Take Baylor for Your NCAA Basketball Pick as Oklahoma State's Defense Will Struggle in Tonight's Big 12 Showdown

Jeff Grant

Monday, February 9, 2015 1:28 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 1:28 PM GMT

Baylor has come alive offensively since the end of last month, which makes it a top college basketball pick against Oklahoma State Monday night.

Oklahoma St. at Baylor (-6-) 7:00 ET ESPNU
From Way Downtown
Baylor deserves to be a home favorite in the college basketball odds due to shooting 41.6 percent from beyond the arc when playing at the Ferrell Center, as it prepares to match up against one of the top defensive teams in the Big 12 Conference.

The Bears have really come alive offensively over the course of their current three-game win streak—averaging 82.3 points and knocking down 24 of 49 shots from the 3-point area.

A balanced offense is the best way to attack Oklahoma State, with tonight’s host possessing five starters that average 8.3 to 11.8 points per game.  Taurean Prince provides a life off the bench in scoring a team-high 12.3 points a contest.

 

Upset City
Oklahoma City may lack the necessary energy to earn its third consecutive victory as an underdog, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks, as it relies heavily on scoring points from the charity stripe.

The Cowboys have compiled a 105-19 SU record under Travis Ford when attempting more free throws than their opponents, including a 10-1 mark during the 2014-15 campaign.

In earning a 64-53 victory as four-point home favorites in the first series meeting—it’s surprising to find that the squad was outshot by a 15-9 margin from the line on Jan. 27.

 

Revenge
The Bears have gone 9-7 SUATS when revenging a road loss versus an opponent the last two-plus seasons, which fits nicely with their 17-1 SU record at home since Feb. 15, 2014.

Baylor has an opportunity to jump on Oklahoma State early in hopes of avoiding a sweep in this season series for the first time since 2006, as it has held teams to 30 or fewer first-half points in 18 of 23 games this year.

 

Key Players
The Cowboys will need more production out of Phil Forte III and Le’Bryan Nash after the duo combined to score 29 points in the first meeting, as they’ve averaged 33.9 points through 23 contests.

Forte has made 47 of his last 51 free throw attempts dating back to Jan. 10, while Nash has registered 10 or more points in 22 consecutive games.

On the other side, Baylor’s Rico Gathers must continue to dominate the glass, as he ranks second in the country in both offensive (5.5) and total rebounds (12.5) per game.

 

Prediction
The Bears are the only team in the conference to have three players shooting at least 40 percent from the arc, which will help the home team improve to 14-3-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings in this rivalry.

Oklahoma State will also struggle to keep Baylor from scoring second-chance points—a statistical category the host has won or tied in 19 of 23 games.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Baylor Bears -6.5 at Bookmaker

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