(NCAAB) Illinois vs. Arkansas, 03/16/2023 4:30 PM, Score: 63 - 73
Point Spread: 2.00 | -107.00 Illinois (Away)
Result: Loss
Arkansas is the favorite here and is getting the majority of bets. But we’ve actually seen the line go down, which is a signal that Illinois is the sharper side in this 8 vs. 9 matchup.
When the higher seed (in this case, Arkansas) is favored by three points or less, they are on a money-burning 38-62-4 ATS in the NCAA Tournament. Specifically, 8-seeds are on a terrible 4-16-1 ATS run when favored by three or less over 9-seeds (with 14 outright losses).
Also boding well for Illinois is the fact that Big 10 teams are on a 12-1-1 ATS against the SEC in NCAA Tournament games! Overall, Arkansas has never beaten Illinois, losing all five head to head meetings.
Zeroing in on the specific matchup, neither team enters the Tournament in good form. But Illinois is 5-1 ATS as a dog this season and I think they can do a good job at limiting transition, which is what Arkansas wants to do here.
Arkansas is a bit of a mess right now as well. There was an issue with the coaching staff and reporters following the loss in the SEC Tournament where the Razorbacks blew a 13-point halftime lead. I know the Hogs have been to back to back Elite Eights, but this is not a team I want to back right now. 8*