March Madness Expert Picks: Baylor vs. Syracuse
The final game of Thursday’s NCAA Tournament action will be a West Region first-round game
from the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. The #9 Baylor Bears will be facing off with
the #8 Syracuse Orange.
Our series of March Madness Predictions continues as we take a look at this game in full detail.
Date/Time/TV: Thur. March 21, 9:57 PM EST, truTV
Vegas Odds March Madness
Spread: Syracuse Orange -2.5 (-110)
The Bears were bounced in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament with an 83-66 loss to Iowa
State as 3-point underdogs. For the season, Baylor was 10-8 in conference play, four games behind
co-leaders Iowa State and Kansas State. Overall, the team is 19-13 (15-14-3 ATS).
Syracuse checks in at 20-13 (19-14 ATS) on the year. They were 10-8 in ACC play, which left them
six games back of conference leaders Virginia and North Carolina. The Orange lost in the conference
quarterfinals to Duke by a score of 84-72 as 12-point underdogs.
It was a tough close to the regular season for Baylor. They followed a three-game winning streak by
falling flat and dropping their final three games. For their last 10 contests, the Bears check in with a
record of 4-6 (1-7-2 ATS).
Team totals have been Over for the last two in a row and stand at 17-14 for the year. Mario Kegler
was the leading scorer in the loss to Iowa State with 16 points. He’s averaging 10.7 ppg and 6.0
boards. Makai Mason contributes 14.6 ppg and 3.3 dimes.
Syracuse scored one of the biggest upsets of the season with a 95-91 road OT victory over Duke back
in January. They came up short in the rematch on the home court in February, falling by a score of
75-65. For the last 10 games, the Orange are 4-6 (5-4-1 ATS).
Totals stand at 14-19 to date with the Over coming in for three of the last four. Tyus Battle is the top
threat for Syracuse with an average of 17.2 ppg. He has been held out of the previous two games with
a hip injury, but he’s expected to go on Thursday. Oshae Brissett chips in with 12.4 ppg and 7.5 rpg.
Baylor vs. Syracuse March Madness Prediction
This will be Baylor’s first appearance in the tournament since 2017. They made it to the Sweet
Sixteen before losing to South Carolina by a score of 70-50. Syracuse made it to the Sweet Sixteen
last year before falling to Duke by a score of 69-65.
For this matchup, the Orange are 2.5-point favorites. They’re the stronger defensive squad, but
Baylor has a slight edge on offense. The return of Battle tips the scales in the favor of Syracuse, and
we like them to advance and cover in the final game of the day.
Baylor Bears vs. Syracuse Orange NCAA Tournament Pick: Syracuse -2.5 (-110)
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