Arkansas guard JD Notae (1) drives past Mercer guard Shawn Walker Jr. (25) to score during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday Nov. 9, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
The Arkansas Razorbacks aim for a second straight win to open the season as they host the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs as heavy favorites
Arkansas is coming off a 74-61 season-opening win over the Mercer Bears, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs aim to rebound from a disappointing 64-58 loss to UNLV
Read on for all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday afternoon’s matchup at Bud Walton Arena
The Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) will be looking to open their schedule with back-to-back home victories when they entertain the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs on Saturday as 20.5-point favorites.
Tip off is set for 3:00 pm ET at the home of the Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena.
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs vs Arkansas Razorbacks Odds
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs
Ov 142.5 (-110)
Un 142.5 (-110)
Odds as of November 12th at BetMGM.
Runnin’ Bulldogs vs Razorbacks Betting Trends
Saturday afternoon’s clash between these two teams marks just their second all-time meeting, and their first since November 2004 when Arkansas posted a 79-63 victory on home court.
More recently, the Runnin’ Bulldogs are coming off a disappointing 2020/2021 campaign, during which they compiled an 11-15 overall straight record, including a 10-10 SU mark in conference play that forced them to settle for a share of fifth place in the Big South Conference standings.
The squad has also been a massive disappointment when facing opponents perched among the AP Top 25, losing 15 straight since 2007 by an average margin of 28.7 points.
The Razorbacks enjoy an impressive 15-game SU win streak in games played in November, while covering the spread on 11 occasions. They also enjoy an epic 27-game SU win streak while pegged as double-digit favorites, but have proven to be a disappointment to sports bettors while going winless ATS in their past three, including Tuesday’s 74-61 season-opening win over Mercer as 19-point chalk.
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Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs Outlook
Fresh off their worst campaign since 2017/2018, the Runnin’ Bulldogs hit the floor on Saturday afternoon still searching for their first win of the season. The Bulldogs dropped a 64-58 decision on the road to UNLV in Wednesday’s season opener, but carried over their strong performance at the sportsbooks that marked last season’s home stretch by covering as 9.5-point underdogs.
UNLV survived a scare from Gardner-Webb, 64-58.
G-Webb had four consecutive free throws, trailing by three, after a technical foul. Bulldogs were only able to convert two of four, and UNLV finally put the game away for good. #MWC #BigSouth
— Rocco Miller (@RoccoMiller8) November 11, 2021
D’Maurian Williams led the attack in Tuesday’s defeat, scoring 21 points while adding 10 rebounds. The sophomore guard enjoyed a promising collegiate debit last season, scoring 10.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. And following the departure of last season’s leading scorer Jaheam Cornwall, who has transferred to Penn State for his senior,
Players like Williams and junior guard Lance Terry will be looked to take on greater leadership roles this time around, both on and off the court.
Arkansas Razorbacks Outlook
After racking up an impressive 25-7 SU record, and closing last season with a sparkling advancing to the Elite Eight at the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a quarter-century, the Razorbacks return to action amid high expectations. The seventh highest scoring team in the nation last season, Arkansas opened the campaign listed at No. 14 in the AP Top 25.
However, they still have work to do to gain ground in the Kenpom ratings, where they sit at No. 18 overall, and at a lengthy No. 24 in adjusted offence. The Razorbacks also open the season well off the pace as a lengthy +3250 bet in the national championship odds.
Final from Bud Walton: 74-61 Arkansas
Leading Scorer: JD Notae, 30
Leading Rebounder: Au’Diese Toney, 11
Leading Assists: Jaylin Williams, 5
JD Notae with an impressive performance, 30 points and 7 steals. pic.twitter.com/OOvAJdixhF
— All Hog Sports Podcast (@AllHogSportsPod) November 10, 2021
While the Razorbacks earned the win in their season-opening clash with Mercer, it was far from a dominating performance. Arkansas took a 36-28 deficit into the room at halftime, and failed to take the lead for good until there was fewer than 10 minutes left on the clock.
Just four Razorback shooters accounted for all the scoring in Tuesday’s victory. Senior guard JD Notae led the way with his highest scoring performance in three years, dropping 30 points and adding seven steals.
Another senior, Au’Diese Toney tallied a first double-double in his Arkansas debut, contributing 18 points and 11 rebounds, and was singled out as “player of the game” by his teammates in post-game comments. Toney spent the last three season at Pittsburgh, and is coming off a breakthrough campaign in which he 14.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.
The Pick: Runnin’ Bulldogs +20.5 (-110)