Virginia vs. Baylor (11/18 @ 7:00 PM EST.)
Spread: Baylor (-5)
Total: Over 133.5
Overview and Betting Info
The first round of the 2022 Roman Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada is headlined by two former National Champion teams, the Virginia Cavaliers (2019) and the Baylor Bears (2021).
This was a highly anticipated event when it was announced months ago, but spirits have been dampened after the tragic events that took the lives of three UVA football players earlier this week.
Virginia canceled its game against Northern Iowa on Monday night because of the horrific event that happened on Sunday night in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers will play with heavy hearts in their first game back.
The 16th ranked Cavaliers are 2-0 on the season. They dominated their opponents: North Carolina Central and Monmouth by scoring an average of 81 points per game while allowing an average of 51.5 points scored by their opponents.
The team’s leading scorer is senior guard Amaan Franklin who is averaging 14.5 points per game. Senior guard Jayden Gardner is leading the team in rebounds with an average of 7 per game. The senior leadership continues with guard Khei Clark leading the team with an average of 6 assists per game.
The 5th ranked Baylor Bears are 3-0 thus far in 2022 with three resounding wins over Mississippi Valley State, Norfolk State, and Northern Colorado. The win over Northern Colorado was a milestone 400th win for Baylor head coach Scott Drew who has been at the helm for 20 years.
Senior guard Adam Flagler leads the team in average points and assists per game with 17.3 and 7.7, respectively. Junior forward Caleb Lohner leads the team with rebounds averaging 6.3 per game.
Baylor is averaging 99.7 points per game while allowing opponents to score an average of 61.7.
Free Pick: Over 133.5
Going into this game, it is difficult to predict how the week’s events will affect Virginia’s players. Fellow student athletes lost their lives on Sunday, and that must be difficult to process emotionally. Cancelling the Monday game and having the early season routine changed could also play a role. On the other hand, they could play inspired basketball because of what happened.
If they get off to a slow start, Baylor could potentially run away with this game as they have done with their previous opponents though admittedly, they were not of the caliber of the Virginia team. With the outcome up in the air given the extenuating circumstances, the recommended pick is Over 133.5 because of the explosiveness of both teams’ offenses.