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Dec 30, 2021

Sugar Bowl Picks, Predictions and Odds: Baylor vs. Ole Miss

Jan. 1, 2022
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert
VegasInsider.com

The Baylor Bears (11-2) of the Big 12 take on the Ole Miss Rebels (10-2) of the Southeastern Conference in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Saturday at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ESPN.

Score Prediction

Ole Miss 30, Baylor 24

Best Bets

Ole Miss -120 ML at BetMGM

Under 55.5 (-110) at DraftKings

Sugar Bowl Predictions

Perhaps lost a little in the shuffle, this matchup between Baylor and Ole Miss has the potential to be one of the better bowl games of the entire postseason. The Bears topped Oklahoma 27-14 in Waco on Nov. 13 as four-point underdogs, and it rattled off four consecutive wins and a 3-1 ATS mark since a 30-28 setback at TCU on Nov. 6. The Bears also exacted a little revenge after suffering a 24-14 loss at Oklahoma State on Oct. 2, upending the Cowboys in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 4 as a touchdown underdog as the UNDER connected. While Baylor's offense has managed 28 or fewer points in each of the past five games, the defense has been nasty, yielding 24 or fewer points in four straight, and eight of the previous nine outings.

Ole Miss has gotten the big-time recruits and the excitement to #ComeToTheSip. The party people and the die-hard never left The Grove, as they've always been there, but now there is a little extra to be excited about if you're a fan of the Rebels. Head coach Lane Kiffin has made Ole Miss a destination for players, and he has one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in Matt Corral. He is also tailor-made to work in a Kiffin offense, even if the "Lane Train" didn't recruit him. This is going to be a fun game, and while we've seen a lot of opt outs of big-name players headed for the next level, Corral is confirmed to play.

Baylor has a question at the quarterback position, but it's a health issue. QB Gerry Bohanon (hamstring) started the first 11 games of the season, but he missed the previous two outings with a hamstring injury. He is expected to be ready to start. QB Blake Shapen (shoulder), who led the team to the Big 12 title game win, is dealing with a shoulder still, and head coach Dave Aranda said the backup will not play. So Bohanon's hamstring bares close watching, as there isn't a safety net behind him if he has any ill effects.

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Sugar Bowl Betting Odds

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Sugar Bowl Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big 12 vs. SEC
  • Date: Saturday, January 1, 2021
  • Venue: Caesars Superdome
  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 8:45 p.m. ET

Baylor Bears Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 11-2
  • ATS: 9-4
  • O/U: 6-7

This is Baylor's first bowl since Matt Rhule, the current (for now) head coach of the Carolina Panthers, took them to the Sugar Bowl in 2019 against Georgia. The Bears lost 26-14 that day, but they had won the previous three bowls. Baylor is also a rather respectable 5-3 SU in the past eight bowl appearances. In seven all-time bowl games, Baylor has a 3-4 SU record against the SEC, and this will be the first matchup in a bowl against Ole Miss. These institutions met once before on the gridiron, a 20-10 victory by Baylor back on Sept. 6 ,1975.

Baylor has covered nine of the past 12 games overall, while going an impressive 43-21 ATS in the past 64 games against teams with a winning overall record. They're also 4-1 ATS in the past five neutral-site games, while going 15-5-1 ATS in the previous 21 outings as an underdog. They're also 4-1 ATS in the past five bowl games as a 'dog. However, Baylor is 5-12-1 ATS in the past 18 non-conference tilts.

On totals, the UNDER has connected in four consecutive games overall, while going 4-0 in the past four games as an underdog. The UNDER is also 5-0 in the past five matchups against teams with a winning record. The UNDER is 6-1 in the past seven neutral-site affairs, while going 6-1 in the past seven as an 'underdog at a neutral site, too. The OVER is 8-3 in the past 11 non-conference games for the Bears, the only trend pointing to the OVER.

