College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Baylor vs. Texas (Monday, February 28)
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: James Akinjo (Baylor)
- No. 3 Baylor travels to Austin to take on the No. 21 Texas Longhorns.
- The Bears have a lot to play for as they are a half game back of Kansas for the Big 12 lead.
- Our analyst breaks down the matchup and offers up his top selection for the top-25 conference duel.
Baylor vs. Texas Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
In order to earn the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, the Baylor Bears likely have to take home two victories this week. First, they will have to overcome a road challenge vs. the Texas Longhorns.
In the last battle between these two programs, the Bears won by 17 in Waco.
Baylor will be without LJ Cryer — one of the team’s leading scorers — and of course, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, who is out for the season.
Still, the Bears have proven they can win with a short bench before, and should be able to conquer the road challenge vs. Texas.
Baylor has riddled off three consecutive wins, including a road game at Oklahoma State. The Bears even took down Kansas by 10 at home on Saturday without Cryer.
Baylor is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country. It ranks seventh in that category (36.7% rate). Since, the Longhorns rank 235th in defensive rebounding — allowing opponents to clean up the glass 29.4% of the time — the Bears should be able to exploit this issue.
Without Tre Mitchell (personal) as a rebounding threat, Texas will lack depth in the post. That should allow Baylor to get plenty of second chances on offense.
Building off of that, Baylor has a significant edge in 3-point shooting. They hit 35.1% from 3 as a team, while Texas allows opponents to sink 31.1% of their treys.
Being without Cryer could potentially impact the Bears’ long-range shooting, but Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer and James Akinjo have shot over 100 3s each on the season. The Bears have plenty of options, so they could still take advantage from deep.
Baylor will have to limit its mistakes, though. It ranks 187th in the NCAA in turnover percentage at 18.5%, and Texas has turned opponents over at a 23.8% clip, ranking 10th in the country.
This is where Akinjo sometimes struggles, as he turns the ball over about 3.1 times per game.
For Texas, Andrew Jones, Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr average at least one steal per game. This is where the Longhorns can excel, so if they start turning over the Bears, there may be issues for Baylor backers.
On offense, however, the Longhorns also have a tendency to turn over the ball (18.2%). Baylor, like Texas, is turning over opponents at a 23.4% clip, so this negates the seemingly sizable advantage on defense for the Longhorns.
Still, Texas, unlike Baylor, lacks deep shooting threats. The Longhorns only shoot 32.6% from downtown, and Baylor is holding opponents to under 30% from outside. Essentially all of Texas’ points will have to come from the interior.
That said, Baylor is allowing the opposition to shoot around 49% from inside the arc. Texas has scored 52.5% of its points on 2-pointers this season. The Horns could take advantage of this, but they need to be efficient, as it will likely be their only consistent method of scoring.
Otherwise, Texas manufactures points by getting to the free throw line. Baylor is neither good nor bad when it comes to fouling opponents, so it needs to remain contained and eliminate this option for the Longhorns.
Baylor vs. Texas Betting Pick
Baylor is a short road favorite, but it has the defensive wherewithal and option to knock down 3s to hold onto a victory here.
Texas turns the ball over at a similar rate to Baylor, but the Bears have a rebounding edge on the offensive end, which should come into play here.
Pick: Baylor -1 (Play to -2)
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