By Dan Kilbridge | | 6 mins
Baylor vs Ole Miss Sugar Bowl Picks & Betting Predictions
The final New Year’s Six bowl might be the most intriguing from a matchup perspective, with Baylor’s strong defense matching up against an electric Ole Miss offense at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Ole Miss quarterback and season-long Heisman contender Matt Corral is expected to play as the Rebels offense will be close to full strength following their 10-2 season.
Baylor is coming off an upset win over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game that ruined the Cowboys’ CFP chances. This is the second Sugar Bowl appearance in three years, with the Bears losing to Georgia in 2019.
Let’s take a deeper look into this matchup and what it means from a college football betting perspective.
Baylor vs. Ole Miss Key Matchups
Matt Corral vs. Baylor Front Seven: We know Corral will accomplish plenty in the passing game. The Rebels throw for nearly 300 yards per game and can put up points in a hurry. The bigger key for Baylor here is limiting the damage Corral can do with his legs. Alabama keyed in here and limited him to three rushing yards on 10 attempts, while others like Tennessee completely lost contain as Corral ran for 195 yards in a 31-26 Ole Miss win. Baylor can’t afford to let Corral out of the pocket to extend drives, even if it means giving up a few shots in the passing game.
Baylor OL vs. Ole Miss Front Seven: Baylor is exceptionally balanced on offense and won’t overwhelm opposing secondaries. The Bears consistently do a good job up front, keeping opponents guessing, running to set up the downfield shots. The Rebels have struggled to defend the run at times this season and Baylor would love to establish itself in the trenches early on here. Ole Miss’ first few defensive series and the way in which they defend Baylor’s running backs could set the tone for the entire night.
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4 Key Stats For Baylor vs. Ole Miss
215.6: Passing yards per game for Baylor.
214.7 Rushing yards per game for Baylor.
506.7: Total yards per game for Ole Miss, fourth-best in the country.
77.83: Penalty yards per game for Ole Miss, fourth-most in the country.
Baylor vs. Ole Miss Moneyline
While Ole Miss opened as a favorite on the moneyline, the teams are now dead even at -110 on either side.
The Rebels have been one of the most exciting teams to watch all season, but we like the Bears to get it done in the Big Easy. They excel on defense and do a good job managing the offense. They have enough talent to contain this Rebels offense and take advantage of their weaknesses on the other side of the ball.
Baylor has been the sharper and more disciplined team all year. That translates well in a bowl game environment. We’re on Baylor to win.
Baylor vs. Ole Miss Point Spread
This game is now a pick ‘em on betting apps after Ole Miss opened as a -2 favorite. The majority of spread tickets are on Ole Miss, but more money has come in on the Baylor side with around 56% of point spread money on the Bears. That’s usually a good sign for bettors who are behind Baylor.
We still don’t know which Bears quarterback will play. Starter Gerry Bohanon has been out for a few weeks due to injury, but backup Blake Shapen filled in great and led the Bears to three straight wins to finish the regular season.
Ole Miss doesn’t know which quarterback to prepare for, and that’s another positive for the Bears. We expect Baylor to get it done. You can get
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Baylor vs. Ole Miss Total
This total is set in the mid-50s at sportsbooks after being bet up by 3.5 points from the opening line of 51.
Some bettors might look at Ole Miss’ offensive statistics and blindly bet the over regardless of the number. Those bettors might not realize that the Over was just 3-9 in Ole Miss games this season. The Under has actually hit in seven straight games for the Rebels, though the lowest of those totals was 57.5.
We like the Rebels to stay on the Under train for a few reasons. Ole Miss’ self-inflicted mistakes have been costly all season. The Rebels are fourth in the nation at 506.7 offensive yards per game, but they don’t take advantage nearly enough with a scoring average of 35.9 points per game that ranks 18th nationally.
This is also a strong Bears defense and the Rebels have been better on that side of the ball than they were last year. We like the Under in the Sugar Bowl as one of our college football picks.