Baylor vs. Ole Miss Betting Odds & Picks: Value on Sugar Bowl Over/Under
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Corral.
Baylor vs. Ole Miss Odds
-110o / -110u
|Ole Miss Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Sugar Bowl is generally set aside for the loser of the SEC Championship game and a motivated Big 12 team looking to pounce. This version in New Orleans may be the complete opposite, as Ole Miss locked up a visit with a win in the Egg Bowl and Alabama’s inclusion into the College Football Playoff.
Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin will face off against a familiar face when Baylor head coach Dave Aranda takes the field.
Baylor won the Big 12 Championship in Aranda’s second season thanks to an Oklahoma State victory in Bedlam and subsequent four turnovers in a loss to the Bears in the conference title game.
While the Baylor defense and Ole Miss offense is appointment viewing, the status of Bears quarterback Gerry Bohanon’s hamstring may be the explosive element needed to keep up with a fast-paced Rebels offense.
Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes said he expects his QB1 to be “full speed” by kickoff.
A second conference loss to a TCU team without a head coach had plenty of people calling curtains for the Bears’ chances at winning the conference.
But then, Baylor bounced back and dominated Caleb Williams and Oklahoma while surviving a late scare from a rising Texas Tech. The Bears cashed in their seat at the conference championship game.
Baylor’s 3-3-5 defense then forced Spencer Sanders into four turnovers and produced eight tackles for loss. The play of freshman backup quarterback Blake Shapen was the difference over Oklahoma State.
What a DIME by Blake Shapen 🤯pic.twitter.com/H1f3wAci1L
— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) December 4, 2021
Bohanon is expected to start, but Baylor now has two dual-threat quarterbacks. He notched 288 yards on designed runs alongside 1,400-yard running back Abram Smith.
In relief of Smith is Trestan Ebner, who posted a higher forced missed tackle rate than any other offensive player on the Baylor roster. There will be plenty of ground success for the Bears against the Rebels’ poor run defense.
Matt Corral has elected to play in this game despite projecting as a high NFL Draft selection next spring.
Hobbled by injury after 30 rushing attempts against Tennessee, Corral slowly dropped out of the Heisman Trophy race, but he led his team to sweep its November schedule.
Complemented by running backs Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ealy, this is a top-five rushing attack in the nation with the second-fastest tempo.
With a month to get back to full health, Corral will be ready to take plenty of hits against Baylor.
Idk though. Matt Corral is a DOG. I want dogs. pic.twitter.com/pD9UCzIRhp
— Tyler (@WFTeamer) December 25, 2021
The Ole Miss coaching staff improved the defense with regards to stopping explosive plays. Co-coordinators DJ Durkin and Chris Partridge have often lined up in dime packages with two down linemen to prevent long plays from scrimmage. The defense finished the season ranked 11th against opponent explosiveness in passing downs.
While the Rebels are willing to give up the field, there has been an improvement when opponents are in scoring position. The red-zone scoring rate has dropped 7% and red-zone touchdown percentage 11% since the 2020 season.
Opponents average 3.4 points per trip inside the 40-yard line, which is a massive improvement that assisted in Ole Miss posting five straight unders to end the season.
Baylor vs. Ole Miss Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Baylor and Ole Miss match up statistically:
Baylor Offense vs. Ole Miss Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Ole Miss Offense vs. Baylor Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||75||23|
|Plays per Minute||100||2|
|Rush Rate||60.3% (27)||57.5% (45)|
Baylor vs. Ole Miss Betting Pick
Kiffin and Aranda first met head-to-head as coaches in a 2010 game between USC and Hawaii. The final result was 89 total points with Kiffin as head coach of the Trojans and Aranda as the Rainbow Warriors’ defensive coordinator.
The next matchup was a 2015 battle between Wisconsin and Alabama, with Aranda as defensive coordinator for the Badgers and Kiffin running Nick Saban’s offense. Alabama posted 35 points with more than 500 yards against a Wisconsin defense that allowed just nine points in the following four games.
If the past is any indication of this Sugar Bowl, Kiffin knows how to plan for an Aranda defense.
Baylor will have its own success against the Ole Miss defense, particularly with Bohanon back under center. The Rebels are 124th in Defensive Rushing Success Rate and 116th in Standard Downs Success Rate.
Baylor will keep the chains moving, but the offense under Grimes must get creative after posting a Finishing Drives mark just within the top 50.
Explosive ground gains are also in the cards for Baylor, as the Ole Miss defense is 87th in opponent rush expected points.
Bohanon does it again for @BUFootball 💪 pic.twitter.com/OFB3w9HHFf
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 13, 2021
The Action Network projection puts the side at Ole Miss -2.5 but considering the pace of play projected with Corral at quarterback, this could be a perfect live trading game to get a positive number on both teams.
The total is projected at 58.5, leaving some value left in the market. This is a number that opened 50.5 and has taken nothing but over tickets with Corral’s commitment to play and the health status of Bohanon.
Look to take the over up to the key number of 59.
Pick: Over 55.5 (Play to 56)
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