NCAA Basketball Picks: Baylor Has Too Much Firepower for New Mexico State

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 2:50 PM GMT

The NCAA basketball odds have Baylor as a double digit home favorite after being destroyed by Texas A&M 80-61 as only three-point road underdogs.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Baylor -12
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

The Bears are back in Waco to take on New Mexico State who has a very young squad, but has more quickness, especially in the backcourt than they have had in awhile. YouWager.eu posted NCAA basketball odds of Baylor at -12 with a total of 130, what choices should be considered for sports picks?

 

Baylor Picking up the Pieces
Bears coach Scott Drew could have gone negative after his team's lousy showing but decided on a different tack and praised Texas A&M instead, despite the fact they never led and were down by as many at 29.

This will be only the third home contest in which Baylor will faced a lined opponent. The Bears have a balanced attack with four players in double figures, led by Rico Gathers at 14.9 points a game. He is also the team's leading rebounder at 11.8 and uses his 6'8, 275 pound frame expertly. Gathers is not the only frontcourt player, as fellow senior Taurean Prince (14.6 PPG) has game. Prince shot almost 40 percent from behind the arc a year ago, but has been a little off this season at 35.6 percent to date.

Rounding out the frontcourt sophomore Jonathan Motley, who at 6'9 and 230 has the kind of skill NBA scouts love, but plays too often on cruise control and is only the team's third-leading rebounder at 4.9. Point guard Lester Medford (6.4 assists per game) directs the offense but can get erratic and not the floor general this team needs. Al Freeman (12.7 PPG) is Baylor's best long-range shooter and take over the point when needed.

Baylor certainly has edges all over the floor in this contest and will want to quicken the pace to match their 80 points per contest average and take the Aggies out of their comfort zone.

 

New Mexico State Has to Maintain Poise
New Mexico State used to be known as fairly big time basketball program, but when the WAC fell apart for football, nobody wanted their moribund football program at the time, thus they had to wait for the Western Athletic Conference to be restocked with inferior teams. The status of the conference has slipped so far that once league play starts, you cannot even make NCAA basketball picks in WAC games at most books similar to Heritagesports.eu.

Overall, this has hurt recruiting for coach Marvin Menzies, now in his eight year in Las Cruces. However, that does mean he doesn't get a few gems, like sophomore Pascal Siakam (6'9), who was an All-WAC performer in his first year. Siakam has made massive strides in second year and is at 23.4 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest.

Ian Baker is the other returning starter and he's averaging 14.9 PPG. Otherwise, this is young squad with five other sophomores and five redshirt freshmen, all trying to find their place on team that is 7-5 and 3-3 ATS.

 

What to Expect and Spread Winner
At first glance it looks like the oddsmakers might give New Mexico State a chance, because total of 130 fits more how the Aggies like to play than Baylor, who's average total score is 144.3 PPG. But upon close examination, New Mexico State is only scoring 62.7 PPG on the road and in spite of being fine defense club (38.5 percent shooting allowed), other Siakam, points do not come easy for the Aggies.

It would seem coach Drew will do what he can with Siakam and have his defense focus on the other players, to shut them down using man to man or zone defenses.

If Baylor was not off such a bad loss, New Mexico State might be worth a look, but the Aggies have lost 18 consecutive games against ranked opponents and come up short for sports picks, falling 76-60.