Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
Streaming: SEC Network in the Sports Group or the ESPN/ESPN + Group.
ARKANSAS -11½ -110 over Abilene Christian
5:00 PM EST. Year two of the Eric Musselman era down in Fayetteville looks mighty promising. The Razorbacks lose arguably the best player in the SEC from a season ago in Mason Jones but return Isaiah Joe and add a host of DI transfers and the nation’s 7th best recruiting class. Musselman will be faced with an unfamiliar dilemma: extreme depth. Last year, Musselman said at a press conference that he likes keeping a short rotation, supporting his focus on hitting the transfer wire hard and turning Arkansas into Transfer U of the south. Muss has a plethora of players at his disposal capable of playing meaningful minutes and that’s one thing we like about them when playing a non-conference foe. Every single player will be trying to earn minutes. That’s not a bad place to start.
The Razorbacks did not cover in its last game when they beat Oral Roberts by 11. They were favored by 19½ and now they’re eight points less against Abilene Christian? Why?
The Abilene Christian Wildcats are still a relative newcomer to the Division I ranks, having elevated to that status for the 2013-14 season, but Coach Joe Golding has wasted no time in turning ACU into a Southland powerhouse. This year, the Wildcats are 5-0 Against the Spread, which provides us with this opportunity to move in against them. Golding’s system is predicated on aggressive perimeter defense, constantly ranking highly in defensive turnover rate, and that pressure has likely contributed to opponents’ frigid shooting. That 17.3% rate is entirely unsustainable, though – as is ACU’s own prolific 43.8% clip. The Wildcats are indeed a competitive bunch but they have played three Division II schools. When the Wildcats played #17 Texas Tech, they covered but they only scored 44 points. The Red Raiders shot horribly that game in a 51-44 win and Arkansas is certainly comparable to Texas Tech.
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ARKANSAS -11½ -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)