In the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, the Baylor Bears will take on the Norfolk State Spartans. Baylor went 26-6 in the regular season and 14-4 against Big 12 opponents, while the Spartans had an overall record of 24-6 and went 12-2 in MEAC play. If you’re looking at betting on first round games, here are two of the best player props to consider in this matchup.
#1 Baylor vs. #16 Norfolk State player prop bets
Jeremy Sochan — Over 5.5 rebounds (-135)
Sochan’s 6.2 rebounds per game were the second most for Baylor. He has at least six rebounds in seven of his last 10 games. Sochan competed with teammate Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua for rebounds, but opposing big men have keyed in on him leaving Sochan there to clean up the glass.
The Bears are recovering 36.3% of their potential offensive rebounds, which is the seventh-best mark in Division 1. The Spartans' tallest player caps out at 6’8 so even though Sochan is only 6’9, the freshman forward will still have a slight height advantage over all of Norfolk State’s roster.
Joe Bryant Jr. — Over 14.5 points (-115)
Bryant got off to a slow start in the MEAC tournament with only nine points in the quarterfinal game. He responded with 19 in the semi-finals and 23 points in the final to help the Spartans win the championship. He led the team with 16.8 points per game in the regular season, and Bryant has scored at least 15 points in five of his last eight games.
Baylor presents the toughest test of the Spartans season to this point. Historically they don’t really have a chance in this game, but that doesn’t mean that Bryant can’t put up some points. The Bears are allowing opponents to shoot 49.5% on their two-point attempts which ranks 164th among 358 qualified teams. It isn’t much, but when you are taking on a No. 1 seed, you have to take advantage wherever you can and I think Bryant will be able to do that and hit the over.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA). 21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.