NCAA Tournament Picks: Wofford vs. Arkansas

Darin Zank

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 11:30 AM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2015 11:30 AM GMT

Arkansas is a solid favorite for its opening-round NCAA tournament date with Wofford Thursday night in Jacksonville, but the Hogs have a problem; they're a five seed. And we all know how cursed five seeds have been in opening-round match-ups as of late.

Hogs-Terriers Betting Odds
The NCAA Basketball odds we surveyed opened this game with Arkansas favored by seven points, the total posted at 137.5. Many shops then added a hook to the Hogs in the early betting.

Going by Sagarin's predictor ratings Arkansas should be favored by 8.5 points for this game.

Those who believe Wofford might live up to its role as the 12-seed spoiler could bet the Terriers at +290 on the moneyline at Pinnacle.

 

Hogs-Terriers: Another 12-Seed Surprise?
Fifth-seeded Arkansas has won 10 of its last 13 games, and two of the losses in that span came against the best team in the country. The Hogs finished second in the SEC at 13-5, then made it to the conference tournament championship game, where they lost to Kentucky for the second time in the last two weeks.

Nonetheless, at 26-8 overall Arkansas is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.

The Hogs own victories this season over SMU (the dual champ in the AAC), Dayton, Ole Miss and two over Georgia, while taking losses against Iowa State, Ole Miss, LSU and two to top-ranked UK. On the whole Arkansas is 5-5 both SU and ATS vs. teams that made the Big Dance this season.

On the underdog side of this bout Wofford comes into this tournament having won eight games in a row, and 15 of its last 16. The Terriers won the Southern Conference regular-season title, going 16-2, then won the conference tournament, holding off long-shot Furman in the championship game 67-64.

So 12th-seeded Wofford is Dancing for the fourth time in the last six seasons.

The 28-6 Terriers are also 11-5 ATS over their last 16 games.

Wofford's best victory this season is probably its 55-54 upset of North Carolina State back in December. With losses against the likes of West Virginia and Duke; the Terriers are 1-2 both SU and ATS against teams that made the tournament this season.

Last March Wofford lost its opening-round NCAA game to Michigan 57-40, missing the cover at +15.

 

Hogs-Terriers Betting Trends
Arkansas is just 1-6 both SU and ATS in its last seven NCAA tournament games.

No. 12 seeds have beaten No. 5 seeds outright in six of the last eight meetings, covering the last two NCAA tournaments. No. 12's are also 10-5-1 ATS against No. 5's over the last four tournaments.

Wofford is trending toward the OVERS this season by a 17-8 margin, even though Terriers games are only averaging 126 points.

Arkansas is 18-14 on the totals, as Hogs games are averaging 148 points.

 

Hogs-Terriers Free Pick
Wofford is a chic NCAA Tournament pick to click in the early tournament bracket hub-bub, mainly because of the 5-vs.-12 thing, but Arkansas is the better team, more battle-tested, and almost a bargain on the betting line. We'll fade the 12 seed in this spot, and give the points with the Hogs as we expect them to move forward to the second round and meet the winner of Harvard vs. UNC.

Free NCAA Tournament Pick: Arkansas -7.5 at Pinnacle

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