College Basketball Preview: Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Vanderbilt Commodores at Arkansas Razorbacks
Tuesday, 1/31/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Vanderbilt -3
Current Betting Line:  Vanderbilt -2.5
Opening Total:  141.5
Current Total:  143.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Vanderbilt Commodores are 19-5 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons

Vanderbilt has won 11 of its last 12 games and is outscoring opponents by an average of 13.0 points during Southeastern Conference play.  The Commodores are coming off a hard-fought 84-77 win over Middle Tennessee State, which provided an atmosphere of an NCAA Tournament contest.  “That felt like a game you would get in the first round in March,” stated Commodores head coach Kevin Stallings.  Junior guard John Jenkins continues to lead all SEC scorers in averaging 20.0 points per game on the season.  Vanderbilt is 19-5 ATS on the road the last two-plus campaigns.

The Commodores lead all conference teams in holding opponents to just 57.0 points per game during SEC play, while limiting them to 36.5 percent shooting from the field.  Vanderbilt has dropped 16 of 25 all-time meetings in this series, posting a 2-5 mark inside Bud Walton Arena.  Vanderbilt did manage to come away with an 89-72 win in its last visit to Arkansas on Feb. 27, 2010, while eight of the last nine meetings in the series have gone “over” the posted total.

Arkansas has split its last four games and will look to bounce back from a hard-fought 72-66 defeat to the Alabama Crimson Tide as 11.5-point road underdogs.  The Razorbacks have tallied a perfect 15-0 home record so far during the 2011-12 campaign, which has been spurred by a defense that’s allowed just 61.3 points per game in those contests.  Forcing turnovers is the name of the game in head coach Mike Anderson’s defense, as opponents have turned the ball over 17.8 times per game when visiting tonight’s venue.  Arkansas is 5-2 ATS as a home underdog of three points or less in its last seven opportunities.

The Razorbacks have shot 45.9 percent from the field in 15 home games this season, while outscoring their opponents by more than 16 points per game.  Arkansas is currently sixth in the SEC standings with a 3-3 record, as the freshman class continues to be a strength of the program.  The four heralded players that make up the group have accounted for 43.6 percent of the team’s scoring during conference action, while grabbing 42.7 percent of the rebounds.

Bettors will likely back the Commodores due to their 17-4 ATS mark on the road after three or more consecutive home games, while the Razorbacks are 1-10 ATS following a spread victory.

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