Baylor vs Kansas State Prediction, Odds | Big 12 Betting Guide
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Keyontae Johnson (Kansas State)
Baylor vs Kansas State Odds
-110o / -110u
|Kansas State Odds|
-110o / -110u
The Big 12 is a beautiful mess.
The 10-team conference is one of the deepest leagues we’ve seen in recent college basketball history, with the entire conference ranked in KenPom’s top 60.
Eight of the 10 teams are currently projected by BracketMatrix to not just earn a spot in the NCAA tournament, but to be slotted safely from the bubble into the Round of 64.
Texas Tech, which started its conference play with eight straight losses, is making a charge and earning some bubble consideration now, as well.
This mess makes evaluating and handicapping these teams incredibly difficult. Every game feels like a must-win to keep pace, and nothing on the schedule resembles an easy win.
Every team playing a Big 12 schedule must feel like John Wick, with another capable opponent always ready to pop up and take you down.
The Baylor Bears lost a roller-coaster game to Kansas on Saturday, while the Kansas State Wildcats survived a scare at home.
Both teams better be ready for another brawl, with Tuesday’s game in Manhattan sure to be competitive.
It’s not often someone takes down Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. When Baylor ran to the visitor’s locker room Saturday afternoon, the Bears had to think they were going to buck that trend and sneak out of Lawrence with a victory.
Baylor led at halftime by 13 points, peaking with a 16-point lead late in the first half.
Bill Self and the Jayhawks had no intentions of breaking tendency with a home loss. They made some critical halftime adjustments, and then absolutely blitzed Baylor early in the second half. Kansas won the first 10 minutes after halftime 34-9.
While no team is going to be able to recreate the laser beam energy of a Kansas team charging back in front of its home crowd, opposing coaches may have pulled some kernels of information from that Kansas barrage.
Early in that game, Baylor was led exclusively by its backcourt. Adam Flagler, LJ Cryer and Keyonte George attacked a switching Kansas defense to find shots on the perimeter.
In the second half, Kansas stopped switching and started attacking the Baylor guards, relying on rangy wing defenders to make outside looks more difficult.
Baylor’s lack of size and dynamic offensive options in the paint became clear.
Over the course of the game, those three guards combined to score 57 points on 46 field goal attempts. The rest of the Bears’ roster added only 14 points on 13 shots.
That recipe may have worked for Kansas, but it’s not easily replicated. Baylor’s guards are incredibly savvy and certainly skilled enough to overcome added perimeter pressure.
Beyond that, few teams have the backline speed or length that Kansas has.
Forcing Baylor’s frontcourt to beat you is easier said than done. Scott Drew has capable bigs and wings who are smart offensive players.
Other teams will try to force the ball away from Flager, Cryer and George, but all three are good shooters and excellent passers.
The Wildcats’ success is built on veteran leadership and production. Kansas State’s two best players — Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell — are both 23-year-old transfers in their fifth season of college basketball.
Johnson made a name for himself at Florida before tragedy ended his time in Gainesville. He collapsed on the court mid-game, eventually diagnosed with a heart condition that was feared to be career-threatening.
After not playing since Dec. 2020, he was given the go-ahead to return to the court, doing so as the catalyst for Kansas State this season.
His mid-range, bully-ball game in isolation is reminiscent of a young Carmelo Anthony.
Nowell, meanwhile, started his career at Little Rock. He was believed to be undersized by larger programs, but he proved himself in the Sun Belt Conference and has shown he’s capable of dominating at a higher level in the Big 12, as well.
He led the conference in assist rate last season, and is doing so again this year.
While Johnson and Nowell spark things offensively for the Wildcats, its K-State’s defense that’s helping it win games.
First-year head coach Jerome Tang has the Wildcats getting critical stops and forcing tough shots consistently.
His time as Drew’s right-hand man at Baylor is apparent in the way his team defends relentlessly.
Baylor vs Kansas State Betting Pick
There’s a ton of juice entering this game. Tang is a former Baylor assistant who stole a road win in his first trip back to Waco earlier this season.
The Bears will have revenge on their mind as they travel to Manhattan.
That revenge may have to wait until a later date. Kansas State has been very reliable at home. The Wildcats are 13-5 ATS, with just one loss in their building.
Of all the strong teams in the Big 12, only Texas has been able to steal a win at the arena affectionately known as the “Octagon of Doom.”
The margins in these hotly-contested Big 12 games are razor thin. I’ll take the home team getting points when given the chance.
In this case, we’re hoping Baylor is still reeling from Saturday’s collapse at Kansas and gets swept in its trip to the Sunflower State.
Pick: Kansas State +1 or Better
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