Last year during the first round of the NCAA Tournament, a relatively slow and plodding Colgate basketball team raced out to an 18-point lead on Arkansas at halftime. Potential upset alarms flashed cardinal red across the nation and it appeared the Razorbacks were in serious trouble.
But things returned to form in the second half, as most expected they would. Arkansas imposed its superior size, strength and athleticism, Colgate lost its shooting touch and the Razorbacks roared back. In that case, Arkansas won, but it wouldn’t have been unheard of given the tournament’s fickleness had Colgate managed to eke out a close win instead.
Regardless, onlookers felt there was no way that Colgate would keep it up in the second half and rout the Razorbacks going away. That kind of blowout involving an underdog No. 14 and No. 3 seed is very rare. It’s one thing for David to topple Goliath with a few well-placed slingshot stones, but it’s entirely different thing for David to hit the ‘roids, get obscenely jacked and go crush both of Goliath’s hands in an arm-wrestling contest.
The latter, it turns out, is essentially what Odd Shark predicts that No. 13-seed Vermont will do to No. 4-seed Arkansas tonight.
The sports betting news and wagering site has been known to throw out some real doozies when it comes to Razorback sports in the past. Consider that in 2019 Oddshark predicted FCS Portland State would come to Arkansas and beat the Razorbacks in the season opener.
Granted, Arkansas only won that game 20-13. And, OK, in hindsight we know that Chad Morris was not destined to improve off his 2-10 season the year before. But still, it doesn’t matter what SEC team in what down cycle you’re talking about, to predict a loss at home in the season opener against an FCS opponent takes some serious nerves.
An Arkansas vs Vermont Prediction to Write Home About
Odds Shark, like so many other outlets and analysts such as those in the middle of the sports gambling and betting world at new online casinos, is predicting Vermont to spring the upset. Their drunken number-punchers are the first, however, I have seen to predict a rout in Vermont’s favor.
Just look at this ridiculousness:
A 22-point win?
Against a team that is a 4.5 point favorite?
This has to be a joke.
You have to wonder if the inebriated “analysts” at Odds Shark are doing this simply to stir up some outrage and get free marketing out of the hubbub. It’s almost as if an intoxicated NBA expert staggered out onto a broadcasting floor and announced that cellar dweller Orlando Magic were the NBA title favorite according to top NBA odds by other pundits. Sure, maybe, but this is not the kind of attention you want if you’re trying to come off as a professional, well-informed wagering site.
Plenty of commentators with much closer ties to both the Vermont and Arkansas basketball programs expect a closer game. “I think the more fast-paced game favors Arkansas, just because there’s a lot more athleticism in the SEC. So Arkansas is a number 28 in tempo and Vermont’s in the 200s,” Barstool’s Jake Marsh, former play-by-play man for Vermont basketball, told 5News’ Jonathan Acosta.
“So I’d assume Coach Muss is going to want his guys to speed things up. However, you speed things up, maybe it’s little more difficult to get in your defensive positioning, which is what Arkansas has been best at this year. So it’ll be fascinating how he tries to balance that out, but he’s one of the best coaches in the country, so I think he’s thinking about that right now.”
More Insight into Arkansas vs Vermont
“I think they’re very similar structure to these teams, Coach Musselman and Coach Becker obviously have done a lot on their coaching resumes, but that’s why I think it’s such a fascinating matchup,” Marsh added. “Because you look on paper, yes, Jaylin Williams is an incredible player.”
Vermont forward “Ryan Davis, I think can hang with him. Ben Shungu [JD Notae’s counterpart]… took another big jump this season. I think the reason Vermont schedules high-major games at Providence and Maryland this year, they’ve played Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville before these last few years. These guys have experience against the high-major teams. So I think it’ll be a good one.”
“I could see it going two ways. If it becomes a higher scoring game, I think it favors Vermont just because of the way they’ve been shooting. But if it’s in the 50s, Arkansas’s defense has been tremendous. The number 16 in the country defensively entering the tournament. Yes, the offense has kind of stolen the show for Vermont this season, but they have a pretty darn good defense as well.”
For what it’s worth, Marsh is going with Vermont to win. But definitely not in a rout.
Razorback fans aren’t going to like that, but they should be able to appreciate this hilarious interview with Eric Musselman from the Barstool gang:
See our latest on Arkansas vs Vermont here: