College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Texas Tech vs. Baylor (Tuesday, Jan. 11)
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: James Akinjo
- Texas Tech upset Kansas on Saturday, but can they pull a second straight upset when they visit Baylor in Waco on Tuesday?
- The Bears are a perfect 15-0 this season and are double-digit favorites.
- Alex Hinton breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Texas Tech vs. Baylor Odds
|Texas Tech Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Texas Tech kicked off Big 12 play with a 51-47 loss at Iowa State. However, Texas Tech backers were able to cash their tickets when a late heave from three cut the margin of defeat to four as Texas Tech +5 cashed.
The Red Raiders got back in the win column (and ATS) on Saturday with a 75-67 victory over Kansas in Lubbock, and consequently, they moved up six spots to No. 19 in the AP Poll. The Red Raiders are back on the road to battle rival Baylor in Waco on Tuesday.
Baylor comes in 15-0 overall and 3-0 in Big 12 play. On Saturday, the Bears beat TCU 76-64 in Fort Worth and covered as 9.5-point favorites. Baylor remains the unanimous No. 1 ranked team in the country. Dating back to last season, Baylor has won 21 consecutive games.
Tech holds an 80-62 lead in the all-time series, however, Baylor has won the last four meetings overall and the last five in Waco. Will those streaks continue Tuesday night?
Despite losing head coach Chris Beard to Texas in the offseason, Texas Tech has continued to defend at a high level under Mark Adams. The Red Raiders are fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency, 10th in defensive rating and 12th in scoring defense.
Texas Tech allows the fewest 2-point attempts per game in the country and holds opponents to 44.1% on those attempts. Opponents are also hitting just 31.4% from beyond the arc against Tech, and it ranks 13th nationally in field goal percentage defense at 37.6%.
However, Texas Tech can stand to improve on the offensive end. It ranks 60th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 50th in offensive rating. As a team, Texas Tech is only shooting 33.4% from beyond the arc.
The Red Raiders get to the free throw line at a high rate — 20.6 attempts per game — but they are only converting 66% of their free-throw attempts.
It would help if the Red Raiders could get back to full strength. They have been without leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. since December 14th due to back injury, and there is no timetable for his return.
Second-leading Kevin McCullar missed the Kansas game, and his status is unclear for the Baylor game.
Without Shannon Jr. and McCullar, Texas Tech will be without nearly 28 points per game.
Against Kansas, Texas Tech did get 39 points from Bryson Williams and Clarence Nadolny. It will need the two of them to replicate that performance to have a chance at pulling the upset.
Baylor has a balanced offensive attack with four players averaging in double figures — James Akinjo, LJ Cryer, Adam Flagler and Kendall Brown. Baylor also gets about eight points per game each from Matthew Mayer, Jeremy Sochan and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua.
Akinjo leads the Bears with 14.4 points per game and 6.1 assists on 41.4% shooting from deep. The Arizona transfer was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after he averaged 23.5 points, 6.5 assists and 2.0 steals in Baylor’s wins over Oklahoma and TCU.
His teammate Flagler was named Big 12 Player of the Week after he averaged 22 points while hitting 8-of-14 from 3 in the wins. He averages 12.3 points and 3.6 assists on the year.
Baylor is fourth in adjusted offensive efficiency, eighth in offensive rating and 12th in scoring offense. However, the Bears are also elite on the defensive end. The Bears rank seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency, sixth in offensive rating and 19th in scoring defense.
Baylor’s pressure really bothers its opponents, as it ranks 10th nationally in both steals and turnovers forced per game. Senior forward Flo Thamba anchors the defense on the back end and averages 1.1 blocks in just over 17 minutes per game.
Texas Tech vs. Baylor Betting Pick
While Texas Tech and Baylor are both elite on the defensive end, Baylor is elite on both ends of the floor. Baylor has at least 75 points in each of its last six games.
Without Shannon Jr. and McCullar, Texas Tech will have a hard time keeping up.
Baylor is 9-0 at home this season and 6-3 ATS in those games. The Bears have also covered in three of the last four meetings against the Red Raiders.
Based on those trends and the numbers from this season, I’ll lay the points with the Bears at home.