Wisconsin Badgers vs. Baylor Bears Odds & Predictions

March 21, 2:40 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Wis +6.5/Bay -6.5

Coming off a shockingly sharp performance in their first-round NCAA tournament victory over North Carolina Friday night the Wisconsin Badgers run into the top-seeded Baylor Bears in a second-round bout Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. How are we playing this game with our free college basketball NCAA tournament pick?

NCAA Tournament Basketball Betting Odds

The NCAA tournament college basketball betting market opened Baylor at -6.5 over Wisconsin, with an over/under of 137. Both those figures were holding steady in the early betting action. According to Sagarin's ratings at USAToday.com the Bears should be favored by six points for this game.

Wisconsin vs. Baylor NCAA Tournament Betting Preview

The Badgers reached the second round of this NCAA tournament by blowing out North Carolina in a first-round bout Friday night 85-62. That game was tied at 16-16 when Wisconsin used a 24-8 run to lead 40-24 into halftime. The Badgers pushed their lead to 66-47 midway through the second half and cruised from there for the outright victory as two-point underdogs. Also, that game played over a total of 136.5 in garbage time. Wisconsin shot 51 percent from the field Friday night, hit 13/27 from 3-point land, held Carolina to just 39 percent FG shooting, surprisingly out-rebounded the Heels 37-34 and only turned the ball over seven times, just twice in a well-played first half. Now the trick is to play like that again on Sunday. The Badgers only finished 10-10 in the Big Ten this season and played 1-1 in the Big Ten tournament. In fact prior to Friday night Wisconsin was only 2-6 both SU and ATS over its previous eight games. The Bears, meanwhile, advanced to this second-round by beating Hartford Friday 79-55. Baylor started a bit slowly and still led 37-21 at the half. The Bears then let the Hawks get within 43-30 early in the second half but pulled away from there for the win. Baylor, at -25.5 on the betting line, had the spread covered with 30 seconds left, up 79-53, but gave up a meaningless Hartford basket, then ran out the clock. Also, that game played under a total of 139. The Bears only shot 41 percent from the floor Friday but held the Hawks to 35 percent FG shooting, out-rebounded Hartford 43-35 and won the turnover battle 24-10. Baylor won the Big 12's regular-season title this year, going 13-1 in conference play, then split two games in the Big 12 tournament. But the Bears are also only 2-6 ATS over their last eight games because they've been favored by too much too often. Sagarin ranks the Big Ten as the toughest conference in the country this season, with the Big 12 coming in at No. 2. Sagarin also ranks Wisconsin's schedule at No. 9, Baylor's at No. 74.

NCAA Basketball Betting Trends

  • Favorites played 11-9 SU, 9-11 ATS through the first two days of this NCAA tournament.
  • Higher seeds played 10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS through the first two days of this NCAA tournament.
  • Baylor is 5-3 ATS this season when favored by single digits.

Totals Report

Overs are 15-14 in Badgers games this season, which are averaging 134 total points. Overs are 15-10 in Bears games this season, which are averaging 151 points. Over/unders played 8-12 through the first two days of this NCAA tournament, and two of those overs needed overtime. So the unders were actually 14-6 through Thursday and Friday.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Baylor Bears Prediction

Baylor shot just 41 percent from the floor Friday; we expect a better performance Sunday. Wisconsin, on the other hand, shot 51 percent Friday and 13/27 from 3-point land; we don't expect a repeat of that performance anytime soon. We're betting the Bears here, minus the touchdown.

Free Pick: 
Baylor -7