Oklahoma vs. Baylor Odds & Pick: Bet Sooners to Cover Large Spread
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Reaves
- The Baylor Bears will host the Oklahoma Sooners as heavy favorites on Wednesday night.
- Big 12 teams have had trouble covering large spreads at home this season, and the Sooners match up well with the Bears.
- Mike Randle breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.
Oklahoma vs. Baylor Odds
The No. 2 Baylor Bears have established themselves as one of the nation’s top teams in college basketball. They are a perfect 9-0 with two Big 12 road wins by an average of 21 points per game. The Bears are also a strong 7-2 against the spread.
They face a 6-2 Oklahoma Sooners team that has already won at TCU, home to West Virginia, and suffered a two-point loss against Texas Tech.
Should bettors be leery of laying a big number against the Sooners, even with Baylor on its home floor in Waco, Texas?
Scott Drew’s Bears have been dominant all season. They rank inside the top six in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per KenPom. Baylor has won its nine games by an incredible average of 30.3 points.
The Bears are led by Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Jared Butler. The junior guard averages 16.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, and two steals while shooting 45.7% from beyond the arc.
Baylor surrounds Butler with four other hot-shooting guards in MaCio Teague (15.9 ppg, 37.8% 3-point), Davion Mitchell (12 ppg, 50% 3-point), and Adam Flagler (10.9 ppg, 42.9% 3-point).
Flagler has been slowed by missing 10 days due to COVID-19 protocols and has scored 15 total points in the past three games, including a scoreless outing against Iowa State.
The Bears struggled offensively against the Cyclones on Saturday, shooting just 21% (4-of-19) from 3-point range. The challenging guard alignment matched up well with Baylor, a plan that Oklahoma can replicate with its roster.
Sooners head coach Lon Kruger is known for coaching a team that is efficient and limits turnovers. Oklahoma is shooting 36% from 3-point range, 53.3% from 2, and 78% from the free-throw line.
The Sooners rely on a trio of guards for offense, all of whom provide double-digit scoring and versatility. Senior guard Austin Reaves (15.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.4 apg) has started to look more like his Wichita State days after suffering a precipitous drop in scoring percentages last year. He has scored 12 or more points in seven consecutive games.
Reaves’ backcourt mate is sophomore De’Vion Harmon, who’s averaging 11.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in just over 28 minutes per game.
Oklahoma received a fantastic performance from North Texas transfer Umoja Gibson, who scored 29 points and shot 8-of-11 from 3-point land in the Sooners 75-71 win over West Virginia.
The critical piece for the Sooners is 6-foot-9 forward Brady Manek (13.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg). He is going through a rough shooting slump with only nine points over the past two games.
The schematic to competing with Baylor is two-fold: rebound effectively and make shots against its 1-3-1 zone. The Bears certainly have the shooters and currently rank second-best in Big 12 play on the defensive boards, per KenPom.
The Sooners also have a pair of big men in 6-foot-10 senior Kur Kuath (7.7 ppg) and 6-foot-7 sophomore Victor Iwuakor (7.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg).
Kuath played great against West Virginia, producing nine rebounds and three blocks, and Iwuakor had a spectacular eight-point, 10-rebound, two-steal performance against Texas Tech.
While the Bears have been a top Big 12 team for several years, they have not been a great team against the spread as home favorites under Drew. Per our Bet Labs data, since the 2006-2007 season, Baylor is only 60-71-2 (45.8%) in Waco against Big 12 opponents.
If wagering $100 per game, the average bettor would be down $1,411 backing Baylor in those situations. Given the deliberate pace, outside shooting, and rebounding of Kruger’s Sooners, this projects as an uncharacteristically close game for Baylor.
Recent history also suggests that Oklahoma will be more than ready for this road challenge. The Sooners have lost their last two trips to Waco by just six and four points.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Per the Action Network app, this line opened at Baylor -11.5. I would expect the public to back the undefeated home Bears, driving the line even higher.
The history between two teams indicates a competitive game, even against the No. 2 Bears. This spread also fits a trend of Big 12 conference underdogs covering this season. Home favorites of three points or more have failed to cover a spread in nine chances this season.
I’m taking Oklahoma +11.5 to give Baylor its toughest game so far this season. Watch the line movement in the morning, as this line could end up at 13 points or higher.
Pick: Oklahoma +11.5 .