Baylor vs. Ole Miss Sugar Bowl Odds, Preview and Picks

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The Baylor Bears take the field. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP.

Baylor and Ole Miss clash in a star-laden Sugar Bowl. Here is betting advice for the game. Top sportsbooks have released their NCAAF odds for the Sugar Bowl between Baylor and Ole Miss.

Baylor won the Big 12 title game in a dramatic fashion, limiting Oklahoma State on the goal-line. The Bears have thus ended their season with four straight wins. Their two-touchdown victory over Oklahoma initiated that winning streak. Ole Miss, like Baylor, enters this matchup with two losses. The Rebels lost to Alabama, which is obviously excusable, and to Auburn in a game where star quarterback Matt Corral exited early with an injury.

That loss to Auburn was Ole Miss’ most recent loss. Like Baylor, the Rebels come into the Sugar Bowl with four straight wins. For reasons that I will explain, you should play the total for this game.

Baylor Bears vs. Ole Miss Rebels

Saturday, January 01, 2022 – 08:45 PM EST at Caesars Superdome

Jeff Lebby 

Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby carries responsibility for one of college football's most prolific offensive attacks. His Rebels accrue the 22nd-most points per game in the nation as well as the nation's 5th-most yards.

Under Lebby and head coach Lane Kiffin, the Rebel offense is distinguished by its quick tempo. By playing fast, the Rebels dictate tempo, wear down defenders, make substituting more difficult for defenses, and compel the defense to simplify its coverage schemes.

Because Lebby has helped install this distinct version of offense and helps ensure its successful execution, his presence for this game is crucial. While he accepted the offensive coordinator position at Oklahoma, he will stay on for the Sugar Bowl, coaching and calling plays for his offense.

Lebby's decision emphasizes the importance of this game in a season generally filled with opt-outs and indifferent former coaches. Like his star quarterback, Ole Miss' top running backs, and so forth, he is focused on the Sugar Bowl.

Ole Miss Weapons 

The Rebels are uniquely strong on the ground because their quarterback, Matt Corral, is an effective runner. As evident by his career-high rush attempt, rushing yard, and rushing touchdown totals, running is an even more prominent element of Corral's game than it was last year.

He'll drop back to pass and, seeing nobody open, break containment in the pocket to take defenders head-on. There are also countless bells and whistles in play. Corral may, for example, fake a hand-off before breaking free.

Three guys to who he'll fake a hand-off to are Jerrion Ealy, Snoop Conner, and Henry Parrish Jr. All three running backs averaged over 5 YPC in the regular season. Keep these stats in mind for your sports betting.

Conner is most known for bringing a 'thunder' element to the Rebel offense, Ealy distinguishes himself with his hands and speed, and Parrish's shiftiness is unique.

Baylor Defense vs. Rebel Weapons 

Baylor has struggled to contain offenses that bring a unique level of versatility.

TCU, for example, relied on quarterback Chandler Morris for its upset win over the Bears. In that game, Morris utilized his threat as both a passer and a runner, amassing 461 yards through the air and 70 on the ground.

When the Bears lost to Oklahoma State -- in the meeting where the Cowboys were not coming off a gigantic win over Oklahoma and where they had their top running back -- quarterback Spencer Sanders was effective on the ground to complement Jaylen Warren's 125 rushing yards.

Offensively, Ole Miss can combine the best of what both TCU and Oklahoma State leveled the Bears with by passing effectively and amassing rushing yards.

This year, Corral starkly improved his interception total -- he threw 20 touchdowns to 4 interceptions -- in addition to being a consistently efficient quarterback.

Supported by its tempo, the Rebel offense will exceed the 30-point total that TCU achieved in its win over Baylor.

Baylor Ground Game vs. Ole Miss Run Defense 

The Bears love to run: they own the nation's 22nd-highest run-play percentage. They are led in this respect by running back Abram Smith, who amassed 1,429 rushing yards on 6.2 YPC, utilizing his strength and power as a north-south runner and his vision to wear down and torment defenses.

While he isn't particularly speedy, he makes up for his lack of speed by hitting holes with explosion, beating defenders by breaking free from them, or at least by dragging them forwards.

With his physical skillset, he reminds me of Auburn running back Tank Bigsby, who used his power and explosiveness to gash the Rebel defense for 140 rushing yards on 6.1 YPC.

Ole Miss' run defense struggles generally, which is why it ranks 100th nationally in limiting opposing rush yards. Know for your best bets that the Rebels lack the physical tools to limit a "tank" like Smith.

Play-Action 

Baylor has a downfield element to its game. It has two quarterbacks who can be relied upon to throw downfield.

While Blake Shapen led the team to its Big-12 Championship win with 3 passing touchdowns, usual starter Gerry Bohanon will be fit in time for this game and will play.

The Bears are known for their frequent and effective use of play-action, which helps them with their vertical passing.

With strong rushing and passing attacks, Baylor has the weaponry to keep pace with Ole Miss.

The Verdict 

Both offenses will do what they want and in a way that ensures a high quantity of big plays and quick scores. For the above reasons, expect a high-scoring Sugar Bowl for your NCAAF picks.

NCAAF Pick: Over 55 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Over 55 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.