Off a tough loss in Austin to the Longhorns on Monday, the Baylor Bears look to close out their regular season with a win in Friday's college basketball odds matchup vs. Texas Tech.
The Big 12 makes a rare appearance on a Friday night college basketball betting card when the Texas Tech Red Raiders travel to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears.
Tip-off from Ferrell Center is set for a little after 9 PM (ET), ESPN2's cameras on hand to document the 130th meeting in therivalry. Baylor began at -16½ on the NCAA Basketball odds board, that spread whittled down a half following overnight action.
Texas Tech has little to play for sitting in the basement of the conference standings and already guaranteed the 10th and final seed for the Big 12 Tournament next week in Kansas City. Baylor has plenty to play for with the 2-3-4 seeds in that event still up in the air. The Bears are currently tied for fourth in the race with West Virginia, the Mountaineers closing out their season at home Saturday vs. Oklahoma State.
Bears Look To Extend Recent Series Dominance
It has been less than three weeks since the Bears and Red Raiders got together up in Lubbock, a 54-49 Baylor victory that never threatened a 125 point total. Taurean Prince came off the bench to score 22 for Scott Drew's club, 18 of them in the first half, but the Bears turned it over 16 times to fall short of covering the 8½ point spread.
The triumph was Baylor's second straight in the series, and sixth in the last seven meetings. The Bears have won 12 of the last 15 clashes, though Texas Tech still leads the all-time series by a comfortable 76-53 margin.
Last season's matchup in Waco ended with a similar Bears triumph as the contest a few weeks ago. Baylor was once again 8½ point chalk and managed to get the cover with a 59-49 decision. It was the third straight home win in the series for the Bears, and four of the last six clashes in Waco failed to reach the totals.
Tortilla Tech Headed Towards Another Losing Season
As the only member of the Big 12 with a losing record, Texas Tech (13-17 straight up, 11-14 against the spread) is finishing up yet another disappointing season under Tubby Smith. Barring an upset Friday and some miracle run in Kansas City, it will mark Smith's second consecutive losing season after coaching teams to winning records the previous 22 years.
About the only game the Red Raiders can look back upon with satisfaction is the late-January upset of then No. 9 Iowa State in Lubbock. Texas Tech was a 10 point home 'dog in the 78-73 decision vs. the Cyclones, those 78 points a high-water mark in conference play for the Red Raiders who are last in league action in scoring (54.4 ppg) and shooting (36.3% FG).
Bears Blow Late Lead At Texas
Baylor (22-8 SU, 14-10 ATS) missed a golden opportunity to be sitting tied with Iowa and Oklahoma for second in the Big 12 in Monday's 61-59 setback to the Longhorns. Granted, Texas closed as 3½ point chalk on the NCAA odds but entered the game on a 4-game slide while the Bears had won four straight.
Ahead by 10 with a little under seven minutes to play, the Bears watched that lead disappear during Texas' ensuing 16-6 run to close regulation. The game was marred by a dust-up near the end that led to seven players ejected for leaving the bench. Johnathan Motley, Ishmail Wainright and John Heard were the three on Baylor's side to head to the showers early, but none were suspended and will be available on Friday.
Texas Tech's last conference road win came more than a year ago at Oklahoma, 12 consecutive away losses filling their Big 12 travels since. That streak won't end tonight, but the spread seems a little high, even given how pathetic the Red Raiders are. Gimme' the points for my free NCAA basketball picks.
NCAA Basketball Picks: Texas Tech +16 at 5Dimes