2017 March Madness Picks - New Mexico State vs. Baylor

Baylor Bears player getting ready to shoot

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:09 PM GMT

Can WAC champion New Mexico State pull off a shocker on Friday against nationally ranked Baylor? Will Baylor avoid being upset in their opening NCCA Tournament game for the 3rd year in a row? Read this betting preview and find out.

New Mexico State vs. Baylor

East Region, First Round
Friday, March 17 - 12:40 pm E.T

Game# 833-834

The East Region's #3 seed Baylor will take on #14 seeded New Mexico State on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These teams met just last season with Baylor walking away with an 85-70 win, and they also covered as a 13.0-point home favorite.

Current March Madness odds (3/14) has Baylor as a 12.0 or 12.5-point favorite, and the posted totals are anywhere from 125.0 to 126.0. The majority of early point spread individual bets have been made on the underdog Aggies.

Bears Recent NCAA Tournament Nightmares

The Baylor Bears will enter this 2017 NCAA March Madness with recent failures in mind. Baylor has been eliminated in their opening NCAA Tournament game during the last 2 seasons and were victims of huge upsets on both occasions. They lost in 2015 to Georgia State and were knocked off last year by Ivy League champion Yale.

Strength of Schedule

Before thinking a 28-5 New Mexico State team is an absolute steal as a double-digit underdog, let's talk about the level of competition they've faced. None of the Aggies 28 wins have come against teams that are part of this year's March Madness brackets. As a matter of fact, New Mexico State hasn't faced a team that's in this 2017 “Big Dance” all season long. They'll certainly be stepping up in class on Friday when facing an opponent that was ranked #1 nationally at one point.

Contrary to Friday's opponent, Baylor (25-7) has played an extremely tough schedule and has more than held their own in doing so. How strong was the schedule? I'm glad you asked. Baylor played 16 of their 32 games this season against teams who made this year's NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, they went a perfect 6-0 in the non-conference portion of their schedule versus NCAA Tournament teams.

Final Thoughts and Pick

New Mexico State has been an excellent rebounding team this season. Nevertheless, Baylor is better in that regard and is relentless on both boards. The Bears are #3 nationally in defensive rebounding and have also averaged massive 14 offensive boards per contest over their previous 5 games. Lastly, Baylor is excellent defensively, allowing 62.7 points per game which are 16th best in the country. I'm laying this large number with confidence for one of my March Madness picks.

Free NCAAB Pick: Baylor -12.0

Best Line Offered: at YouWager

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