- No. 17 Arkansas is a 5.5-point favorite over Vermont in an NCAA Tournament game Thursday
- Vermont has won eight games in a row and 22 of its last 23
- Read below for analysis and a betting prediction
No. 4 seed Arkansas (25-8, 20-13 ATS) is a 5.5-point favorite over No. 13 seed Vermont in a West Region first round NCAA Tournament game at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. on Thursday at 9:20 pm ET. The Razorbacks advanced to the Elite Eight as a No. 3 seed last season.
Vermont (28-5, 19-13 ATS) pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history from this spot, beating Syracuse 60-57 as a No. 13 seed in the first round of the 2005 tourney.
Vermont vs Arkansas Odds
|Vermont Catamounts||+180||+5.5 (-120)||Over 139.5 (-110)|
|Arkansas Razorbacks||-225||-5.5 (-100)||Under 139.5 (-110)|
Odds from BetMGM on March 15.
Arkansas is a 5.5-point favorite over Vermont with the total set at 139.5, on the lower side that Arkansas has seen this season and the higher side for Vermont. The Razorbacks are -225 on the moneyline, meaning they have a 69.2 % implied win probability. Vermont is +180 on the moneyline, meaning it has a 35.7% implied win probability.
Entering the tournament, Arkansas is +1400 in the odds to make the Final Four, just inside the top-20 favorites. Vermont is a +12000 longshot.
Conference All-Stars Collide
Arkansas guard JD Notae (18.4 points, 3.7 assists) and forward Jaylin Williams (10.5 points, 9.6 rebounds) were named to the nine-player All-SEC first team, helping to understand the Razorbacks’ reasonably short +5000 odds to win March Madness.
Senior Notae, who pulled his name from NBA consideration last summer, is second in the SEC with an 18.4 scoring average and first with 2.2 steals. Williams is second in rebounding at 9.6.
Williams, a 6’10 sophomore, was named to the five-man All-Defensive Team after getting 45 steals and 40 blocked shots.
Vermont forward Ryan Davis (17.2 points, 5.7 rebounds) was the America East Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, and guard Ben Shungu (16.2, 4.5) was named to the all-league first team. Both are shooting better than 52 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range.
Catamounts guard Aaron Deloney (7.7 points) was named the AE Sixth Man of the Year.
BetMGM March Madness Promo Code – $1,200 in NCAA Tournament Bonuses
Common Opponents Give a Hint
Arkansas and Vermont have faced one common opponent this season, Northern Iowa, and the teams came away with similar victory margins in very dissimilar games.
The Catamounts won 71-57 at Northern Iowa on Nov. 11 and Arkansas beat the Panthers 93-80 at home on Nov. 17.
Shungu’s 3-pointer pushed Vermont’s lead to 61-48 with 4:16 remaining and the Catamounts coasted home. The Porkers did not lead Northern Iowa for good until a Williams layup with 2:42 left. They put the game away with a late 13-0 run.
Vermont beat three conference champions in the regular season — Colgate, Yale and Northern Iowa — as you consider March Madness betting bonuses.
Vermont Finishes with a Flourish
The Catamounts blew through the America East Tournament even more decisively than they did during their 17-1 regular season, winning all three tournament games by at least 32 points.
They beat NJIT 98-59, Binghamton 74-42 and UMBC 82-43 in the title game, the largest in a Division I conference tournament championship game since 1989.
Congrats Ryan Davis!! Repping vermont strong 💪🏻 https://t.co/A3PKYLFGnO
— DomOnFleek (@DominicCorron) March 15, 2022
The blowouts enabled Vermont to rest Davis, who had 52 points and 15 rebounds in only 62 minutes on the floor in the three games. He missed three mid-season games with back soreness.
It Is Not How You Start …
The Razorbacks shook off an 0-3 conference start to win eight straight league games (nine overall), the first to do that since UCLA in 1981-82). They were 15-3 straight up straight up, 14-3-1 ATS, beating Auburn, Tennessee and Kentucky in that stretch.
Arkansas has seven Quad 1 wins, and nine of its last 10 games were Quad 1s.
Catamounts Have Been Here Before
Vermont was a No. 13 seed in three of its previous eight NCAA Tournament appears, pulling off the biggest win in school history in 2005.
The Catamounts beat No. 4 seed Syracuse 60-57 in overtime in the first round 2005 in Worcester, Mass, when TJ Sorrentine’s 3-pointer with 1:06 remaining gave them a 59-55 lead.
They lost as a 13th seed to Purdue (80-70) in 2017 and Florida State (76-69) in 2019, covering against Florida State.
Arkansas vs Vermont Prediction
Vermont does a lot of things that good teams do. The Catamounts shoot 49.4 percent from the field (fifth in Division I), have a plus-14.6 in scoring margin (also fifth), and have a plus-6.3 scoring margin (22nd). Granted, that comes against relatively weaker foes. Arkansas averages 76 points and the Catamounts have given up 70 only twice, once in regulation.
The best March Madness betting strategy for this game is to take Vermont and the points.
The pick: Vermont +5.5 (-120)
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