New Mexico State Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks Pick – NCAA Tournament March 19, 2022

The day is already off to an awesome start as the first game of the day, between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Baylor Bears was fantastic! But it certainly didn’t look like it was going to be an entertaining finish for much of the game, as North Carolina opened up a 25-point lead in the 2nd half in what was looking like the Tar Heel’s second consecutive blowout victory. But the Bears put together a furious run, tying the game up late and sending it into overtime, as they tried to tie the record for the biggest comeback in NCAA tournament history.

The Bears came up just short of history though, as the Heels pulled away in the extra frame to win and advance to the Sweet 16. It is only fitting that on an opening weekend filled with upsets that the first team to make it to the 2nd weekend would be yet another upset, as the 8th seeded Tar Heels locked up their spot in the Sweet 16 by knocking out the 1-seed Bears. If the day’s first day is any indication as to how the rest of the day will play out, we are going to have an action-packed slate of games!

We have won 3 of our first 4 individual point spread bets so far in this tournament, and with a trio of plays today, we are looking to stack even more cash. Even that 1 game that we did lose, we probably shouldn’t have, as USC dominated in the 2nd half of their game against Miami, only to blow a late lead and lose by a bucket when the Hurricanes nailed a couple of free throws with just 3 seconds remaining in the game. Today, we will continue searching for value as we head to the West Regional for the game between 12th ranked New Mexico State and 4th ranked Arkansas!

New Mexico State Aggies (27-6)

The WAC is never a great conference, but even by their normal standards, it was a down year in the Western Athletic Conference this season. So, when the Aggies of New Mexico won the WAC tournament as the 3-seed, not many people took notice. But that was an injustice to how well this team has played this year, as this is a quality basketball team.

New Mexico State didn’t get to play many quality teams in the regular season, but they played a lot of decent teams, and their 27 wins look even more impressive when you see they have a respectable SOS of 128th. A lot of people were surprised when the Aggies upset the UCONN Huskies in the round of 64, but it wasn’t all that hard to see coming, as this team plays well on both sides of the floor, and they were the best team in the WAC all season long.

The one area of concern that I have for New Mexico State is that they don’t always give a consistent effort. This team is clearly talented, we saw that in the win over UCONN on Thursday and we saw in the regular season when they beat Davidson, but they have some hard-to-understand losses on their resume as well. The Aggies had losses to Utah State, New Mexico, Sam Houston State, Utah Valley, and Stephen F Austin in the regular season.

And while those were all bad losses, the late-season loss to 338th ranked Chicago State was mind-numbingly bad, as it cost them a share of the WAC regular season title, and I am actually fairly surprised that they were able to come back from that one, as it easily could have taken all the wind out of their sails and ended their season. Nobody in Las Cruces cares about that loss now though, as the Aggies are playing for a spot in the Sweet 16, and they are ready to shock the world again with a win over Arkansas.

Arkansas Razorbacks (26-8)

The Arkansas Razorbacks are amongst the streakiest teams in the nation this year. They started out the season by winning each of their first 9 games and looked like a team that was ready to win a national title. But then they hit a rough patch that saw them lose 5 out of 6 games, and they fell off most people’s radars. Eric Musselman did an amazing job of getting things moving in the right direction again though, as the Razorbacks finished the 2nd half of the season as one of the hottest teams in the nation.

Any time that you can play in a power conference and string together 14 wins in 15 games, it is going to be impressive. But a closer look at that run has me thinking it is even more impressive, as the Hogs picked up wins over teams like LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, and Kentucky, all elite teams.

We all know about the Kentucky Wildcats laying an egg and losing to St. Peters, but the rest of the SEC has played well, and in a year where everyone was talking about how this is the year of the mid-major and small conferences, the power 6 leagues of the Big 12, ACC, Big 10, Pac-12, Big East, and SEC are a combined 26-11.

There is a reason that these are considered power conferences, and for the most part, we have seen the big boys beat up on the little guys with regularity in this tournament. In my opinion, there were about a dozen teams that had a legit shot of winning the national title at the start of this tournament. That number is shrinking, as we have seen top programs like Baylor, Kentucky, and Iowa already get knocked out, but I see the Razorbacks still firmly in that top tier of teams that could cut down the nets at the Final Four. This team is that good this year.

New Mexico State Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks Betting Odds And Team Statistics

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
New Mexico State Aggies +6.5 (-110) +245 Over 139 (-110)
Arkansas Razorbacks -6.5 (-110) -290 Under 139 (-110)
Team Data New Mexico State Aggies Arkansas Razorbacks
Overall Record 27-6 26-8
ATS Record 18-12 20-13-1
Points Per Game 73.2 76.8
Points Against Per Game 64.9 68.6
Field Goal % 45.7% 43.9%
Three Point % 33.5% 33.7%

New Mexico State Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks Prediction:

We all love watching upsets in the NCAA tournament. For most people, myself included, the upsets are the best part of March Madness, and literally the reason we call it March Madness! But the deeper we get into the tournament, the fewer upsets we see. That’s not to say that we don’t still see upsets after the opening round of 64, we certainly do, but most of the eye-popping upsets tend to happen in that first couple of days of action.

I watched every minute of the Aggie’s upset win over UCONN, and while I never want to take any credit away from New Mexico State, as they got the job done and won the game, I think that win said more about UCONN being overrated, than the Aggies being elite. I was just never a believer in UCONN this season for a myriad of reasons, and neither was the public, as the Aggies were a sexy upset pick in that contest.

But you aren’t seeing nearly as much Aggie love now, as New Mexico has run into a powerhouse team in Arkansas. The Razorbacks played a savage schedule in the 2nd half of the season, and they won nearly every game. I am not going to say that Arkansas was tragically under seeded, but had the Razorbacks been up on the 3-line, I am sure that nobody would have batted an eye. And had the Hogs not lost to a red-hot Texas A&M team in the semifinals of the SEC tournament, they could have crawled all of the way up to the 2 line.

If you wouldn’t be comfortable picking New Mexico State over teams like Duke, Auburn, Tennessee, or Texas Tech, then you shouldn’t be very comfortable picking them over Arkansas either, as this team is on the same level as the rest of those squads. The ‘Backs got pushed hard in their opening round game against Vermont, but I actually think that the Catamounts are a better team than the Aggies, and that game very likely served as a wake-up call for Arkansas.

New Mexico State Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks Betting Trends:

New Mexico State Aggies
  • New Mexico State are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
  • New Mexico State are 16-4 SU in their last 20 games
  • New Mexico State are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games this season
  • New Mexico State are 1-4 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference
  • New Mexico State are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games played in March
Arkansas Razorbacks
  • Arkansas is 14-4-1 ATS in their last 19 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 7 of Arkansas’ last 7 games
  • Arkansas is 16-3 SU in their last 19 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arkansas’ last 5 games this season
  • Arkansas is 8-0 SU in their last 8 games against an opponent in the Western Athletic conference

Arkansas didn’t put Vermont away when they had the chance, and it nearly cost them their season. They aren’t going to make that same mistake tonight, as I think they are going to pressure New Mexico State from the tip and they will spend the majority of the game with a double-digit lead. When I see how consistently the Razorbacks have won by at least 7 points against teams that rate out similarly to New Mexico State, I just don’t think we are going to sweat this line very hard.

I expect Arkansas to come out fast and take an early lead that they never give up, as they coast to the win. The Hogs have a brutal matchup looming in the Sweet 16 against the winner of the Gonzaga/Memphis game, and don’t be shocked if they win that game too, to get back to the Elite Eight for the 2nd consecutive season. I will take Arkansas laying the -6.5 points as the Razorbacks send the Aggies home in a blowout.


New Mexico State Aggies vs Arkansas Razorbacks Pick
Arkansas Razorbacks (-6.5)
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Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL

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