The No. 16 seed Norfolk State Spartans (24-6) and No. 1 seed Baylor Bears (26-6) meet Thursday in an East Region first-round game of the NCAA Tournament. Tip-off from Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, is scheduled for 2:00 pm ET. Below, we look at the Norfolk State vs. Baylor odds and linesand make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
The Spartans won the MEAC Tournament with a convincing 72-57 win over Coppin State in the Final. The average margin of victory in the three-game tourney was 10.7 points, but now they’re facing the defending national champs. This is the same NSU team that lost by 40 at Xavier (88-48) Nov. 21.
The Bears were given the boot by Oklahoma in their first game of the Big 12 Tournament, but that still didn’t cost them a one-seed. Baylor enters with non-covers in the past two games, and it hasn’t lost consecutive games all season.
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Norfolk State vs. Baylor odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:06 am ET.
- moneyline: Norfolk State +1100 (bet $100 to win $1,100) | Baylor -3000 (bet $3,000 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Norfolk State +20.5 (-108) | Baylor -20.5 (-112)
- Over/Under (O/U): 137.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)
Norfolk State vs. Baylor odds, lines, picks and predictions
Baylor 92, Norfolk State 58
Baylor (-3000) will cost you 30 times your potential return, and that’s not worth the risk. It’s almost a sure thing as 1-seed has lost to a 16-seed just one time ever in the NCAA Tournament, but you would need to risk $100 to win just $3.33. Sorry, Norfolk State, but you’re not UMBC.
against the spread
BAYLOR -20.5 (-112) is the play here.
The defending champs aren’t going to come out and toy with Norfolk State. These are the defending champs, and the Bears have more than enough firepower to slay the Spartans even with leading scorer G L. J. Cryer (foot) out for the first weekend of March Madness. Baylor will give the Spartans nothing, but take from them everything!
the OVER 137.5 (-115) is the play.
Norfolk State isn’t going to be able to roll up much offense on Baylor, but the Bears are going to get this tune-up game to work on the offense as some reserves a chance to shine on the big stage. Baylor could potentially flirt with triple digits.
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