Baylor vs UCSB Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for March 17 NCAA Tournament Game (Bears Come Out Firing in Denver)

Baylor vs UCSB Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for March 17 NCAA Tournament Game (Bears Come Out Firing in Denver)


Baylor vs UCSB Game Info

  • 2022-23 NCAA Tournament Game
  • No. 10 Baylor (22-10) vs. UCSB (27-7)
  • Date: Friday, March 17, 2023
  • Time: 1:30 PM ET
  • Venue: Ball Arena -- Denver, Colorado
  • Coverage: TNT

The 2023 NCAA Tournament continues on Friday with an exciting Round of 64 matchup between the No. 14 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and No. 3 Baylor Bears. UCSB is in the big dance for the sixth time in school history, while Baylor is slated as a top-3 seed for the seventh time since the 2010 season.

UCSB took down Cal State Fullerton by a score of 72-62 to with the Big South conference title and earn its seventh straight victory. Meanwhile, Baylor enters as a loser in four of its last six games following a 78-72 loss to Iowa State is the Big 12 Tournament. Which team will advance with a win?

Baylor vs UCSB Odds & Spread

Baylor enters this contest as a substantial favorite on the moneyline and spread per FanDuel Sportsbook's odds. This 1:30 p.m. ET clash also features an over/under of 142.5 points, which is about average compared to Friday's projected totals.

Baylor vs UCSB Betting Trends

  • Against the spread, Baylor is 17-15-0 this season.
  • The Bears' ATS record as 10.5-point favorites or more is 4-3.
  • This year, 17 of Baylor's 32 games have hit the over.
  • UCSB has covered the spread 21 times in 32 games.
  • UCSB has seen 20 of its 32 games hit the over.
Baylor Rank Baylor AVG UCSB AVG UCSB Rank
52nd 77.2 Points Scored 72.2 166th
183rd 70.3 Points Allowed 65.6 53rd
266th 30.2 Rebounds 29.3 302nd
69th 9.8 Off. Rebounds 6.9 304th
14th 9.7 3pt Made 5.6 338th
78th 14.5 Assists 14.2 95th
200th 12 Turnovers 10.5 45th

Baylor vs UCSB Prediction & Pick

Baylor has to be careful as UCSB is one of the best teams in the country when it comes to scoring around the rim. The Gauchos rank 27th in two-point shooting percentage this season (54.7%). Head coach Scott Drew will need to have his big men (Flo Thamba, Josh Ojianwuna, etc.) ready to defend.

Even if UCSB gets the job done down low, it won't be able to stop Baylor from hitting deep shots on the other end. The Bears rank 32nd in three-point shooting percentage (37.2%), while the Gauchos rank 217th in three-point shooting percentage allowed (34.5%). Threes outscore twos every time.

UCSB has lost four of its last five games against a Big 12 opponent, so fade the Gauchos on Friday.

Final Score Prediction: Baylor: 78 | UCSB: 65

Baylor vs UCSB Best Bet

Baylor does not have momentum on its side at the moment, which makes getting off to a hot start at the top of the priority list. It's something the Bear have been doing all season considering they rank 26th in first half points per game (37.3) as well as 32nd in first half average scoring margin (+4.9).

UCSB's defense has been reliable this year, but it is still a unit that has allowed an average of 35.0 first half points over its last three games. That mark came against Cal Poly, UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. None of those squads compare to a Baylor team that ranks 16th in offensive efficiency.

Bet: Baylor Bears First Half Over 36.5 Points (-110)

Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.