NCAA Basketball Picks: Baylor Will Upset Oklahoma In Big 12 Clash

Kevin Stott

Saturday, January 23, 2016 11:34 AM GMT

Let’s dive in, see what we can find out about this Big 12 showdown and try to provide a logical NCAA basketball pick or two from this game for our Hoops savvy Sportsbook Review readers.

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Final Score Prediction: Baylor 84  Oklahoma 80
NCAA Basketball Pick: Baylor +2 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

Oklahoma vs. Baylor
Buddy Hield and #1-ranked Oklahoma (15-2, 4-2 Big 12) head to Waco, Texas and the Ferrell Center on Saturday to face #13-ranked Baylor (15-3, 5-1 Big 12) in this early start showdown in a massive game between two teams surely to be in the NCAA Tournament come March. NCAA Basketball odds makers have opened up this game with Oklahoma as 1-point favorites (at Bookmaker) with the Total (Points) set at 151½ (Bookmaker).

 

Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma (7-8 ATS, 9-6 O/U) and Head Coach Lon Kruger are currently #1 in the Polls and are the top 3-point shooting team in the country (45.7%), but the Sooners may fall in those silly Polls (like it matters) no matter what happens in this game after losing at #19-ranked Iowa State 82-77 as 2½-point underdogs, understandable in this rugged conference as Oddsmakers actually had the Cyclones as favorites in that spot. In that game—only the Sooners’ 2nd loss of the season (at #1 Kansas was the other)—Oklahoma (20/1 to win NCAA Championship, Sportingbet) was led in scoring by electric star G Buddy Hield (27 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and backcourt mate G Isaiah Cousins (26 points) but the Sooners only received 7 points from its other three starters in the Loss at Ames: F Ryan Spangler 2 points, F Khadeem Lattin 0 points, and G Jordan Woodard, 5 points. F Dante Buford added 14 off the Bench and Christian James 3 points, but it was Hield, Cousins and Buford who accounted for 67 of Oklahoma’s 77 points (87%), a major imbalance for a team deemed the tops in the land by a mass voting and not a game of basketball on a basketball court. To get the win here, the Sooners will need more output from Spangler (1-7 FG, 2 points vs. Iowa State) who averages 10.6 ppg and Lattin (0 points, 0-1 FG) who averages 6.2 ppg (and 2.2 bpg). Baylor is deep enough and gets scoring from more places and the Sooners will have to do much better than having three of their starters total just 7 points in 91 minutes on the hardwood like they did against the Cyclones.

 

Baylor Bears
Fifteenth-ranked Baylor (5-7 ATS, 7-5 O/U) and Head Coach Scott Drew come into this game atop the Big 12 Conference, and that’s really saying something with the many talented (ranked and unranked) teams throughout this renowned conference. The Bears (5-4-1 ATS L10) have W5 straight Big 12 games—for only the second time in school history—after losing to (then) #2 Kansas, 102-74, Baylor has beaten some good Big 12 teams in Oklahoma State, #13 Iowa State, TCU,  Texas Tech and Kansas State, 79-72, here in Waco in a milktoast performance in their last game in double-OT. In that Win, the Bears were led in scoring by F Taurean Prince (19 points, 13 rebounds), F Rico Gathers (11 points, 8 rebounds) and G Al Freeman (11 points) from the starting 5 and F Johnathan Motley (15 points, 9 rebounds), G King McClure (9 points) and F Terry Mason (5 points) off the Bears Bench, which scored an impressive 29 points in the 7-point win (but failed to cover, BAY -9½, 140½). So here against Oklahoma, the big thing for Baylor (100/1 to win National Championship, bet365, William Hill) will be to try to stop Hield (to some degree), get that healthy scoring from the Bench again and try to get the Ferrell Center crowd going, although it is a very early (10 a.m. CST) start for these college kids from the states of Oklahoma and Texas, which may bode well for the Under with both teams maybe still a bit sleepy and the Bears coming off  that double-OT affair with Kansas State and the Sooners having to travel to this game.

 

Best Betting Approaches and Series Trends
These two teams met twice last year with the two teams splitting the season series with each winning at Home, Oklahoma, 73-63 in Norman (OK -7, 134) and Baylor, 69-58 here in Waco (BAY -2, 133). With leading-scorer Prince, Gathers (10.7 rpg) and G Lester Medford (7.3 apg, 13 assists vs. KSU), the Bears will be able to hang with the top-ranked Sooners and if Motley (15 points, 9 rebounds vs KSU) and the Baylor Bench can come through for Head Coach Drew as they have during this nice win streak (W5) then the hosts can definitely win this game and the media could be squawking on Monday morning about how #1-ranked Oklahoma got beat twice in the same week when winning at Ames and Waco against these teams in the same week would even be a hard task for Stephen Curry and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors or the Harlem Globetrotters.

Oklahoma is 7-3 ATS in the L10 meetings in this series (OK 73.1 ppg-BAY 70.7 ppg)—the Total is 5-5—with an average of 65.7 points being scored at Halftime over the L10 meetings. But the Sooners are a disappointing 2-8 ATS in their L10 games overall (8-2 SU) and will remember losing this game last year in Waco by 11 and may be content to lose another game and get that silly #1 monkey off its back and get on with the conference schedule. After all it’s the Big Dance they’re all playing for anyway. And worrying about a national ranking when you’re a member of the Big 12 Conference—which currently has five teams in #1 (Oklahoma), #3 (Kansas), #6 (West Virginia), #13 (Baylor) and #19 (Iowa State) in the AP Top 20—is almost like worrying about running out of Pineapples in Hawaii. Wasted Time. And Time ain’t a good thing to waste.
The site will matter here and if Baylor can keep Hield in check, or even let him go off for 30+ and hold the other Sooners under double-digit scoring and not let them get easy looks on the many 3’s you know they’ll be attempting (Oklahoma averages 10.3 made 3’s per game), then Baylor (80.1 PF-66.6 PA) can up their Win Streak to 6 games. But the Bears come in here 0-6 lifetime against top-ranked (#1) opponents, losing by an average margin of 19.7 ppg, but those were different times and after losing at Iowa State, Oklahoma (85.7 PF-71.6 PA) might not be #1 in a couple of days anyway and a defeat here in Waco would ensure that, not that the polls matter to players and astute sports gamblers. And with other conference mates like Texas (12-6), Texas Tech (12-5), Oklahoma State (10-8) and Kansas State (11-7) not even ranked, the Big 12 is the mighty Amazon River and its member schools’ basketball teams are the hungry piranhas. Take Baylor as the sharp NCAA basketball pick.