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College basketball expert Mike Spector gives his prediction for the highly anticipated Northwestern State Demons and the Baylor Bears matchup Tuesday night.
ANALYSIS

Baylor vs. Northwestern State Prediction: Can the Top Ranked Bears Cover the Huge Number?

For the last couple of weeks, college basketball has undergone the sad reality that we will be facing several cancellations and postponements in the future. As of this writing, there are 15 Division I games still on, while 14 others have been canceled or postponed. However, that makes it that much more refreshing that we get to enjoy the No. 1 team in the country in action.

The Baylor Bears are the biggest favorites of any team on today’s slate, as they are laying a massive number (-38.5) against the Northwestern State Demons. Can the Bears cover this big number, or will they get caught in a look-ahead spot with a big game against Iowa State looming on Saturday?

Baylor vs. Northwestern State Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Tuesday, December 28

Game Time: 8:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: BIG12/ESPN+

Baylor vs Northwestern State Odds

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Baylor vs. Northwestern State Prediction

Northwestern State enters this matchup at 3-10, but all three of their wins have come against non-Division I competition. The Demons opened the season with two relatively competitive games against Oklahoma and Tulsa, losing by an average of 12.5 points. However, Northwestern State has been decimated in their two games against top competition. They lost to Houston by 40 points and LSU by 41 points, and just one of their last eight losses has been by fewer than 13 points.

The Demons play at a top-50 tempo (per KenPom) and do not slow the pace no matter what opponent is on the other side of the court. However, they rank 347th out of 358 Division I teams in terms of effective field goal percentage, and their two-point percentage defense is even worse. Northwestern State allows teams to shoot 59.3% inside the arc (ranks 353rd). In addition, they spend the third-lowest amount of time on an average defensive possession, as teams can get up quality looks within the first 15 seconds of the shot clock against them, on average. Thus, that means their games are played with more possessions on average.

There are not many positives to say about Northwestern State, as this has the feel of a game where Baylor can name whatever score they want. The Demons have two freshmen in their starting lineup, and one of them is their leading scorer, who also happens to be the only player averaging in double figures. 6’8” center Kendal Coleman averages 15.3 points and 8.5 rebounds, but Baylor’s combination of Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua and Flo Thamba are two of the most athletic big men he has faced all season.

There is little doubt that Baylor head coach Scott Drew will have their game against Iowa State on Saturday in the back of his mind and will likely play his starters sparingly in the second half with this game out of reach. However, with their last game having come eight days ago, there will also be some emphasis on getting them back into playing shape, especially in the first half.

Northwestern State trailed Houston by 35 points at halftime and LSU by 26 points at the break. Thus, Baylor’s first-half point spread is the safest bet, as there is no telling how they plan to manage the second half after racing out to a big lead.

Baylor vs. Northwestern State Pick

  • Baylor -21.5 First Half Spread (-105)

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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