NCAA Basketball Picks: Oklahoma vs. Baylor

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2:16 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 2:16 PM GMT

The Baylor Bears lead the Big 12 in scoring defense during conference play, which could provide some value in betting the total when they welcome in the Oklahoma Sooners to the Ferrell Center. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers for this affair.


Falling into a pattern

Oklahoma has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it comes off a 67-54 setback to the Kansas Jayhawks as 12.5-point road underdogs, while going UNDER the posted total of 136. The Sooners have already played 10 games away from home this season, as they try to gain revenge from getting swept in last year’s season series by the Bears.

Defense has been the key

Baylor has opened up Big 12 Conference play with a 5-1 record, which includes an 82-56 win over the TCU Horned Frogs as 12-point road favorites Saturday, while going OVER the posted total of 116.5. The Bears currently lead the Big 12 in allowing just 56.3 points per game during conference play, but enter this affair with a 3-3 against-the-spread (ATS) mark. 

Turning the tide

The Sooners might be a tempting choice for your NCAA Basketball picks as road underdogs, considering they own a dominating 37-10 series advantage over the Bears. It’s important to note that Baylor has won 10 of its last 13 games against the conference’s Sooner State schools—after posting a combined 6-48 mark versus Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in its first 13 seasons in the Big 12.

Knocking them down at the line

I’m always interested in playing a game OVER the total when teams are capable of knocking down free throws, which is certainly the case with Oklahoma, as it shoots a league-high 76.3 percent from the charity stripe during league play. The Sooners have managed to outscore their last 10 opponents by a total of 51 points at the line, which provided a necessary lift to move this game above the 136.5 points that the NCAA basketball odds makers are asking for.

Beyond the arc

Brady Heslip and Pierre Jackson should have plenty of opportunities to knock down shots from beyond the arc, as the Sooners have struggled to defend the area on the road versus conference foes. Oklahoma is allowing an average of 9.3 3-point makes away from Norman during Big 12 play, which fits nicely with Baylor knocking down 42 percent of its attempts from that distance over the last five games.

[gameodds]14/219009/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the OVER as one of their sports picks tonight, as these two rivals have gone above the number in 11 of the last 16 meetings. I believe the market has corrected itself after last year’s meetings both went UNDER totals of 139 and 145.

College Basketball Pick: Over 136.5

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