Baylor basketball March Madness odds, best bets, and season recap
March Madness is one month away, and this time it’s actually happening (barring any last-minute disasters, of course). It’s going to be a lot different in 2021 with the entire NCAA Tournament in one location, but having been cancelled in 2020 the players are going to be even more enthused than usual and the bettors will be especially eager. With the regular season wining down, it’s time to start looking ahead at the teams that can expect to be serious National Championship contenders. We’ll be breaking them down one by one, and our series continues with the second-ranked Baylor Bears.
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Baylor basketball schedule – The season so far
How good are Baylor and Gonzaga? Well, let’s just say there are some sportsbooks out there that already have a Baylor/Gonzaga vs. The Field national title prop bet. The two best teams in college basketball were supposed to go head-to-head on Dec. 5, but that showdown was cancelled because of COVID-19 issues. Perhaps we will just have to wait until April.
The pandemic is the only thing that has stopped the Bears (or the Zags, for the matter) this season. They have already had nine games postponed or cancelled and they are currently in the midst of a three-week stretch without any games. Baylor is otherwise undefeated (17-0, 9-0 Big 12), with victories over the likes of Illinois, Texas Tech, Kansas, and Texas.
Head coach Scott Drew has at his disposal the most talented and by far the deepest backcourt in the sport. Jared Butler leads the way with 17.0 points, 5.2 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 steals per game while shooting 49.3 percent from the floor and 44.6 percent from three-point range. Butler quite simply does it all on both ends of the floor. MaCio Teague is contributing 14.7 ppg and 3.9 rpg. Teague is the guy the Bears want with the ball in his hands late in games—at least if they ever play close ones. He is shooting 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Baylor is not a big team, so it could be vulnerable against someone like Iowa’s Luka Garza. That being said, in the win over Illinois the Bears got Kofi Cockburn into foul trouble and held him to seven points and four rebounds.
Sportsbook betting odds for Baylor to win the NCAA Tournament
Depending on which book you are looking at, Baylor has either the best or second-best odds to cut down the nets in Indianapolis. At DraftKings, Baylor is +270 and Gonzaga is +275; at FanDuel, Gonzaga is +280 and Baylor is +310.
Odds are also available for the Big 12 Tournament, in which the Bears are massive -220 favorites. No other team has better than +600 odds (Texas). Both Baylor and Gonzaga are whopping -300 favorites to reach the Final Four. Garza is pretty much a lock to win the Wooden Award as the nation’s best player, but Butler is a +900 second choice (tied with the Gonzaga duo of Corey Kispert and Drew Timme).
Best Baylor March Madness bets
At short odds all over the place (aside from the Wooden Award prop), there is just no way I am touching Baylor (or Gonzaga, for that matter) in any department. Before the NCAA Tournament even begins, in order for me to bet on any team at approximate +300 odds it would have to be all-time-great caliber. The Bears are very, very good; but nothing—yet—suggests they are one of the best teams in the history of college basketball.
I will say that the National Championship play is at least more intriguing than a Final Four bet. At -300, I would avoid any program like the plague in terms of making it to the national semifinals. Even the Big 12 Tournament bet at -220 is too big of a risk and not enough of a reward. Given that Baylor will be in a National Championship-or-bust mindset, it may not have much interest in the conference festivities. And even if the Bears do go all out for the Big 12 trophy, it’s not like it will be a cakewalk. Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, West Virginia, and Kansas cannot be discounted.
Don’t get me wrong; the Bears are the real deal. I would love to see a Baylor vs. Gonzaga national title game (what neutral onlooker wouldn’t?). But both teams have been so good in the regular season that they have basically created a monster for themselves in terms of getting short odds all across the board. The value just isn’t there.
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March Madness team-by-team guides
Be sure to check out the rest of our March Madness team guides, providing everything you need to know ahead of the huge college basketball tournament!Last updated: Mon 1st March 2021