Baylor vs Marquette College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kam Jones
- Baylor and Marquette meet in a resume-building early season affair on Tuesday night.
- The Bears are short favorites in what will be their first true road test of the season in Milwaukee.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Baylor vs. Marquette Odds
Tuesday night’s matchup between Baylor and Marquette is an incredible opportunity for both teams to build their March resumes before the calendar hits December.
Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears had their first major tests of the season in the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas.
Baylor opened up with a semifinal loss to Virginia, 79-86, that put them in the third-place game against UCLA. The Bears were able to bounce back against UCLA, 80-75, behind 20-point performances from their sensational back-court duo of Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer.
Similarly, Shaka Smart and Marquette have also had a pair of early tests, unfortunately both of these resulted in close losses.
The first was a matchup with No. 5 Purdue on the road. The Golden Eagles held strong in a 75-70 loss. Sophomore forward Kam Jones had his season high in points with 19.
Jones was able to match this 19-point performance in the Fort-Myers Tip-Off against eventual champion Mississippi State. Marquette was unable to capitalize on a 42-38 lead with just over seven minutes to play.
Even in defeat, the experience the Golden Eagles gained against a Mississippi State defense that ranks seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency is invaluable.
Will Marquette be able to learn from their early season losses to keep up with Baylor, or will the Bears’ offense simply outpace its opposition for the sixth time this season?
Let’s dive in.
Drew is entering his 20th season as head coach of the Baylor Bears and is just two years removed from a national title.
As has become Drew’s calling card, the 2022-23 Bears have a healthy mixture of freshmen, transfers and returning production.
This season’s unit is lead by a trio of Flagler, Cryer, and forward Keyonte George.
Flagler has been the definition of a floor general for the Bears in his third season, ranking 15th in the country in assist rate at 39.7%. This level of facilitation has resulted in Baylor’s offense being ranked second in the country in adjusted efficiency, behind only Gonzaga.
Baylor’s offense has been catapulted to this high offensive efficiency much in part to the return of Cryer. The junior shooting guard missed 13 of Baylor’s final 14 games last season with a foot injury.
So far this season, Cryer is averaging 17.7 points on 48.2% shooting, giving Baylor arguably the best back-court duo in the country.
Rounding out Baylor’s offensive attack is the George. The 6-foot-7 freshman was a top-10 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, and has hit the ground running. George has finished in double figures in all but one game this season for an average of 14.8 per contest.
The ONLY player in college basketball averaging 16+ points, 6+ rebounds, 6+ assists, and less than 3 turnovers is Baylor freshman Keyonte George.
— Danny Johnson (@dannyjohnson_23) November 17, 2022
Through six games, Drew has been able to pair a high-level offense with a unit that has displayed sound fundamentals.
The Bears rank third in the country in effective FG% (60.3%), along with shooting an astounding 62.9% inside the arc, which is good for sixth nationally. These numbers display an offense that can create high-level opportunities night in and night out.
What is important to note for this Baylor offense is its tendency to settle for the outside shot, even given the effectiveness inside the arc. The Bears rank ninth in the country in 3-point attempts per game in relation to their total field goal attempts at just over 50%.
Look for Marquette, which has allowed their opponents to shoot just 30.1% from beyond the arc, to play into this offensive tendency.
If Marquette is able to turn this game into an outside shooting competition it has as good a chance as anyone, especially given that this will be Baylor’s first true road game of the season.
Smart enters his second season at the helm for Marquette, fresh off a 19-13 2021-22 season that resulted in a first round NCAA tournament exit to eventual runner-up North Carolina.
The Golden Eagles roll out a starting five that is comprised entirely of returners from last years team. This is important for Smart, who likes to run a unique high paced style on both ends of the court.
Through seven games, Marquette ranks 17th in adjusted tempo at 73.1 possessions per 40 minutes. Offensively, the Golden Eagles are even more up-beat, ranking fifth in average possession length at just 14.4 seconds.
Smart is as good as any head coach in the country at using this style to make his opponents uncomfortable.
This style is directly reflected in a Marquette defense that is 50th nationally in adjusted efficiency (94.0), matching Baylor, which ranks 43rd (93.5). The Golden Eagles have shown sound fundamentals, ranking inside the top-100 in defense 3P%, 2P%, FT%, and Steal%.
Additionally, Marquette has been able to force its opponents into 22.1 turnovers per game, which will be crucial against a Baylor team that can make use of every additional possession they are given.
Look for Marquette, to make a high-powered Baylor offense work for everything it gets on the offensive end.
Offensively, this Marquette team is nothing to scoff at. The Golden Eagles have scored 80+ in four out of their first seven games including two 95 and 97 point performances on their home floor.
Marquette is lead by a returning due of point guard Tyler Kolek, and forward Kam Jones.
Kolek, much like Flagler for Baylor, has been an impeccable floor general for Marquette so far this season. Kolek has posted an outstanding 43.8% assist rate, which is eighth nationally among all D-I players.
Kolek combines this play making ability with a 42.9% 3P% to create a plethora of matchups problems for opponents.
One year ago today Tyler Kolek (@KolekTyler) gets the steal and the game winning layup with 18 seconds left as @MarquetteMBB defeats #10 Illinois (@IlliniMBB) 67-66 on November 15, 2021 #mubb pic.twitter.com/xZuZduN15h
— Marquette Overload (@MUOverload) November 15, 2022
In addition to Kolek’s leadership Marquette has been lead this season by the emergence of the sophomore Jones.
Jones has been extremely efficient through seven games, shooting 70.8% from inside the arc (84th nationally). Jones’ experience will be valuable in a matchup with the true freshman George who the Bears have used in 29.9% of their total possessions (65th nationally).
Overall, Tuesday presents a perfect opportunity for Smart and Marquette to showcase their abilities on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball through a uniquely high-paced and chaotic style.
Baylor vs. Marquette Betting Pick
Given their experience and style of play, I look at Tuesday’s matchup with Baylor as a perfect situational spot for the Golden Eagles.
Baylor will be playing its first true road game of the season against a Marquette team that is 61st nationally in Turnover% through their ability to create 12.3 steals per game.
This suffocating defense, combined with a blistering offensive pace (fifth in average possession length), won’t allow Baylor to be nearly as efficient as they have been to this point in the season.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.