The Baylor Bears will be taking on the New Mexico State Aggies in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon. The game is scheduled for a 12:40 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on truTV. The college basketball odds for the game have the Bears listed as a huge favorite to pick up the win.
College Basketball OddsBaylor -12.5Total: 134 points
Baylor was the No. 1 team at one point this season, but they have to settle for a three-seed here in the NCAA Tournament. That’s tied for the best mark in team history though, and there has been some mixed results for the Bears in the previous four instances where they drew a three-seed. In 2015 and 2016 the Bears were bounced in the opening round; but in 2010 and 2012 they made runs to the Elite 8. It’s been feast or famine for the Bears with this No. 3 spot and they are looking to avoid a third consecutive season of being knocked out on the opening day.
New Mexico State is led by three guys that average double figures, a fourth puts up 9.9 and 8.5 rebounds as Jemerrio Jones played solid at both ends of the floor. Ian Baker is the team’s leading scorer at 16.6 points per game, on average the Aggies post 79 per contest.
The defense could be the difference here. New Mexico State allows just over 67 points per game but they have not played near the schedule Baylor has. The Bears yield just 62.7 per contest, which is 16th best in the country.
Johnathan Motley leads the team at 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He should be the best player on the floor and Baylor needs him to play like it. Baylor ranks inside the Top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency numbers and that’s key as New Mexico State is nowhere near those numbers. But the Aggies will look to take advantage of Baylor’s recent struggles and their inability to get out of the first round as a three seed each of the last two years.
Baylor wins, but it won’t be a blowout.
Free Pick: New Mexico State
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A historically great offense Vs. an overrated team? handicapped by Pro Bettor Brad Powers - with Steve Fezzik from the Pregame.com Studios in Las Vegas. Get his NCAA College Basketball Free Pick: Oklahoma St. Vs. Michigan
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