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Pick on the spread for Arkansas-Kansas on March 18

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Saturday’s college basketball matchup between the Arkansas Razorbacks and Kansas Jayhawks.

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Howard vs Kansas Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas Jayhawks quest for back-to-back National Championships continues on Saturday as the team faces the eight-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks with uncertainty about who will be on the sidelines.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Kansas Jayhawks (-3.5, 143.5)

In Kansas’ first round win against Howard, the team was without Bill Self on the sidelines and his status for Saturday is uncertain as he is recovering from a heart procedure that prevented him from being with the team during the Big XII Tournament as well.

While that is a concern for Kansas, they have proven they can have success in the interim as they made the final game of the Big XII Tournament and blew out Howard 96-68 to begin the NCAA Tournament.

Even with playing a round-robin style conferences schedule in the toughest conference in America and playing all their recent games away from home with Bill Self dealing with health concerns, Kansas enters Saturday ranked 13th in the country in points allowed per possession in games away from home, actually allowing 0.4 points fewer per 100 possessions when away from home.

Overall, Arkansas has allowed fewer points per possession than Kansas, ranked 25th in the country overall in points allowed per possession while Kansas is 38th, but they allow 13 more points per 100 possessions in games played away from home and are allowing 5.9 points more per 100 possessions than Kansas when away from home.

The Razorbacks also have not had the ability to get points along the perimeter this season, entering the weekend 305th in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage at 31.6%.

With Kansas getting back 6-foot-6 guard Kevin McCullar in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, who is averaging 10.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, to give Kansas two players on the floor that average more than seven rebounds per game, it lends the Jayhawks an edge on the boards as Arkansas does not have a player averaging more than 5.6 rebounds per game.

Even with Bill Self’s status uncertain for Saturday and the rest of the NCAA Tournament, the team’s defense has travelled well and Kansas has been able to pick up wins while he recovers, and will do so again on Saturday.

The Play: Kansas -3.5

Get Peterson’s spread and total lines for every game on the college basketball board.

Check out the DraftKings college basketball betting splits with public money and betting percentages.