Baylor opens the season as one of the top programs in the country against a team on the opposite end of the spectrum in Mississippi Valley State. Our picks get to the bottom of whether or not the Bears can cover a near 40-point spread in a surefire win.
The 2022-23 College Basketball season is officially here with games tipping off Monday at noon.
One of those games features Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears, who will look to follow up last year’s 27-7 record with another successful campaign. It was the third straight year the Bears won at least 26 games, and expectations are high yet again with a No. 5 ranking in the preseason AP Poll.
Will they get things started with a dominant victory at home over Mississippi Valley State?
Check out our college basketball picks and predictions for the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils and Baylor Bears on Monday, November 7 to find out.
Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor best odds
Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor picks and predictions
It should come as no surprise that the Baylor Bears were selected as the preseason favorite in the Big 12 by the conference’s coaches. Scott Drew’s squad holds the No. 5 ranking in the nation in the preseason poll and expectations are as high as ever for arguably the best team in arguably the best conference in the country.
There will be a lot of new faces on this year’s roster, as only three players who saw meaningful rotation minutes for last year’s NCAA Tournament team return. Adam Flagler is the biggest name of the bunch after leading the team in scoring (13.8 PPG) in 2021-22 and was nominated for the preseason All-Big 12 team. LJ Cryer is another returning scorer who should help the offense gel immediately after averaging 13.5 PPG a year ago despite making only three starts. Langston Love was a five-star in the 2021 cycle who tore his ACL before the season and is expected to play a huge role this time around.
A big reason the Bears’ success is expected to continue this year is the strength of the arriving freshman class. Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year Keyonte George is the highest-rated recruit in program history and has massive expectations to fulfill as a high-level offensive threat. West Virginia transfer Jalen Bridges is a 6-foot-8 forward who brings size, shotmaking, and toughness, while BYU transfer Caleb Lohner is a positionless defender. All in all, this roster is loaded with talent and returns two go-to scorers to pair with a boatload of incoming talent.
This should be a walk in the park against a Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils team that finished with a 2-26 record a year ago. They are ranked 361st out of 363 teams in KenPom’s beginning-of-the-year rankings, and they don’t figure to be competitive in this matchup. New coach George Ivory has a rebuild on his hands, and starting the season with Baylor is a taller task. Expect the Bears to drown the Delta Devils in this opener.
My best bet: Baylor -39 (-112 at BetRivers)
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Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor spread analysis
College basketball odds opened with this spread at Baylor -37.5 at most books before quickly moving to -39. It’s already moved to as wide as -40.5 at some spots, so don’t expect anything below -40 to be available for long.
Mississippi Valley State finished with just a 2-16 record in SWAC play a year ago, with those two wins being its only victories on the season. The SWAC Co-Player of the Year in 1987, Ivory takes over with a lot of rebuilding to do for this Delta Devils program. He has 13 years of head coaching experience under his belt, and his familiarity with the program — both as a player and as an assistant — should be a boost. His focus has been on rebounding and defense, and he brought in a number of JUCO transfers to help this season.
Baylor is no stranger to blowing out inferior competition. Last year’s preseason saw the Bears annihilate Nicholls State 89-60, Central Arkansas 92-47, and Stanford 86-48. All of those teams are supposed to be better than this year’s Mississippi Valley State squad, so Baylor should win this one with ease as a cakewalk home opener.
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Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor Over/Under analysis
The total is currently set at 142.5.
We can expect at least 85 points from Baylor, considering it’s the far superior team and has plenty of offensive weapons. The Bears scored at least 86 points in each of their first four games last season and nothing less should be expected in this spot.
Mississippi Valley State was a sieve defensively last season, surrendering 83 points per game to rank second-last (357th) in the entire country. While Ivory can preach defense as a focus for this year’s team, that might take a while to be instituted. He was an assistant coach on last year’s team, after all — so where was the defense then? KenPom ranks the Delta Devils 361st in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency to begin the year — third from the bottom.
With that being the case, the Over seems like the play in this spot. The Over was 4-1 in Baylor’s last five home games of 2021-22, while Mississippi Valley’s leaky defense lead a 15-7-1 mark to the Over in its last 23 games of the year.
Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor betting trend to know
Baylor is 5-2 ATS in its last seven Monday games. Find more NCAAB betting trends for Mississippi State Valley State vs Baylor. Find more College basketball betting trends for Mississippi Valley State vs. Baylor.
Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor game info
|Location:||Ferrell Center, Waco, TX|
|Date:||Monday, November 7, 2022|
|tip-off:||12:00 pm ET|
|TV:||Big 12 Network|
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