Missouri vs. Arkansas odds
The Arkansas Razorbacks host the Missouri Tigers on Wednesday night in an SEC game early in the conference schedule.
Can Missouri stay hot and win its fourth straight contest against a potential championship team? Or will Arkansas impose its will on home soil after a devastating loss to LSU?
After a loss to Kansas made many think this Missouri team might not be the real deal, the Tigers responded with three of Mizzo’s most impressive wins in recent memory.
Mizu’s victory over UCF was preceded by Mizu’s most recent two victories over Illinois and Kentucky and there was no doubt. The coaching and roster reform that Dennis Gates has done has a lot to do with transformation. But probably the biggest part of the credit goes to a Missouri mainstay: Kobe Brown.
In an era where many players hit the gate at the first sign of adversity, Brown is a welcome change. He fell on hard times in Missouri, enduring long years and rosters that simply didn’t help complement his talents.
This year, teammates like D’Moi Hodge, Nick Honor, and DeAndre Gholston have led a backcourt that helps take the defensive attention away from the Browns. He converted those extra chances into nearly 16 points and 3 assists per game.
Missouri’s defensive weaknesses are more likely to be tested against Arkansas than in recent games. No, this is not a mockery of talent on the Illini or Kentucky rosters. Missouri was simply better in those games and played with confidence, being ahead the entire time.
The confidence that gave them the lead in those games allowed Missouri to play more freely and on their terms. A hostile environment in Fayetteville, Arkansas, would make the prospect of him taking command very unlikely.
KenPom ranks Missouri’s scoring ability in the top five in the nation. The Tigers play at an incredible pace, which will be fine with Arkansas. Ranked 149th in the Defensive Efficiency Ranking, the Tigers defense still leaves a lot to be desired. Expect Razorbacks to benefit.
In a game that was calling for his full energy and attention, it’s a shame Trayvon Brazile watched this game from a chair. Brazil is a talented forward who moved southwest from Columbia to Fayetteville to join Eric Musselman’s team.
Although Brazile was not on board with Mizzou’s new coach, he could have played a key role in Arkansas’ effort to defeat his former team. The Brazilian averaged nearly 12 points per game in the early part of the season off the bench, and the numbers have more chances to take on the former Missouri Tigers in the coming years once healthy.
The brightest spot on Musselman’s team early on was Wichita’s move to Ricky Council. The 6-foot-6 wing averaged nearly 18 points per game while shooting 49% from the field. Perhaps most importantly, his defensive power has thrived in the Arkansas system. His ability to create turnovers, which often lead to a transitional offense, was key in early wins over San Diego State and Oklahoma State.
Musselman’s recruiting ability was on full display during his tenure at Arkansas as well. This year, award freshmen Anthony Black and Jordan Walsh have been trusted with key roles in the Razorbacks’ rotation. Both struggled noticeably in their first collegiate road test in Baton Rouge a week ago.
New students often struggle in such situations. Now, after coming home with a full week of practice, refocusing, and anticipation, Black and Walsh have the opportunity to get back on the Muss Bus.
Missouri vs. Arkansas Bet Beck
The home crowd’s energy and sense of urgency should get the Razorbacks’ full attention from the edge. Missouri is much more disciplined and improved than recent versions of the Tigers have been. They’re perfectly able to hang aggressively and keep that margin within single digits at the end.
Instead of putting a full 8.5, I’d rather put a 4.5 in the first half and hope Arkansas comes in fully focused.
pluck or pluck: Arkansas First Half -4.5
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