Back Road Dog Oklahoma +2 vs. Baylor: NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Saturday, January 24, 2015 2:51 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 2:51 PM GMT

Baylor has struggled to cover the number as small home favorites in 2014-15, which makes Oklahoma a dangerous road underdog Saturday.

Balanced Attack
Oklahoma has been able to produce a solid 12-6 SU and 9-7 ATS record due to possessing one of the best starting lineups in the Big 12 Conference, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks, as each of the five players average 8.1 or more points per game.

The Sooners will be led offensively by the play of Buddy Hield, who paces the conference during league play in scoring 23.0 points a contest—helped by knocking down 3.5 treys per game.

Hield played a major role in leading his team to a 73-63 victory over Baylor as seven-point home favorites on Jan. 3, as the junior finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 21-9 SU and 23-7 ATS when playing on Saturday.

 

Revenge
Baylor has won 14 of its last 15 home games dating back to last season, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, as it attempts to avenge its earlier loss to Oklahoma in Norman.

The 73 points that the Bears defense allowed to the Sooners just three weeks ago are the most the squad has allowed this season, as it has managed to hold foes to an average of 11.9 points below their season averages to this point.

It’s important to point out that the school is 1-17 SU all-time against ranked Oklahoma teams.

Since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, this particular group is 8-7 SUATS when revenging a road loss.

 

Facing Top Competition
The Sooners have played eight ranked opponents this year, which happens to be the highest number in the nation entering this weekend, with the group producing a 4-4 SU record in that situation.

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger has had the luxury of attacking a tough schedule with the same starting lineup in every contest, while transfer TaShawn Thomas has started all 114 of his career games dating back to his time at Houston.

 

Attack the Glass
The Bears’ last four Big 12 games have been decided by either two or fewer points or in overtime, which means that they must continue attacking the glass—ranking fifth nationally in averaging 41.8 total rebounds per game.

Baylor was out-rebounded by a 38-30 margin in its first meeting with Oklahoma, but it should be more competitive in that category inside the Ferrell Center, as it has posted equal or more second-chance points than its opponents in all 18 games this season.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Sooners as one of their top NCAA basketball picks, as the Bears are 0-2 ATS as home favorites of three or fewer points in 2014-15.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Oklahoma Sooners +2 at Bookmaker

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