Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Baylor & Texas Tussle To Go 'Over'

Jay Pryce

Saturday, February 20, 2016 2:13 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 2:13 PM UTC

Baylor & Texas tussle in Austin. The Longhorns knocked off the then-No. 13 Bears 67-59 in Waco on February 1. Can coach Shaka Smart and crew sweep the series? Free NCAAB pick inside.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 138
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Baylor Bears (19-7 SU, 7-12-1 ATS)
Baylor ended a three-game Big 12 home losing streak on Wednesday after besting No. 13 Iowa State 100-91 in overtime. They may struggle to make it two in a row. The Bears are 10-10 against Top 25 teams the past two seasons.

The Bears have gone OVER the total in 68 percent (47-22-2) of Big 12 road games when tipping off as dogs under head coach Scott Drew. Its a perfect 4-0 this season. Typically, the defense lets the team down, yielding 77.3 points per game to opponents. This season, with the sped up shot clock and other rule changes increasing scoring slightly, Baylor has given up 85.8 per contest, allowing opponents to score 8.7 points more than their projected team total on average.

Offensively, the Bears are incredibly efficient, scoring 118.7 points per 100 possessions. They play slightly up-tempo and work effectively to find open shots. As a result, their .680 assist per field goal made rate is third best nationally. Marks' men may find it tough to uncover too many easy opportunities on Saturday. Texas allows a lowly .473 assist-to-field goal made rate to B12 foes. Baylor's frontcourt, though, picks up a lot of extra-scoring chances with its 39.9 percent offensive rebound rate (third best nationally).

Live bettors take note: Baylor is 19-0 this season when getting the lead at any time during the second half.


Texas Longhorns (17-9 SU, 13-12 ATS)
The Longhorns took care of No. 10 West Virginia 85-78 last time out, giving them three wins over AP Top 10 teams this season. This puts them tied for the most in Division 1 with Kansas. They've played the second toughest schedule in college basketball behind Wake Forest.

Texas is a well-balanced bunch, ranking in the top 40 in both offensive (29th) and defensive efficiency (36th). In the first meeting against Baylor, it shot an eye-popping 47.1 percent from downtown, going 8-of-17. The Bears are one of the nation's worst at guarding the three-point arc. Its 37.1 opponent success rate ranks 295th.

Shaka Smart's offenses (Texas, VCU) have always been keen to fire it up form behind the long-distance line Texas puts up an above-average 21.6 attempts per contest. When facing an opponent allowing 33 percent or lower to teams, the Longhorns struggle. Making just 6.8 threes per game, they shoot 30.6 percent from downtown and score 70.8 points a night (4-7 ATS). Versus teams allowing a rate higher than 33 percent, like Baylor, Smart's squad drains 8.1 a contest with a 37.7 percent success rate. Scoring jumps to 74.5 points per game where they are 9-4 ATS.


Final Analysis
It takes an elite defense to slow down Baylor. Although Smart's unit is very good, it may not be enough to make this a lopsided affair. Expect the Bears to put up a fight, but their shoddy defense will allow Texas' offense to shine. I'm not too sure who covers against the NCAA basketball odds, but the OVER 140 is appealing NCAA basketball pick

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