Vanderbilt Commodores -2.5 @ Arkansas Razorbacks (Total: 142.5)
Arkansas turned some heads last weekend with their surprising win over nationally-ranked Michigan, and apparently the odds makers have noticed as well, as they are just a slim three point underdog against one of the nation’s hottest teams in Vanderbilt. Arkansas has amassed a decent record at 15-6, but at just 3-3 in the SEC it is hard to take the full leap and project them as an NCAA Tournament team.
Vanderbilt has won ten of eleven, with their only loss a one-point overtime loss to Mississippi State. During that stretch they own a 17-point road win over Marquette, a 22-point win over Tennessee and a ten point win over Alabama. They have won nearly every game with relative ease.
Aside from the Michigan win, Arkansas has struggled a bit. They lost to Alabama, they scraped by with a three point win over lowly Auburn and struggled in a loss to Ole Miss. Their overall point margin differential is significantly closer than Vanderbilt’s, and position by position, Vandy holds a significant talent advantage. Aside from the home court edge (which matter a great deal in conference games) this game looks more like a 9 to 10 point line in my numbers.
The biggest separator is the offense/defense splits in their past five games, which have been played against similar opponents. Vandy is +7.6, while Arkansas is -3.3. Their respective FG% differential is also a wide discrepancy. Vandy is +5.5% while Arkansas is -2.3%.
The numbers all point to Vanderbilt and the home court advantage for the Razorbacks isn’t enough to scare me off. Give me Vanderbilt laying just two and a half on the road tonight.