Ole Miss Rebels Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 10-2
  • ATS: 7-4-1
  • O/U: 3-9

The Rebels picked up an Outback Bowl win last season against Indiana, 26-20. After losing his first two bowl games at Tennessee ('09 Chick-fil-A Bowl) and USC ('12 Sun Bowl), he has victories in his past two preseason games at Florida Atlantic ('17 Boca Raton Bowl) and last season's Outback Bowl win with the Rebs. Overall, Ole Miss doesn't fool around when it gets to the postseason, winning seven of the past eight bowl games, and eight of the past nine if you include the 2012 BBVA Compass Bowl which was vacated due to an NCAA punishment.

Ole Miss is 6-1-1 ATS in the previous eight bowl games, while going 4-0-1 ATS in the past five bowl games as a favorite. The Rebels are also 5-1 ATS in the past six games against teams with a winning record, while going 5-2 ATS in the past seven games overall. The Rebels are also 5-0-1 ATS in the past six non-conference games, while going 10-2-1 ATS in the past 13 games played on a neutral site.

As far as totals are concerned, the UNDER has cashed in seven straight games overall, while going 4-0 in the past four as a favorite. The UNDER is 4-0 in the past four bowl games, too, while cashing in each of the past six against teams with a winning overall record. The UNDER has hit in six of the past eight neutral-site games, too.

Inside the Stats - Baylor Bears

  • Record: 11-2
  • VI Ranking: 5
  • Points Scored: 422
  • Points Allowed: 249
  • PS/G: 32.5
  • PA/G: 19.2

Inside the Stats - Ole Miss Rebels

  • Record: 10-2
  • VI Ranking: 9
  • Points Scored: 431
  • Points Allowed: 300
  • PS/G: 35.9
  • PA/G: 25.0

Key Players to Watch

  • BAY: Gerry Bohanon - QB (166/258, 2,466 total yards, 26 total TDs, 6 INT)
  • BAY: Abram Smith - RB (232 rushes, 1,429 yards, 12 TD)
  • MISS: Matt Corral - QB (258/378, 4,038 total yards, 31 total TDs, 4 INT)
  • MISS: Dontario Drummond - WR (67 catches, 924 yards, 8 TD)

Sugar Bowl Betting Conclusion

The SEC hasn't had a very good bowl season, at least to date. Of course, Alabama and Georgia can change all of that dramatically. Ole Miss can change that, too, and I think they very much will. They have a fun offense, and the fact Corral is playing in this one, pairing with WR Dontario Drummond, gives them the upper hand. Baylor has a very good defense, but they have struggled when faced with a dynamic pass-catch duo, especially when the passer is a dual threat.

I am also a little concerned about the hamstring of Bohanon. He suffered a hamstring injury in the win at Kansas State on Nov. 20, and hasn't played since while practicing minimally. If he has a setback of any sort, Shapen is unavailable, and things could go down the tubes in a hurry. I'd rather back the team with the more certain quarterback situation, and that's easily Ole Miss. The Rebels put up 506.6 total yards per game to rank fourth in the nation. Don't discount the run game, though. They were actually more prolific, in terms of ranking, running for 224.7 yards per game to rank ninth, while ranking 21st in passing yards per game at 281.9. Corral has a lot to do with that, as he can be just as dangerous with his feet than his arm. I like the way this Rebels team looks on offense. Defensively, they're not very good, and if Bohanon is healthy, he could definitely help the Bears hang around. But this game is essentially a pick 'em, and Ole Miss is easily the better play.

Sugar Bowl Betting Trends

  • Baylor is 9-3 ATS in the past 12 games overall.
  • Baylor is 4-1 ATS in the past five neutral-site games.
  • Baylor is 15-5-1 ATS in the past 21 games as an underdog.
  • Baylor is 5-12-1 ATS in the past 18 non-conference games.
  • Mississippi is 5-2 ATS in the past seven games overall.
  • Mississippi is 6-1-1 ATS in the past eight eight bowl games.
  • Mississippi is 5-0-1 ATS in the past six non-conference games.
  • Mississippi is 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight games as a favorite.
  • The UNDER is 4-0 in the past four games for Baylor.
  • The UNDER is 5-0 in the past five games for Baylor vs. winning teams.
  • The UNDER is 7-0 in the past seven games for Mississippi.
  • The UNDER is 4-0 in the past four bowl games for Mississippi.


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