2018 March Madness Betting Preview & Prediction: Butler vs. Arkansas

2018 March Madness Prediction: Butler vs. Arkansas

Written by on March 16, 2018

Despite being the higher seed in their first-round opener, tenth-seeded Butler will have to pull off an upset if they want to get past No. 7 Arkansas when the two teams square off in their opening round matchup on Friday. The Bulldogs and Razorbacks are in the same region of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, but unlike a year ago, they’ll be going up against each other. If you want to know the likely outcome of this first round March Madness betting matchup, then let’s check the latest NCAAB odds and some other details around it!

Bulldogs vs. Razorbacks 2018 March Madness Betting Preview & Prediction

  • When: Friday, March 16 at 3:10 PM ET
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI – Game
  • TV: TruTV
  • Radio: TuneIn
  • Live Stream: MM Live
  • March Madness Betting Odds: Butler Bulldogs -2 (Over/Under at 151 points)

Can FSU Overcome Missouri in March Madness Odds on Friday?

Team Records

  • All: Butler Bulldogs 20-13 / Arkansas Razorbacks 23-11
  • Home: Butler Bulldogs 15-4 / Arkansas Razorbacks 17-3
  • Away: Butler Bulldogs 5-9 / Arkansas Razorbacks 6-8
  • ATS: Butler Bulldogs 15-17 / Arkansas Razorbacks 17-16-1
  • Over/Under: Butler Bulldogs 19-13 / Arkansas Razorbacks 18-15-1

Why Consider Betting On Butler at -2?

Why should you consider backing the Bulldogs in this opening round matchup? The best reason to back Butler in this opener is that the Bulldogs are statistically better defensively and look like a team that is well-prepared for March Madness after their tough schedule in the Big East this season. Combine that with the fact that they beat arguably the best team in the nation this season by taking out Villanova 101-93 on Dec. 30 and took, top five ranked Xavier to overtime while also beating nationally ranked Ohio State and it’s easy to see that Butler can beat anyone on any given day. Butler has three double-digit scorers and a flat-out superstar in leading scorer, 6-7 shooting Kelan Martin, a player that led all players in scoring in the Big East this season at 23.6 points per contest. A year ago, Martin averaged 15 points and 6.3 rebounds in the Bulldog’s run to the Sweet 16 as a No. 4 seed before falling to North Carolina. This season, Martin had posted a whopping 19, 20-point games, including four games with 30 or more points. The Bulldogs average 79.1 points per game and allow 72.8 points per game defensively.

Team Statistics

Offense
  • Total Score: 79.12
  • Field Goal Percentage: 47.23
  • Three-Point Percentage: 35.57
  • Free Throw Percentage: 77.05
  • Total Rebounds: 34.00
Defense
  • Total Score: 72.79
  • Field Goal Percentage: 45.02
  • Three-Point Percentage: 37.37
  • Free Throw Percentage: 74.23
  • Total Rebounds: 32.70

Why Consider Betting On Arizona at +2?

Why should you consider backing the Razorbacks in this opening round matchup? Because Arkansas is the better offensive team in this contest and they’ve had some nice wins this season over Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Missouri. The Razorbacks have dropped two of their last four games and had their modest two-game winning streak snapped in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament by losing to runner-up Tennessee 84-66, but they do have a trio of double-digit scorers and a possible NBA performer in senior point guard Jaylen Barford (18.0 ppg), a player that shoots a blistering 43.4 percent from beyond the arc. Jaylen Barford is one of the reasons to consider the Razorbacks as your March Madness Betting Pick. Backcourt mate Daryl Macon averages 16.9 points per game to give the Razorbacks one of the better backcourts in the country. Arkansas also has a nice frontcourt player in 6-11 Argentine freshman center Daniel Gafford (11.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.1 bpg).

Team Statistics

Offense
  • Total Score: 81.09
  • Field Goal Percentage: 47.75
  • Three-Point Percentage: 39.97
  • Free Throw Percentage: 67.69
  • Total Rebounds: 34.76
Defense
  • Total Score: 75.53
  • Field Goal Percentage: 42.81
  • Three-Point Percentage: 35.45
  • Free Throw Percentage: 72.55
  • Total Rebounds: 35.82

Latest March Madness Betting Trends

  • Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • Bulldogs are 3-6 SU in their last 9 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 17 of Butler’s last 25 games
  • Razorbacks are 8-3 SU in their last 11 games

Expert Analysis and Prediction

Tenth-seeded Butler is the favorite in this contest despite being the lower seed against No. 7 Arkansas and I believe that’s the oddsmakers got it right, seeing as how I like the Bulldogs to win outright and cover the chalk. I know Butler has dropped three of their last four games, but for me, Arkansas just hasn’t shown they can play at an elite level for very long. Arkansas has the edge in scoring, but Butler is the slightly better defensive team and they should have the best player on the floor in this contest Kelan Martin, who, no doubt, is a sure-fire NBA performer in the waiting. Butler’s huge win over Villanova earlier this season tells me they can literally play with any team in the nation. Combine that with the fact that the Bulldogs have posted a spectacular 20-5-2 ATS mark in their last 27 NCAA Tournament games and an even more impressive 40-16-2 ATS mark in their last 58 neutral site games and it’s easy to see why Butler is favored and should win. With Arkansas going just 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight-up loss and just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. Big East teams I say back the Butler Bulldogs to win outright as the lower seed, but favorite! March Madness Betting Pick: Butler Bulldogs -2