Michigan Women’s Basketball Seeks NCAA Tournament Stunner Over Baylor

Posted By Derek Helling on March 26, 2021 - Last Updated on March 25, 2021

The Michigan women’s basketball team joins the men in standing proud as the standard-bearer for Big Ten Conference basketball in 2021. The Wolverines are the only conference member to get both its men’s and women’s basketball teams to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.

Saturday’s showdown with reigning national champion Baylor will determine whether the women’s team reaches the Elite Eight.

Michigan sportsbooks have plenty of action on the contest and some near-consensus March Madness lines. The odds make for a nice payout if the Wolverines are able to pull off the upset against the defending national champions.

A look at Saturday’s odds for Michigan vs. Baylor

Baylor, as expected, is riding momentum. The Lady Bears have won 19 games in a row. In the Rounds of 64 and 32, they dispatched Jackson State and Virginia Tech by an average of 45.5 points. In their winning streak, only one was by single digits.

That’s a big reason why MI sports betting apps have them a huge favorite for the 3 p.m. ET tip on ABC. BetRivers Sportsbook, for example, has a moneyline of -1115 on Baylor to win. Taking Michigan in that market has a potential payout of +525.

The spread for the game sits at 13 or 13.5 points, depending on your book. Currently, the best odds on the Michigan women’s basketball team covering are at DraftKings Sportsbook, which offers a line of -110 on either side of the spread.

The total at PointsBet Sportsbook of 136.5 is on-par with the other apps available in MI.

Can the Wolverines slow down the Lady Bears?

If both teams hit their averages for the season (Michigan at 75.3 points per game, Baylor at 82.6), the over will easily hit. However, that’s no foregone conclusion. Both of these teams have made it to the Sweet 16 by beguiling opposing offenses.

Michigan hasn’t allowed more than 66 points in any of its previous five games, including in a 70-55 upset of third-seed Tennessee in the second round. Over its past five, Baylor has held its foes to no more than 55 points. So, which of these trends will give on Saturday? That’s what MI bettors looking at the total on this game have to decide.

To defy Baylor’s staunch defense, the Wolverines need Hailey Brown, Leigha Brown, and Naz Hillmon to continue to score. All three scored in double figures in Michigan’s two tournament wins.

Michigan will need to keep its attack diversified if they can’t replicate a 54.5% shooting performance from the Round of 64.

On the flip side, the Bears have had four players score in double figures in their two NCAA contests. They’ve shot around 50% from the field both times, too. Needless to say, containing the Baylor offense will be a tall order.

Photo by Charlie Riedel/AP
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago, IL. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law. Recently, he has written about the expanded gambling industry in Michigan, including online sports betting, online casinos, and the cornerstone land-based casino market.

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