NCAA Basketball Picks: Baylor Gets Revenge Against Kansas In Big 12 Showdown

Charles Stark

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 1:10 PM GMT

Kansas travels for a tough Big 12 matchup at Baylor. Will  Bears be able to hang in with the red-hot Jayhawks and cover for one of our NCAA basketball picks of the night?

NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA basketball odds boards have come out making Baylor a +1.5 underdog like at BetOnline -110. This is a really surprising line at first glance considering how bad they lost to Kansas earlier in the season. Baylor is on a mini roll right now, so for one of my NCAA picks today, I will back them plus the points.

Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas is averaging 81.2 points per game while shooting 48.2% from the field, and allowing 68.4 points per game on 40.5% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 17-8 overall against the spread and on a seven game against the spread win streak. They have really picked things up over the past few weeks highlighted by a big win at Oklahoma. It seems like they've finally turned the corner and are playing their best basketball of the season. However, this is of tough spot against a good Baylor team that can flat out score. Offensively, Kansas is one of the best in the country and they rank 14th, 18th, and 20th in shooting efficiency, effective field-goal percentage, and overall shooting percentage respectively. Most impressive of their statistics though is the fact they shoot 41.7% from beyond the arc which ranks sixth in the country. Defensively, they're one of the best in the Big 12 and have solid statistics across the board. They rank in the top quarter of the country in most offensive statistics, they are good but because of their tempo they do tend to allow teams to put up some points. Naturally, on the road most of the statistics on this side of the ball do drop and I expect for them not to be able to lock down a Baylor team that is starting to play well. Earlier in the season, Kansas absolutely thumped Baylor but that was at home and they simply shot lights out shooting almost 54% from the field, and a ridiculous 58% from distance, don't expect that kind of production on the road tonight.

 

Baylor Bears
Baylor is averaging 77.9 points per game while shooting 47.2% for the field, and allowing 69.9 points per game on 45% shooting from the field. On the season, they are 8-12-1 overall against the spread, and 4-8 at home. This team had high expectations coming into the season but have come up a bit short in a real competitive Big 12 conference. Recently, they have played a lot better, winning their last two games against a good Iowa State team, and then a resurgent Texas team at Texas. What stands out most for me about this Baylor team is the fact they are playing some defense this year. On the season, they are allowing just under 67 points per game at home and holding opponents to just 54.6 field-goal attempts per game. They also don't allow a lot of second looks, with just 29.3 opponent rebounds per game which ranks third in the country. Offensively, they can score, and they move the ball really well, averaging 18.3 assists per game which ranks fourth in the country. For the most part, they rank in the top part of the country and most offensive statistics, and they could really put up points at home. They have not beaten Kansas at home the last two seasons, but I think they have an outside chance tonight.

Kansas is playing good basketball right now, but I recommend that for one of your NCAA basketball picks to back Baylor plus the small points. They play well at home and should come in with some confidence after winning two games in a row. After getting blown out earlier in the season at Kansas, I expect nothing less than a maximum effort from the Bears.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Baylor +2
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle