Defenses to Make Big Difference for Underdogs Baylor, Georgia

Charles Stark

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Let's look at two big conference games Tuesday with Baylor visiting Oklahoma in the Big 12, and Florida traveling to Georgia in the SEC. Are the underdogs the best plays for your NCAAB picks?

Baylor vs. OklahomaFree NCAAB Pick: Baylor +7.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Two seriously conflicting styles go at it in this game and 12th-ranked Oklahoma is a solid -7.5 home favorite on the college basketball odds board. For my NCAAB pick in this Big 12 game I will take Baylor plus the points, although they have lost their last three games. This is actually a really good matchup for Baylor, which has won the last two matchups with Oklahoma by playing tremendous defense. Although Baylor is a little bit down this season, this is just too many points to give a team that plays good defense. Baylor ranks 29th in the country in opponent shooting efficiency and they are allowing opponents to shoot just 40.9 percent from the floor to rank 35th.

We are all aware of Oklahoma’s offensive firepower, but this is a difficult matchup for them as it seems the Sooners struggle a little against defensive-minded teams. This matchup reminds me of three losses they have had recently, versus Alabama, Kansas State and West Virginia -- all teams that put emphasis on the defensive end. Along with their good defensive statistics, Baylor is shooting a respectable 46.5 percent, so don’t be shocked if they take this to the final shot.

Florida vs. GeorgiaFree NCAAB Pick: Georgia +2.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The last time Florida was at Georgia they won 72-60, so by no surprise the 23rd-ranked Gators are road favorites on the NCAAB odds board. However, for my NCAA pick in this SEC matchup I will take Georgia plus the points. I think this is a tough matchup for the Gators, and although Georgia has lost their last three I like for them to win this game straight up. Florida surprisingly has not shot the ball particularly well this season at just 44 percent, but neither has Georgia (42.9 percent).

It is on the other side of the ball where I really like Georgia to shine tonight. The Gators are allowing opponents to shoot 43.3 percent. While that is respectable, it is not nearly as good as Georgia, with the Bulldogs allowing opponents to shoot just 38.7 percent from the floor, ranking sixth in the country. This game should come down to pace and defense, and in that case the nod goes to Georgia.

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