Washington State vs Baylor Odds, Picks | NCAAB Betting Guide
Pictured: LJ Cryer #4 of the Baylor Bears. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
- Washington State looks to get back to .500 against Baylor.
- Meanwhile, the Bears have been playing well and looking to extend their winning streak.
- Alex Hinton digs into the matchup and offers up his best bet below.
Washington State vs. Baylor Odds
It has been an up-and-down season for Washington State. The Cougars are 4-5 after a 74-70 loss to UNLV last Saturday.
Baylors suffered a 26-point loss at Marquette earlier this season, but has rebounded with wins over Gonzaga and Tarleton State. The Bears also have a victory over UCLA on their resume, are 7-2 and ranked 11th in the AP Top 25.
Baylor has won 10 out of its past 11 games against Pac-12 opponents, but is just 1-3 against Washington State. However, the last meeting was back in 2010. How will this matchup turn out? Let’s break down the odds and come up with a pick.
Washington State has the profile you’d expect from a 4-5 team — capable, but not elite on either end. It ranks 63rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 61st in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Cougars have four double-digit scorers and are led by guard T.J. Bamba.
The junior is averaging 16.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Saint Mary’s transfer guard Jabe Mullins is averaging 14.2 points per game while Tennessee transfer guard Justin Powell is averaging 11.9 per game. Forward Mouhamed Gueye is averaging 13.4 points and 7.7 rebounds and has made strides in his second year with the program.
The Cougars have shot the three ball well this season as Bamba, Mullins and Powell are each above 43% from beyond the arc. In fact, Mullins is second in the country at 56.7% from deep. As a team, WSU is shooting 38.9% from three and ranks 28th nationally.
Washington State is also outrebounding its opponents by 6.7 rebounds per game. It ranks 62nd in offensive rebounding percentage and 27th in defensive rebounding percentage.
However, turnovers are an issue. The Cougars rank 289th in turnover percentage offensively and 274th defensively. The Cougars play at one of the slowest paces (302nd in adjusted tempo) and losing the turnover battle in a game with limited possessions is not very conducive to winning.
Baylor ranks sixth nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and is averaging 84.6 points per game. Guards Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer have been key contributors for a couple of years now. Cryer leads the team with 16.5 points per game while Flagler averages 16.1 points and a team-leading 6.1 assists. They both missed the Tarleton State game (back injury for Cryer while Flagler had an illness), but are back at practice and expected to play Sunday night.
Freshman and former top-10 recruit Keyonte George has helped form one of the nation’s top scoring trios this season. George is averaging 15.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists. However, Cryer and Flagler are more efficient as each shoots over 48% from the field. Baylor is also shooting 48.4% from the field — 58.6% on two-point attempts and 36.9% on threes.
For Baylor, it is a team effort on the glass. Forward Flo Thamba leads the team with 5.1 rebounds per game, but four Bears are averaging at least four per game. Baylor has not missed very often this season, but still ranks 14th in offensive rebounding percentage. Baylor is also outrebounding opponents by 6.1 rebounds per game.
Turnovers are this offense’s one flaw as the Bears rank 183rd in turnover percentage. However, Baylor also forces havoc at the other end. Defensively, it ranks 24th in turnover percentage and 36th in steals percentage. Six Bears, led by guard Dale Bonner’s 2.3 steals per game off the bench, are averaging over a steal per game.
Baylor has ranked in top 25 in adjusted defensive efficiency in each of the past three seasons. However, it is just 46th in the category so far this season.
Washington State vs. Baylor Betting Pick
Baylor will be playing its first game in 11 days. Additionally, this game will be played in an NBA arena, so a slow start would not surprise me. However, with Cryer and Flagler back in the lineup, I expect Baylor’s depth and offensive firepower to eventually wear down the Cougars.
Baylor has scored 80 points in six of its nine games, including against UCLA. It also scored 79 against Virginia. Compare that to Washington State, who has scored 70 points in just three games. If Baylor gets it rolling offensively, Washington State will not be able to keep up.
I have to back Baylor and would not be surprised if the Bears won by double digits.
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