down a gear in the second half and scoring buckets inside.
Arkansas’ athletic guards will be a tough matchup for the Zag’s backcourt, as they’re long, speedy, and not afraid to be physical. Even when the Razorbacks guards are struggling on offense, they continue to influence the game with their play on the defensive end.
prediction: Under 156 (-110)
The Bulldogs are hefty -500 favorites to win this Sweet 16 game outright, and I do see them pulling this one out.
Whether that’s within the 9-point spread could depend on how they get through the first half. Gonzaga hasn’t been great in the opening 20 minutes so far, owning just a two-point edge over Georgia State at the break in the Round of 64 and going down 41-31 in the first half to Memphis on Saturday.
Bookmakers have installed Gonzaga as a 4.5-point chalk in the initial 20 minutes, as Arkansas is more of a second-half team (average more than five points more in 2H). With confidence that the Zags can at least hold an edge at the break, we’re going back to the well with the double result on the Bulldogs.
Shop around, as this 1H/2H bet is sitting as high as -260 but as low as -200 at spots like Caesars and Bet365.
Pick: Gonzaga double result -200