Baylor vs. Texas Tech College Basketball Odds & Pick: Bet the Bears in Saturday Big 12 Action
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: MaCio Teague (left) and TJ Holyfield (right).
- Baylor looks to keep its perfect season alive on Saturday afternoon when it makes the trek to Lubbock to take on in-state rival Texas Tech in a Big 12 battle.
- The Bears' closest result was an 11-point win over Iowa State on the road, but the Red Raiders have shown they can hang with top-five opponents after beating Texas earlier this week.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down the game and shares a betting pick based on his analysis below.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech Odds
Baylor looks to keep its perfect season alive when it travels to Lubbock to battle 15th-ranked Texas Tech.
Baylor has been on cruise control this season, as its closest margin of victory was an 11-point road win over Iowa State.
The Bears have perhaps the most complete team at both ends of the floor in the country, as they rank top-five in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
However, two things are potentially working against them: 1) This is their toughest test of the season to date, and 2) They have a date with Kansas on Monday, so the Bears could potentially be looking ahead.
Texas Tech finally beat a team inside the KenPom top 100 on Wednesday, downing fourth-ranked Texas, 79-77, in Austin on a Mac McClung game-winner.
Mac McClung hits the game-winning shot at Texas. pic.twitter.com/EYTXFwvjdV
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) January 14, 2021
Defense has always been the strength Chris Beard’s teams, but the Red Raider offense has started to come alive over the past three games, as they’re scoring over 80 points a game. Can they keep up that level of play against one of the best defenses in the country?
When Baylor has the ball
The thing that makes this Baylor team so good is that it can just absolutely light opponents up from beyond the arc. It’s shooting 42.8% from 3-point range, and every single player that has attempted a 3 is shooting over 40% for the season.
That has led the Bears to the third-most efficient offense behind Gonzaga and Iowa, as they average 1.21 points per possession.
Where Baylor kills teams is with its relentless guard play. It boasts four guards who average double figures and can overwhelm teams that do not defend the perimeter that well. The good news for Baylor is the Red Raiders have struggled mightily defending the 3-ball in Big 12 play.
Texas Tech allows nearly 40% from beyond the arc against Big 12 teams, which is the worst mark in the conference.
Despite ranking top-five in defensive efficiency, the Red Raiders have somewhat struggled on defense in league play, allowing 1.01 points per possession. On Wednesday against Texas, they allowed the Longhorns to shoot over 50% from deep, so Baylor is set up to have a field day from beyond the arc on Saturday.
When Texas Tech has the ball
The reason the Texas Tech offense has flourished over the past three games is that it’s making its way to the free throw line at a ridiculously high rate. The Red Raiders have attempted 85 free throws in those games, which has been a major benefit for them since they’re shooting almost 78% from the charity stripe during conference play.
Despite its success from the line, Texas Tech has honestly a very average shooting team. It’s right on the NCAA average in almost every shooting metric, so it’s sudden offensive resurgence is likely to due to its ability to get to the free-throw line.
Texas Tech also owns lowest turnover rate in the Big 12, which will come in handy against Baylor, which has the third-highest turnover percentage in the country.
The reason the Bears have the best defense in the country is because they have elite defenders at all five positions. They have allowed a Big 12-low 0.89 points per possession in conference play while holding opponents to an effective field goal percentage of only 46.6%.
Baylor will be well equipped to handle Texas Tech’s offense at all five positions.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This Baylor team looks unstoppable at the moment.
Sure, they haven’t faced high-level competition yet, but it’s dominated every single one of its opponents.
The way Texas Tech has been defending the perimeter these past few games, I don’t see how it’s going to slow down Baylor’s 3-point shooting. Additionally, most of Texas Tech’s offense is coming from the free-throw line, which is not sustainable.
I have the Bears projected as -4.87 favorites on the road, so I’ll back them at -3.5 or better.
Pick: Baylor -3.5 or better.