Baylor vs. Kansas Basketball Odds & Pick: Back Bears to Stay Undefeated (February 27)
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: MaCio Teague.
- Baylor looks to stay undefeated when it travels to Lawrence for a road game against Kansas.
- The Bears beat the Jayhawks earlier this season, but Kansas has been hot of late after a slow start.
- Will the Bears stay perfect, or can Kansas pull off the upset? Brad Cunningham breaks it down below.
Baylor vs. Kansas Odds
Baylor puts its undefeated season on the line in Lawrence Saturday when it battles the 17th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.
Baylor looked rusty in the first half against Iowa State on Tuesday but gutted out a 77-72 victory in its first game back from a three-week COVID-19 shutdown.
The Bears are one of the best teams in the country and have passed every single test on the schedule this season with flying colors. The question now is can they continue to match Gonzaga and finish out the regular season undefeated?
Kansas’ win streak came to a close on Tuesday with an overtime road loss to Texas. Before that game, the Jayhawks were red hot, winning five straight games in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks have been stifling their opponents with fantastic defense, and they will need to be almost perfect if they are going to stop Baylor’s offense. They lost to Baylor in Waco earlier this season, 77-69, in a game that featured one of the worst bad beats of the season.
You know this guy had Baylor -8.5 🤮 😂pic.twitter.com/YGrL4V8j8W
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 19, 2021
When Baylor has the ball
The Bears’ offense has been absolutely shredding the rest of the Big 12, averaging 1.17 points per possession in conference play.
The reason is that they are shooting teams out of the gym, making more than 42% of their 3-point attempts. Baylor also shoots 3s on almost 40% of its field goal attempts, so you can see why teams have had a ton of difficulty stopping Baylor’s offense.
Not only are the Bears shooting a high percentage from 3-point range, but they are also shooting over 55% from 2-point range and 69% on attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math, both of which are the best marks in the Big 12.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you that Baylor’s offense is elite, the Bears also have the highest offensive rebounding rate in the conference, so trying to slow down this Baylor offense is virtually impossible.
Kansas has been defending much better over the past two months, allowing fewer than 70 points in five of its last six games.
Defensively, Kansas is solid in pretty much every since facet and is a tough team to score on. What Baylor did in the first matchup was pretty much shoot the lights out from all over the court.
Kansas is allowing only 0.95 points per possession during conference play this season, but as the Jayhawks saw in the first meeting, Baylor is a different animal than the rest of the conference.
When Kansas has the ball
The Jayhawks haven’t been great offensively this season. They are averaging only 1.03 points per possession in Big 12 play, which is one of their lowest marks under Bill Self.
The main problem is the Jayhawks simply can’t hit anything from 3-point range. Kansas is making only 33.5% of its 3-point attempts in conference play, but it did go 10-of-19 from deep in the January meeting with Baylor.
The strength of this Kansas offense is down low, where it is making 58.7% of its shot attempts at the rim, per Hoop-Math.
The Jayhawks are also grabbing offensive rebounds at a 30.6% rate, which is the third-best mark in the Big 12. If they are going to beat Baylor, that is one area they have to take advantage, because defensive rebounding is the Bears’ one weakness defensively.
Baylor is not only the best defense in the Big 12, but it’s also one of the best defenses in the country.
The Bears boast three guards who can lock down any opposing backcourt and also have the size inside to match up with their opponents’ frontcourt. The Bears allow only 0.92 points per possession and have the third-highest turnover rate in the country, per KenPom.
Baylor isn’t going to allow the Jayhawks to shoot better than 50% from 3-point range again, so unless Kansas can score consistently inside, I don’t see how it’s going to hang with the Bears.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Baylor did look rusty against Iowa State, but that will happen after not playing or practicing consistently for three weeks. I think we will see the real Baylor show up in Lawrence on Saturday and remind everyone why it’s one of the best teams in the nation.
I have Baylor projected as a -6.78 favorite in this matchup, so I think there’s some value on the Bears at -5.
Pick: Baylor -4 or better