Daily Sports Pick ’Em 1/20 — Expect another high-scoring SEC contest
The Arkansas Razorbacks (10–4, 2–4 SEC) will look to right the ship Wednesday night and get back to their winning ways in a matchup against the Auburn Tigers (8–6, 2–4 SEC).
This will be the second time these teams have met this year after Arkansas took the last matchup 97–85 at Auburn. The spread is listed at Arkansas -4.5 with the total at 154.5.
After a 9–0 start to their season, the Razorbacks have gone cold. Eric Musselman’s squad has dropped four of its last five games, with the four losses coming against their four toughest opponents to date (Missouri, LSU, Tennessee and Alabama). Arkansas is coming off its worst game of the season, particularly on offense, against Alabama. They shot just 33.3 percent from the field and 4 of 17 from downtown.
So far this season, Arkansas has failed to hit 75 points just four times in 14 games. While their offense has been halted a bit in recent games, the Razorbacks still rank 12th nationally in points per game (85.2), ninth in total rebounding and third in field goal attempts. Freshman Moses Moody has lived up to the hype and leads the team with 17.6 points per game.
Auburn has played better basketball of late and is currently sporting a two-game winning streak. The Tigers knocked off a down Kentucky squad in their last matchup and will look for revenge from their December 30 defeat against the Razorbacks. The improvement must come defensively for the Tigers as they currently rank second to last in the SEC in points allowed.
Offensively, Auburn can fill things up. Bruce Pearl’s Tigers have gone over 80 points six times this season and are shooting 56.8 percent from two-point range (22nd in the nation). They are also top-30 in the country in offensive rebounding rate and have received a spark from the arrival of 5-star prospect Sharife Cooper.
The last matchup between these teams saw a lot of points and a lot of threes, and that shouldn’t change this time around. Auburn has the 10th highest 3-point rate in the country (48.5 percent of their shots from deep) while Arkansas is also in the top-100 in that regard. Combine that with the fact that both teams like to play at a high tempo, and this contest has all the makings of another high-scoring game.
- The over is 23–5–1 in Arkansas’ last 29 games
PICK: Over 154.5