Oklahoma State vs. Baylor Odds & Pick: How To Bet This College Basketball Over/Under
David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Butler.
- Cade Cunningham and the Oklahoma State Cowboys go to battle against Jared Butler and the Baylor Bears on Thursday night.
- Cunningham has been going off for the Pokes, while the Bears are starting to round into form after a long COVID-19 pause.
- Check out Tanner McGrath's full betting preview complete with updated odds and a pick based off his analysis below.
Oklahoma State vs. Baylor
|Oklahoma State Odds||+12|
|Moneyline||+575 / -835|
|Time | TV||Thursday, 7 p.m. ET | ESPN2|
One of the more intriguing Big 12 matchups is happening tonight in Waco.
The uber-hot Oklahoma State Cowboys are traveling to play the formerly-dominant-but-COVID-riddled Baylor Bears. With Cade Cunningham’s recent play and Baylor’s recent struggles, capping this game is a tough task.
Oklahoma State just swept Oklahoma, while Baylor dropped its first game of the season (at Kansas). However, the Bears bounced back in a big way against West Virginia, miraculously winning in overtime on the back of Jared Butler.
The line opened at Baylor -11/149.5 and has since moved to Baylor -12/147.5. A 12-point spread in a game of this magnitude feels fishy, but I believe this is a great spot to target the total.
Cade, Cade, Cade
Cunningham has taken Oklahoma State to new heights.
The Cowboys have won five straight games and have covered in four straight games. During that stretch, Cunningham is averaging 22.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on 52.2/40.7/88.2 shooting splits.
Additionally, Oklahoma State now has eight Quad 1 wins, which is tied for most in the country (Illinois). As of this morning, Shelby’s Bracket Wag has the Cowboys projected as a four-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Cunningham leans toward being a pass-first guard. He’s great with the ball in his hands, sees the floor well and likes to get his teammates going.
However, it feels like Cunningham is starting to realize how good of a scorer he is. That’s really important for a Cowboy team that lacks a superb supporting cast. Cunningham will be forced to carry his team through tough stretches if he wants to make a deep run in March.
He’s starting to step into that role. For example, in the first game of the Oklahoma series, Cunningham dropped 40 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while playing 40 total minutes. He forced his way to the line 14 times (making 13) and scored monumentally important buckets down the stretch.
At times, it looked like he was playing on rookie mode.
In the second game of the series, Cunningham struggled for the first 30 minutes. However, with his team down two points, Cunningham scored 13 points in the final 10 minutes. Oklahoma State won by four.
Cunningham must continue to play at a high level in a score-first role, especially in crunch-time situations. If he does, the sky is the limit for this Cowboy team.
Baylor is still the second-best team in the country. However, the Bears have looked shaken after their COVID-19 pause.
Baylor almost lost to 2-18 Iowa State, at one point being down 17 points. After that, it suffered its first loss of the season in the Allen Fieldhouse, managing only 58 points in a 13-point loss.
However, the win against West Virginia was massive for a Baylor team looking to regain its momentum and chemistry. It managed to defeat West Virginia in overtime, on the road and with the Mountaineers taking 32 total free-throw attempts and making 28.
It was a gritty win that proved Baylor can still play at a high level. Jared Butler, the Big 12 Player of the Year, in my opinion, had a massive game after scoring just five points on 2-for-9 shooting against Kansas. He scored 25 points on 10-for-21 shooting and recorded six assists in Tuesday’s win.
While the Bears looked good in the win, it’s still incredibly tough to cap them in this situation. We don’t really know what to expect.
Does the West Virginia win prove Scott Drew has his Bears back in form? Or will Baylor come out flat again?
Betting Analysis & Pick
Either way, we know what Baylor does well — score. It paces the country in 3-point percentage (42.1%), leads the Big 12 in offensive efficiency (per KenPom) and scores the fourth-most points per game of any team in college basketball (85.4).
The Bears struggled against Kansas, but the Jayhawks have the best defensive efficiency mark in the Big 12 and have been playing their best defense recently. In fact, Kansas is 4-1 to the under in its last five games and 5-2 to the under in its last seven home games.
Otherwise, Baylor’s offense has been good. It scored 81 in regulation against West Virginia, and after a slow start, scored 66 points in the final 30 minutes against Iowa State. Both of those games went over as well.
With Cunningham searching for buckets and playing so well, the Oklahoma State offense is firing on all cylinders. The Cowboys have hit the over in their last three games.
Therefore, I really like the over in this game.
I believe Cunningham and the Cowboys, who play at the highest adjusted tempo of any team in the Big 12, will continue to push the pace. Meanwhile, Baylor’s three guards will take a lot of 3s and ultimately score a lot of points.
The over is 3-0 the last three times these two teams play. I’m banking on more of the same today. I like this line up to where it opened — at 149.5.
Pick: Over 147.5 (up to 149.5).