March Madness South Region Picks ATS: Xavier Musketeers vs. Baylor Bears

Holloway and the Musketeers find themselves 6 point underdogs against 3rd seeded Baylor
Xavier vs. Baylor
Tip off: 7:15 PM EST
Spread: BAY -6
Total: 142.5
M/L: BAY -290, XAV +240

Betting Odds taken from Bookmaker


Baylor has turned it around in a big way following last year’s 18-13 campaign, which featured a first round loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament.

This year, their sites are set on much larger goals after finishing 27-7 this season with a 12-6 record in the Big 12. The blowout loss to Missouri in the Conference championship game put a damper on an otherwise bright regular season. Also, the Bears have now lost 2 of their last 4 games, though one of the two wins was a big upset over Kansas in the Big 12 semifinals.

All five Baylor starters reached double figures in that win, led by Perry Jones III’s 18 points, which he scored on 7 of 16 shooting from the floor. Jones leads the team in scoring with 14.0 points per game and is also the team leader in rebounding (7.7 per game). He’s expected to be a lottery pick in this June’s NBA Draft.

In addition to the strong play of Jones, Baylor also has Pierre Jackson, Quincy Acy, and Quincy Miller all averaging double figure scoring as well, as the Bears put up 75 points per game (38th best in the nation), mainly due to the fact that they convert 47% of their field goals.

Bears Betting Trends:

13-14 ATS last 27 games, 8-10 ATS as a favorite, 12-12 ATS vs teams with winning records, 5-3 ATS following a non-conf game, 4-3 ATS in neutral court games.


Xavier finished with a 21-12 record and went 10-6 in the A-10. They began the year red hot, winning their first eight games, including a victory over first round victor Vanderbilt. They actually won by 12 in an overtime game, completely dominating Vanderbilt in OT.

Their record is marred by some bad losses though. Losses to Dayton, Oral Roberts, and Hawaii, among others have been black marks on an otherwise pretty impressive season.

So which team will show up, the team that beat Vandy or the team that lost to teams that don’t even make post season tournaments?

Tu Holloway is the best Musketeer player, by far. The 6’0? water bug point guard averages 17 points per game and 5.1 dimes. He’s not playing quite as well as he did last year in his junior season, but it’s hard to complain, other than his 41.9% field goal percentage not being all that stellar.

Mark Lyons (15.5 points per game) and Dezmine Wells (10.2 ppg) both add to the Musketeers punch. Lyons rounds out the backcourt with Holloway, and though his minutes have fallen from 35 last year to 31 this year, his numbers are still up across the board. Like Holloway, he doesn’t hit a very high percentage from the floor (43.5%), but he is a game changer defensively at times, accounting for 1.3 steals a game.

Musketeers Betting Trends:

12-18 ATS last 30 games, 3-6 ATS when total is 140 to 149.5, 3-4 ATS in neutral court games, 7-7 ATS in non-conf. games, 9-13 ATS vs. teams with winning records.

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