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NCAA Elite 8 #4 Arkansas vs #2 Duke Betting Preview

Can Coach K Punch His Ticket?

The Razorbacks seem to have the world against them heading into the Arkansas vs Duke betting matchup. With North Carolina getting a favorable – although dangerous – matchup with #15 seed Saint Peter’s, a win by the Blue Devils on Saturday night would set up a UNC-Duke Final 4 matchup in Mike Krzyzewski’s last season, possibly the most watched college basketball game of all time.

Arkansas can easily play spoiler on Saturday night though (8:49 PM ET, TBS), just like they did in beating #1 overall seed Gonzaga 74-68 on Thursday night to ruin Mark Few’s shot at his first National Championship ever. Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman had no qualms about saying how all of the experts picking Gonzaga motivated his team in the Sweet 16, and he’s likely hearing the same things ahead of the Elite 8.

Does Arkansas Belong?

There are some who would say that the Razorbacks march through the first two games of this tournament were because of the competition. Arkansas beat #13 seed Vermont 75-71 in the opener as -4.5 favorites and then beat #12 seed New Mexico State 53-48 last Saturday as -6.5 favorites. A lot of SEC teams could have had those same results, but the Razorbacks’ 74-68 win over Gonzaga on Thursday night showed that they can compete with anybody.

It’s hard to find a weakness with Arkansas heading into Saturday night’s matchup. Duke has some pretty good size, but the Razorbacks just beat a Gonzaga team with NBA prospects in 6’10” Drew Timme and 7-foot Chet Holmgren. Arkansas forward Jaylin Williams looks like a future NBA-er himself with three straight double-doubles in this tournament, and the back court of JD Notae, Stanley Umude, and Au’Diese Toney may be better than Duke’s guards.

Destiny for Coach K?

Even though North Carolina has a tough matchup against Saint Peter’s who has shocked the world so far as a #15 seed, the Tar Heels will probably punch their ticket to the Final 4 on Sunday. Before one of the best college basketball games of all time goes down, Duke has to fulfill their part with a win on Saturday night. Not saying there are orders from above, but one would have to think that the Blue Devils get nearly every benefit of the doubt from the referees and replay officials in this Arkansas vs Duke betting matchup.

That’s not saying Duke can’t win without nefarious interjection, because this is a really good team. The Blue Devils just won 78-73 against Texas Tech’s #1 defense in the country, after eliminating another March Madness icon Tom Izzo and Michigan State 85-76 last weekend.

Arkansas vs Duke Betting Info

Duke is a -4 point favorite on Saturday night, a fair enough point spread. There are some things to not like about Arkansas such as having to beat a #13 and a #12 seed to get to the Sweet 16, but that victory over #1 overall seed Gonzaga has silenced the Hogs doubters. The Blue Devils got down early to Texas Tech on Thursday, but did not fret and slowly worked their way back before making the game play into their hands. Surprisingly a slight 53% of the public likes Arkansas and the points here.

Arkansas vs Duke Betting Pick

The Razorbacks have the #11 defensive efficiency in the country, but Duke just took down a Texas Tech team that was #1 in that category. The sports Gods could very easily get us this close to a Duke vs. North Carolina Final 4 matchup and then pull out the rug abruptly – but it’s been a rough couple years and we deserve this.

Free Pick: Duke -4

 

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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