Free Picks: Baylor Looks To Prey On The Wounded Wildcats

Josh Saslove
Josh Saslove
College Basketball Free Picks
Free Picks: Baylor Looks To Prey On The Wounded Wildcats
Baylor Bears vs Villanova Wildcats, NCAAB, Hinkle Fieldhouse

The Villanova Wildcats somehow have managed to get to the Sweet Sixteen despite losing their star point guard Collin Gillispe. However, Nova enters its third game of the NCAA Tournament as underdogs and will need a gargantuan effort to overcome the behemoth that is the Baylor Bears.

Baylor The Heavyweight

Dominant all season, Baylor entered the tournament with some doubters after losing 2 games down the stretch to Kansas and Oklahoma State, but the Bears have quieted most pundits after roaring through Hartford and Wisconsin. Now with their toughest test of the Tournament staring them down, Baylor understands that it is time to lock in. 6-1 in Quad 1A games and 8-2 in Quad 1 games these Bears are battle tested. Their relentless offensive rebounding allows them the opportunity for kickouts to wide-open three point shooters, who seldomly miss.

Baylor is the best three-point shooting team in the country at 41.5% and they get a prime match-up against a Wildcat team who has struggled to guard the perimeter this season. Villanova has held their opponents to 35% from three this season, which is 258th in the country. Nova’s defensive rebounding has also started to show cracks lately, and Baylor’s gameplan of crashing the glass could break Villanova’s back.

NCAAB odds have Baylor’s over set at 73.5 points and that is far too low. One of my free picks is Baylor’s over on points (-116 at Bet10). Baylor has scored 74 or more points in all but three games this season. Villanova’s slow tempo will likely keep Baylor from eating into the 80s, however the Bears have already proven they make slow tempoed teams uncomfortable. Wisconsin, who plays notoriously slow, was overwhelmed by Baylor’s ball pressure, which caused 14 turnovers. Villanova turns it over the least in the country, but now without Gillispie I am confident that Baylor can break Nova’s point and force turnovers.

In a Q1-A game without Collin Gillispie against a #1 seed I expect Villanova’s recent run of success to come tumbling down, similarly to their Big East losses to inferior Providence and Georgetown teams. Now playing a far better opponent, Villanova will simply be outclassed. With the point spread sitting at 7.5, I am comfortable taking the Bears as I see them winning this game by double digits. My BetPicks best bet is Baylor -7.5.


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  • Baylor is 16-10-0 ATS as a favourite this season
  • The over has cashed in 16 of Baylor’s 26 games this season
  • Villanova is 13-10-1 ATS this season, this is their first game as an underdog this season
  • The over has cashed in 13 of Villanova’s 24 games this season

Josh Saslove here, I am a passionate sports fan and have been consumed by sports for as long as I can remember. I have been a sports bettor for the past 4 years, starting out with betting on college basketball parlays. I currently write pieces for BetPicks, but have my own blog space. I am an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Raptors, Kansas City Chiefs and Toronto Blue Jays, so I know what it's like to cheer for the underdog. The 2017 ECF run by the Ottawa Senators and the Raptors 2019 NBA title are probably my fondest memories as a fan, as well of course the Chiefs Super Bowl win in 2020. I am also a big music fan and have been called Mac Miller by strangers on several occasions.