Free NCAAB Pick - Xavier Musketeers vs Baylor Bears

Jason Lake

Saturday, December 3, 2016 2:30 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 2:30 PM UTC

The Xavier Musketeers and Baylor Bears are both ranked in the Top 10, and they're both smashing the NCAAB odds to smithereens. What's a basketball bettor to do? Find out here.


It sure is hard to make easy money. We've been recommending the UNDER for your college basketball picks here at the ranch, and while it's been the right overall play at 373-291 (56.2 percent) since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, we've only cashed in once in three games. This is why it's important to make a whole bunch of smaller wagers, and not bet the farm all at once.

So do we stay on the UNDER train for Saturday's matchup (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) between the No. 7 Xavier Musketeers and the No. 9 Baylor Bears? Tempting; Xavier (7-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) and Baylor (7-0 SU, 4-1 ATS) have both heavily outperformed market expectations, but the Bears also have the UNDER at a near-perfect 4-0-1, while the Musketeers are neither here nor there at 3-3 against the total. Let's pop the hood on this bad boy and see what's inside.

Do Bears?
First of all, Baylor is a 4-point home chalk on the early NCAAB odds board as we go to press, with a total of... nothing yet. Ken Pomeroy has the Bears at No. 10 overall (No. 15 offense, No. 19 defense) on his efficiency charts, rating them as 21.57 points better than the average Division I team over 100 possessions. That's two spots ahead of Xavier (No. 14 offense, No. 26 defense) at +21.17. If we assign a value of 3.5 points to home-court advantage in college hoops, that makes Baylor –4 a very tight line indeed.

Baylor's Jo Lual-Acuil has blocked a combined 29 shots in seven games this season. Has already had three games with five or more blocks.

— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 1, 2016

We don't know what Saturday's total is yet, but at least one major ingredient is in place for the UNDER to get paid. Baylor is one of the very slowest teams in Division I, ranking No. 336 in adjusted tempo. Xavier is in the higher middle of the pack at No. 117. The clash of styles also favors the UNDER; the Musketeers shoot only 32.1 percent from downtown, or No. 264 overall, which means they'll have to contend with Bears center Jo Lual-Acuil (6.0 blocks per 40 minutes) if they want to score. Good luck with that.

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 140Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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