Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor have been the heart and soul of this Oral Roberts team, combining for 59 points in the Golden Eagle's OT win over Ohio State and 54 points in the win over Florida.
The No. 15 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles are the NCAA Tournament’s little train that could, and they’ve chugged their way to a Sweet 16 date with No. 3 Arkansas on Saturday night. It’s the first Sweet 16 appearance for the Razorbacks since 1996 and the first-ever appearance for Oral Roberts. Can the Golden Eagles really continue to defy expectations, or will Arkansas punch their ticket to the Elite Eight?
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks NCAA Tournament Point Spread and Betting
Arkansas is an 11.5-point favourite to win, but the line will likely drop lower as 80 per cent of early bettors are seeing value in Oral Roberts. There hasn’t been much movement on the over/under and it currently sits at 159. Bettors are fairly split on the over/under, which makes sense as the Golden Eagles have eclipsed the total in eight of their last 11 games, while the Razorbacks have gone under in four of their last five. As an upset-machine, Oral Roberts is 6-0 against the spread in their last six games, while Arkansas is 10-2 ATS in their last 12.
These teams actually played in late December. The Golden Eagles led 40-30 at the half before Arkansas stormed back and won 87-76.
(15) Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
There’s no real secret to Oral Roberts’ success in this tournament. Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor have teamed up to lead this team all season and they’ve only elevated their level at the end of the year. Abmas leads the nation in scoring, averaging 24.5 points per game, while Obanor is putting up 19. They combined for 59 points in the Golden Eagle’s OT win over Ohio State and 54 points in the win over Florida. You can’t over look this defence either. Oral Roberts forced 20 turnovers against Florida and held them to 7-of-22 from beyond the arc. This follows a game in which the Golden Eagles forced 16 turnovers against Ohio State and held the Buckeyes to 5-of-23 shooting from downtown. The key for Oral Roberts will be the rebounding game. Arkansas doesn’t miss much from the field, but when they do they can grab boards. The Golden Eagles need to make the Razorbacks uncomfortable and win defensive rebounds.
(3) Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas cruised to an easy 85-68 win over Colgate in the first round before facing Texas Tech as a slim underdog in the Round of 32. That game was as tight as oddsmakers were predicting, but ended in a 68-66 win for the Razorbacks. Justin Smith had a game-high 20 points in the win over Texas Tech, while Devonte Davis and Moses Moody each dropped 15. Arkansas has one of the best offences in the nation. They’re a fast, yet controlled team, and like to crash the glass and win rebounding battles. They average 82.5 points per game (12th in the nation) and 14.8 assists per game. Arkansas is the better team at both ends of the court. They’re not going to miss much from the field and when they do they’re going to win the rebounding battles. Look for this game to stay close in the first half, before the Razorbacks high tempo style becomes too much for Oral Roberts down the stretch.