Baylor vs. Virginia Prediction and Odds for Friday, November 18 (Bet on Defensive Struggle)

Nov 14, 2022; Waco, Texas, USA;  Baylor Bears guard Keyonte George (1) makes a shot against Northern
Nov 14, 2022; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears guard Keyonte George (1) makes a shot against Northern / Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor and Virginia are set to do battle in Las Vegas on Friday night in a battle of two of the best defenses in the country.

The Bears are looking to get back to the top of the college hoops mountain after being bounced in the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament in their quest for back-to-back titles. So far the team has looked the part of a title contender, but has played incredibly easy competition, no team inside the KenPom top 150.

How will they hold up against a KenPom top 10 team in Virginia, who is looking for a better offensive season under Tony Bennett after missing the NCAA Tournament last season.

Here are the odds for this neutral site showdown:

Baylor vs. Virginia Odds, Spread and Total

Baylor vs. Virginia Prediction and Pick

Baylor is my lone preseason National Championship pick, and it has showed why I'm high on the Bears so far. While they haven't been challenged yet, the returning production of the likes of Adam Flagler and Flo Thamba mixed with five star recruit Keyonte George, makes this team a title threat.

George has been stellar so far. The 6'4" recruit is the highest rated player to come to Waco under Scott Drew and has been fantastic this season, averaging 16 points, six rebounds and six assists.

I'm also not a believer in Virginia's offense, one that was 85th in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency rating last season and shot 32% from beyond the arc and posted the 247th highest free throw rate in the country. Advanced metric sites love Bennett's group to improve based on returning production, but I don't believe this is the matchup for it as the Baylor backcourt should overwehlem guard Kihei Clark and shut down this metodical UVA offense.

This number has been pushed in Baylor's direction, which is the side I lean as I trust their offense far more, but Virginia's bottom 10 pace should keep the possessions at a minimum and give them a chance to stay within a few possessions. Instead, I'll look at the under as I'm not sure how many opportunities each team gets to score with the clock bleeding and a pair of disciplined defenses.

Track all of Reed's bets at Betstamp HERE!

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.