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Arkansas (19-9) @ #2 Alabama (24-4) – ESPN2
This isn’t going to be a popular pick, but I love this spot for Arkansas. Baring any late season tragedies, the Razorbacks should have an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Like every other team in the country, Arkansas will focus on being at their best come post-season.
Freshman guard Nick Smith Jr. had his coming out party earlier this week against Georgia after returning from injury a few games ago. He finished with 26 points on 9/14 from the field. Smith gives the Razorbacks a much needed shot creator, which is necessary if you’re going to take down Alabama.
There was a ton of drama surrounding the Tide and head coach Nate Oats – centered around star player Brandon Miller. Miller responded with a 40 point outing in an overtime victory at South Carolina. I don’t think the media and this story will have a real affect on Alabama, but you never know.
This game truly will come down to Nick Smith Jr. If he can score, Arkansas will compete & should have zero issues covering 8.5 points.
PICK: Arkansas +8.5 (-110)