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 nearly 40-point margin in a sure-fire win.
The 2022-23 college basketball season is officially here with games starting at noon on Monday.
One of those games involves Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears, who will try 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 again at No. 5 in the preseason AP poll.
Will they kick things off with a dominant home win over Mississippi Valley State?
Check out our basketball picks and predictions for the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils and Baylor Bears on Monday, November 7th to find out.
Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor best odds
Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor tips and predictions
It should come as no surprise that the Baylor Bears were picked as the preseason favorite in the Big 12 by the conference coaches. Scott Drew’s team is ranked No. 5 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 plenty of new faces on this year’s roster, as only three players who saw significant rotation minutes for last year’s NCAA Tournament team return. Adam Flagler is the biggest name in the group after leading the team in scoring (13.8 PPG) in 2021-22 and being named to the preseason All-Big 12 team. LJ Cryer is another returning scorer who should help the offense right away after averaging 13.5 PPG a year ago despite making just three starts. Langston Love was a five-star 2021 pick who tore his ACL a season ago and is expected to play a big role this time around.
A big reason the Bears are expected to continue their success this year is the strength of the incoming freshman class. Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year Keyonte George is the highest-rated recruit in program history and has high expectations to deliver as a high-level offensive threat. West Virginia transfer Jalen Bridges is a 6-foot-8 forward who brings size, shooting and toughness, while BYU transfer Caleb Lohner is a positionless defender. Overall, this roster is loaded with talent and returns two top scorers paired with a ton of new talent.
This should be a walk in the park against a Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils team that finished 2-26 a year ago. They are ranked 361st out of 363 teams in KenPom’s year-to-date rankings, and do not figure to be competitive in this matchup. New coach George Ivory has a rebuild, and starting the season with Baylor is a tall order. Expect the Bears to choke 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 pushed as low as -40.5 in some places, so don’t expect anything below -40 to be available for long.
Mississippi Valley State finished just 2-16 in SWAC play a year ago, and those two wins were its only wins of the season. SWAC Co-Player of the Year in 1987, Ivory takes over with a lot of rebuilding for this Delta Devils program. He has 13 years of 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 this season he brought in a number of JUCO transfers to help.
Baylor is no stranger to knocking off inferior competition. In last year’s preseason, the Bears destroyed Nicholls State 89-60, Central Arkansas 92-47 and Stanford 86-48. All of these teams should be better than this year’s Mississippi Valley State team, so Baylor should easily beat this one as a starter.
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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, given that it is a 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 expect nothing less at this point.
Mississippi Valley State was stifling defensively last season, giving up 83 points per game to rank last (357th) in the nation. While Ivory may preach defense as the focus of this year’s team, that could take time to establish. He was an assistant coach on last year’s team, after all — so where was the defense? KenPom ranks the Delta Devils 361st in adjusted defensive efficiency to start the year — third from the bottom.
That being the case, Over looks the game at this point. Over is 4-1 in Baylor’s last five home games of the 2021-22 season, while Mississippi Valley’s shutout defense has gone 15-7-1 to Over in its last 23 games this year.
Mississippi Valley State vs Baylor betting trend to know
Baylor is 5-2 ATS in their 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:||12:00 pm ET|
|TV:||Big 12 Network|
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