As Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral prepares for the NFL Draft, he’ll have the Baylor Bears standing in his way for this year’s Sugar Bowl.
Both teams are capable of putting up points in bunches, so we should prepare ourselves for yet another high-scoring shootout in this matchup.
Let’s see how we can make some money looking at the spread, moneyline, and total for this battle of two top-10 teams.
All NCAAF gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook. All odds and lines are current as of 1:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 30.
Baylor vs Ole Miss Prediction
Corral is without a doubt one of the most dynamic players in the country. However, he was not exactly helped out that much this season, especially by his defense.
Ole Miss allowed an average of 427.8 yards per game this year, including 182 per contest on the ground.
Going up against Baylor, Ole Miss will have to deal with dual-threat quarterback Gerry Bohanon. Bohanon has played quite well this season, throwing for nearly 2,200 yards and 17 touchdowns to go along with over 300 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
Baylor also has numerous capable running backs, headlined by Abram Smith, who ran for over six yards per clip this season on his way to 1,429 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
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On the other side of the ball, the Baylor defense has some talent, but it’s nothing that should overwhelm Corral.
Corral did have a relatively rough stretch toward the end of the season and is a player who struggles under pressure, completing just under 44 percent of his passes with three interceptions under duress, per PFF. However, the pass rush for Baylor is not the most stout in the country, and even the Ole Miss offensive line should be able to hold up.
At the end of the day, I’m riding with the superior quarterback in this one, and I think it’s Corral.
Sugar Bowl Prediction: Ole Miss 34, Baylor 33
Sugar Bowl Best Bets
Best Bet: Ole Miss -1.5 (-110) at Caesars
Not only does Ole Miss have Corral leading the passing attack, but he is also a competent runner. This season, Corral has rushed for nearly 600 yards at 4.1 yards per attempt and scored 11 touchdowns.
Additionally, Ole Miss has a three-headed rushing attack that features Jerrion Ealy, Henry Parrish Jr., and Snoop Conner, all of whom have amassed over 100 carries this season. Together, these three running backs combined to run for over 1,800 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Baylor will also be able to run the ball with Smith, Bohanon, and backup running back Trestan Ebner, who has also seen over 100 carries, but Corral’s passing prowess will ultimately prove to be too much for a Baylor defense that doesn’t necessarily have that game-changer.
Best Bet: Ole Miss Moneyline (-125) at Caesars
I understand why Baylor opened as the favorite in this game. The Bears have a better defense than the Rebels and their offense is probably a bit more well-rounded and consistent.
Still, Corral is a legitimate NFL prospect who may be a back-end of the first-round type player. Whenever there is a matchup of two closely contested teams, I’ll always side with the better passer and more NFL-caliber talent.
For that reason, I’m taking Ole Miss outright and making it our NCAAF pick of the day.
Best Bet: Over 55.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
I’m somewhat surprised the total on this game is this low. Both offenses are capable enough to put up points and the defenses they are going up against aren’t overly threatening. The rushing attack from Baylor against the arm and legs of Corral is going to make for an exciting Sugar Bowl.
Take the over and be ready for some offense to rain down in New Orleans.
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