College Basketball Odds & Picks for Baylor vs. Oregon: Sell High on Bears
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: James Akinjo
- Baylor, the No. 1 team in the country, takes on Oregon, which has been a major disappointing this season.
- The Bears are undefeated and are coming off an impressive performance against Villanova in which they held the Cats to just 36 points.
- Kody Malstrom breaks down the matchup and offers up his selection.
Baylor vs. Oregon Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Listen, it’s never easy to repeat as a champion in any sport, let alone March Madness. Winning six games in a row and avoiding one cold shooting night or a bad bounce — twice in a row — is nearly impossible.
With that said, Baylor looks poised to pull it off. The Bears come into this one red-hot, holding offensive powerhouse Villanova to only 36 points.
Oregon, on the other hand, has been in the midst of a decline, currently sitting at 6-5. Normally one of the Pac-12 powerhouses, Oregon has been sliding as of late but is coming off of a dominant win against Portland, 96-71.
With Baylor firing on all cylinders and Oregon trying to rebound from early mistakes, the spread is more mysterious than ever at such a short number.
Baylor is good, one of the best in the nation, and the numbers back it up.
The No. 1 team in the country is a deserving holder of that ranking. This is the only team in college basketball that ranks top-5 in both AdjO and AdjD, per KenPom.
Not only did the Bears hold Villanova to 36, no one has scored more than 61 points on this defense since VCU on Nov. 25.
The defense is filled with high flying, disrupting, havoc-minded pests, who constantly disrupt rhythms and force bad shots. It’s a war just to find a good high-quality shot on the Bears’ defense.
Their no-middle defense is designed to force turnovers and keep opposing offenses out of the lane. While Oregon has the length and size to counteract it, it remains to be seen if it truly can break the defense.
Baylor isn’t only excelling on defense, but the offense is cruising, as well. This is a unit that plays eight players meaningful minutes, with four of them scoring in double digits.
Oregon will look to hit from deep at a high rate, something that Baylor will need to keep in mind to keep pace if Oregon’s size disrupts the defense.
This may be an issue as Baylor isn’t one of the best shooting teams in half-court sets, ranking seventh in the Big 12. The Bears currently average 33.6% from 3 and 47.5% from the field.
Free throws are also another concern worth noting should it be a tight one late, as Baylor shoots a gross 67.4% as a team.
The start to the season has not been ideal for Dana Altman’s Ducks, a once-formidable Pac-12 team now struggling to find an identity. Not all hope is lost as an upset win at home against the Bears could turn this whole season around.
The numbers are not ideal. Oregon currently ranks 30th in AdjO and 105th in AdjD, per KenPom.
While the numbers are eye-popping, this sets up to be a classic buy low/sell high spot, as Baylor is coming off of an overwhelmingly dominant win against Villanova.
If Oregon wants to realistically pull this off, the Ducks will need to use their size advantage and pound the glass at all times. This means slowing down the pace and limiting second chances to get as many possessions as possible.
On the offensive end, Oregon will need to space out the floor with leading scorer Will Richardson. If he’s on, Baylor will have to play out on him, as he shoots above 40% from deep.
If Baylor has to stretch out, this will play into Oregon’s hands, as the Ducks can use the previously mentioned size mismatch to burn Baylor down low. When in the paint, the Baylor defense gives up a near 60% completion percentage around the rim.
Baylor vs. Oregon Betting Pick
Baylor is arguably one of the best in the nation, but I think it’s time to sell high on the Bears.
Oregon has the tools to give Baylor fits with a size mismatch and outside shooting to stretch out the defense.
If Richardson is on, Baylor will be forced to creep out on him. When that happens, Oregon can hit the Bears’ weakness down low, as they give up buckets in the paint at a high field goal percentage.
If Oregon crashes the boards well, it can limit Baylor possessions and force it to play at its pace, potentially making Baylor uncomfortable.
Oregon has struggled so far this season, but I will back it at the spread to potentially get its season back on track.
Pick: Oregon +8
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