Baylor Bears to Struggle Matching Intensity of Texas Southern

Texas Southern Tigers

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:53 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 1:53 PM UTC

Our NCAAB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, goes beyond the SU records to find us ATS value as the 0-9 Texas Southern Tigers visit the Baylor Bears in Thursday night action!

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 14-5, +8.70 Units (2 Pending)

Texas Southern Tigers vs Baylor Bears

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Free NCAAB Pick: Texas SouthernBest Line Offered: at Heritage

On Tuesday, I mentioned that the Eastern Washington Eagles had the worst road trip ever to start their season. Upon looking at the Texas Southern Tigers schedule; however, I stand corrected. The Tigers start their year with 13 straight road games, with more than a few against tough ranked opponents. Interestingly enough, current projections at kenpom.com have the Tigers entering conference play at 0-13, yet going nearly undefeated in Southwestern Athletic Conference games once they begin. Give it up to coach Mike Davis (you know him from his stint at Indiana) for getting the Tigers ready for the competition, and going balls deep into getting a conference championship for a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Regular season record be damned.

The Tigers match up with the 21st ranked Baylor Bears on Thursday night as 19.5-point underdogs. Baylor is 7-2 SU on the season, but have just played 4 lined games in which they are 2-2 ATS. Their losses were to highly ranked Xavier and Wichita State, with their best win against Creighton back in November. At this point, I can’t consider their win against Wisconsin as a quality one.

The Baylor Bears are led by 5’ 11” senior guard, Manu Lecomte, who averages 16.6 points per game. He’s coming off of an injury though, and although it is likely he suits up, a bum finger is not the best diagnosis for your leading scorer. Luckily for Baylor they have a second option, as 7’ 0” senior forward, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. averages a double-double with 13.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. As a team, the Baylor Bears rank 69th in the NCAA in total rebounds per game. Depth will be a concern for them going forward, as they only have a 7-man rotation with forward Terry Maston being lost with a broken hand.

Texas Southern will counter with a 10-man rotation and the ability to force opponents into quick shots. They pushed Oregon to the brink as a 20-point underdog in their last game, and also covered easily against Ohio State as a 19.5-point underdog. They’ve also played some other big conference programs close, such as Clemson and Washington State.

One thing I noticed in the matchup is that both of these teams play in a very deliberate pace. Texas Southern is ranked 227th in average possession length on offense and Baylor is ranked 279th. With Baylor looking to dominate the matchup, I expect the game to go even slower. There isn’t a total listed for this game yet, but one has to lean on the Under for this reason. I will add the Under as an official pick without seeing the line. Given the value that Texas Southern gives us ATS in their closest game to home to date, I will also take them +19.5 points as one of my Thursday NCAAB Picks.

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