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FutureStarrKansas Vs Arkansas Betting Trends For 2023
Kansas and Arkansas will square off in the 2023 NCAA Tournament First Round. This matchup has some intriguing betting trends, so let's take a closer look.
The Razorbacks have a good shot at winning this game and covering, but KU appears to be the superior team on paper.
Kansas may have won the Big 12 this season, but Arkansas is a superior team and should be favorites to win Wednesday's Liberty Bowl. Both sides share many similarities; however, Arkansas also has some key holes which Kansas can exploit, making this game one that promises plenty of intrigue among fans.
Arkansas has plenty of reasons to be proud, but their talent is undeniable. Head coach Eric Musselman boasts an array of impressive players, including three McDonald's All-Americans and a talented group of seniors who have been leaders throughout the season. There's no denying why Arkansas fans should take note: their success speaks for itself!
Though they finished with a 6-6 record, the Hogs still finished second in the SEC standings behind Texas A&M and made it to the Elite Eight for the third time in four seasons under Musselman's guidance. In this round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, top-seeded Kansas will be their opponent.
The Jayhawks have been an impressive offense this year and will look to continue that success against an Arkansas defense that has been lacking all season. This season, Arkansas gave up 5.9 yards per rushing play to FBS opponents which would have averaged 5.4 yards against an average unit; I predict Kansas can take advantage of their depleted unit and capitalize on it.
Jalon Daniels has been an impressive quarterback this year, and I predict he can lead the Jayhawks to victory against the Razorbacks. He's a gifted runner and is ranked as a top-20 passer by PFF this season.
It will be difficult for the Jayhawks to stop Jefferson from running the ball, but I believe they can contain his carries and force him into more passing situations than usual. If Kansas can do that, then they should have control of the game and move on to the next round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
The Razorbacks' defense will be missing starting linebacker Drew Sanders, who was an absolute monster on the edge this season. Additionally, defensive backs Bumper Pool and Myles Slusher have both chosen not to participate. That leaves them depending on receivers and running game production which has been decent this year in order to score enough points.
Kansas had a better record than Arkansas this season, yet the Razorbacks are expected to win on Wednesday in the Liberty Bowl. That may be true despite losing nearly 20 players through transfers, but it's not an ideal situation for a team playing its first bowl game since 2008.
Kansas' superior running attack has been a key factor in their victory over Arkansas this season; they averaged 243 yards per game this year, which far outpaces their opponents' 208 yard per game average.
Kansas University was third in the Big 12 for total offense (498.5 yards per game), behind only Oklahoma and Texas. Their star running back Devin Neal leads the nation in rushing touchdowns and ranks among the top 15 nationally for all-purpose yards this year.
The Jayhawks boast an impressive passing attack, led by quarterback Jalon Daniels. This season he completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 1,470 yards and 13 touchdowns while also running for 404 yards on the ground to earn All-Big 12 second team recognition.
However, the Jayhawks' defense is not as impressive as their offensive numbers would indicate; they allowed 5.3 yards per play this season, which is worse than their opponents' average of 6.9 yppl. Furthermore, Kansas City has averaged 6.3 penalties per game this year which is higher than their opponents' average of 5.8 flags.
The Jayhawks boast plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but their defense has the edge against Arkansas. Not only can they score big points against an opponent's average offense, but their veteran defense has helped them win in past matches as well. While they must avoid mistakes on offense and apply more pressure to their quarterback, this team could potentially win its first bowl game in a decade.
Arkansas entered the season ranked 10th in the preseason AP poll. Unfortunately, two key injuries early in the season prevented them from maintaining their top-10 position.
Illinois started the season strong with victories over UCLA and Texas, but it's become harder to sustain their high level of play lately. They just suffered a double overtime loss to Michigan.
Last year's Fighting Illini team, including All-Americans Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, lost a lot of talent. Now they must resurrect their success against an impressive Arkansas squad featuring several promising young players.
Arkansas may boast impressive athleticism, but it also has some notable weaknesses - particularly at the rim. It ranks 216th in points per possession (PPP) at this area while Illinois is more efficient but doesn't quite reach its potential when the ball is put into the basket.
Arkansas has a tendency to blow late leads this season, which poses a major concern for this matchup. In seven games this season, Arkansas has failed to hold onto major leads of at least 10 points in the second half.
One area where Arkansas could gain an edge is its defense. Although they rank 134th in defensive turnover rate, their unit isn't nearly as successful at creating transition points as Illinois does.
On the other hand, Nick Smith Jr. has been playing well since returning from injury in mid-February. This season he's averaging 19.5 points per game and his shooting percentage has improved to 34.1 percent from 32.4 percent this past month.
Arkansas is a better defensive team than Illinois and should have the edge in this matchup due to their extensive tournament experience. The Razorbacks have played eight NCAA Tournament games over the past two years, with Devo Davis having played in every one of those games. With such depth, Arkansas should be well-prepared for anything this weekend!
Arkansas is the superior team in this matchup for several reasons. They boast more offensive consistency than Illinois and boast some elite NBA talent on their roster. But most importantly, Arkansas can keep the ball out of the paint and away from the rim, something Illinois simply can't seem to do.
It's especially essential against teams like Arkansas that like to move the ball quickly on the court. Their guards and wings tend to take quick shots, but they also lack skill at getting the ball into the paint.
The Hogs have a tendency to give up late leads, which has proved more costly than expected this season. After rallying from significant deficits to take control of games late, they often see those advantages evaporate in the second half.
Illinois will need to play hard and use their skill and experience for an edge on defense against teams like Arkansas. While Illinois doesn't boast the same NBA talent that Arkansas does, they do possess a solid core of upperclassmen that gives them an advantage in this matchup.
Terrence Shannon Jr and Coleman Hawkins, who have both played in multiple NCAA Tournament games, will be ready to demonstrate why they're so talented when the Tigers take on Arkansas on Thursday afternoon.
Arkansas' top player is Ricky Council IV, who leads the team in scoring with 15.9 points per game. Additionally, he's an excellent shot-blocker and defensive player - making this a difficult challenge for Illinois to handle.
Illinois' top player is Baylor transfer Matthew Mayer, a third team All-Big Ten selection. A prolific scorer, Mayer can rely on his teammates for big scores when needed.
He's averaged 19.5 points over his last six games and hit 43% of his three-point attempts during that span, making him an excellent option to start for the Illini even if he isn't quite at Smith's level yet.