Baylor vs. Texas College Basketball Odds & Pick: Betting Value On Longhorns in Top-6 Matchup (Feb. 2)
Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Andrew Jones.
- The Texas Longhorns host the Baylor Bears in a top-six Big 12 matchup on Tuesday night.
- The Bears boast one of the best backcourts in the country, but the Longhorns have a group of their own that can match up well.
- Mike Randle breaks down this marquee matchup below and explains why there's betting value on the Longhorns.
Baylor vs. Texas Odds
The No. 2 ranked Baylor Bears have been one of the most impressive teams in college basketball.
They are 16-0 overall and a perfect 8-0 in Big 12 Conference play. They’re also fantastic against the spread, boasting a 12-4 overall record, including covers in five of their past seven games.
They travel to Austin on Tuesday to play a Texas team that also resides among the top teams in the country. The No. 6 Longhorns are 5-2 in the conference with impressive wins over Kansas and West Virginia.
Should bettors back a Baylor team that has won by double-digits in 14 of its 16 games, or are the battle-tested Longhorns too attractive to pass up as a home underdog?
Baylor is one of the most metrically-strong teams in the country.
It ranks third among all teams in both offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency, per KenPom. The Bears are the top 3-point shooting team in the country with an incredible 43.4% mark from beyond the arc.
Within the conference, the Bears are even more superior. They rank first among all Big 12 teams in effective field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, 2-point percentage and offensive rebounding efficiency.
They are clearly the top offensive team in the conference and are one of the strongest in the country.
The Bears are also strong defensively, ranking first in effective field goal percentage allowed and sixth nationally with 18.6 turnovers forced per game.
Baylor is led by a trio of guards in All-American candidate Jared Butler (16.9 ppg, 5.4 apg, 45.2% 3-point), MaCio Teague (15 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 36.8% 3-point), and Davion Mitchell (12.8 ppg, 5.9 apg, 47.2% 3-point). There are very few teams that can match up with all three outstanding backcourt players.
However, Texas has the unique ability to do exactly that.
The Longhorns boast three versatile guards in Andrew Jones (14.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg), Courtney Ramey (13.9 ppg, 32. rpg, 3.89 apg, 44.6% 3-point), and Matt Coleman (13.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.1 apg). The three veteran guards are fantastic two-way players that also disrupt the opposing offense.
They spearhead a Longhorns defensive attack that ranks top-20 nationally in 3-point percentage allowed (28.4%) and 2-point percentage allowed (44.1%).
In the Longhorns’ 84-59 win at Kansas, they held the Jayhawks to a mind-blowing 13% (3-of-23) from beyond the arc.
The Bears rely heavily on the 3, generating 36.8% of their conference points from beyond the arc. This represents the most of any Big 12 team by a substantial margin. If Baylor isn’t hitting its triples, its offense can struggle to score.
The Longhorns will also put forth a formidable front line that will challenge the Bears on the offensive boards.
Freshman Greg Brown (11.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg), 6-foot-11 sophomore Kai Jones (9.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg), and senior Jericho Sims (7.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg) will complement the Longhorns’ guards with tough interior play.
In conference play, Texas ranks first overall (even ahead of Baylor) in defensive rebounding percentage. The Longhorns have limited second-chance points, which are critical to Baylor’s success.
There are also two critical areas in which Baylor has shown vulnerability: offensive turnovers and free-throw shooting.
The Bears are just middle of the conference in offensive turnovers and are shooting only 68.1% from the stripe in their eight conference games.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This game reminds me of the earlier Texas-Kansas battle.
The Longhorns can make a huge statement to the NCAA Tournament committee with a win over the undefeated second-ranked Bears. The Longhorns would also move to one game behind Baylor in the race for the Big 12 regular-season title.
Much like Alabama traveling to Oklahoma, you have a very confident Baylor team facing a group that actually matches up well with it. The Longhorns’ trio of guards and solid rebounding will keep this game close throughout.
I’ll take the six points with Texas in a game it has a legitimate chance to win.
Pick: Texas +6 (down to +5).