Texas & Baylor Lay Points In Big-12 Showdowns Saturday

Jay Pryce

Saturday, February 3, 2018 3:53 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 3:53 PM UTC

Texas is spotting No. 12 Oklahoma and the nation’s top offense 2.5 points in Austin, while Iowa State is catching a hefty plus-8.5 handicap at Baylor Saturday. Both underdogs are inviting. Here’ s why:

No. 12 Oklahoma vs Texas (-2.5)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Oklahoma +2.5Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

The Red River Showdown basketball edition sees No. 12 Oklahoma (16-5 SU, 8-12 ATS) and Texas (14-8 SU, 10-8 ATS) battle hardened and ready. The Sooners and Longhorns own the sixth and seventh toughest schedules in the country to date per KenPom. Their performances against the nation’s best are polar opposites, however. Oklahoma is 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS versus USA Today Coaches Poll opponents, splitting a pair on the road with a win at Wichita State (91-83) and loss at West Virginia (76-89). Texas, meanwhile, is 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS versus ranked, winning just one (Texas Tech, 67-58) of three (Michigan, 52-59; Kansas 86-92) at Frank Erwin Center. TCU came in at No. 24 in the AP Top 25 in its 99-98 double-overtime defeat in Austin on January 10.

Since Shaka Smart took over the Longhorns, the series is tied 2-2 SU and ATS. Like past meetings, the clash between Texas’ Havoc-esque defense and Oklahoma’s offense will determine the winner. The Longhorns rank fourth and Sooners 14th in adjusted efficiencies on respective sides of the ball nationally. Oklahoma, in fact, leads the country in scoring with 90.7 points per game, prodigy Trae Young (30.3 ppg) leading candidate for Player of the Year.The freshman recorded 44 points, 4 rebounds, and 9 assists in a win over Baylor last time out:

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Trae Young drops 44PTS 4REBS and 9ASTS in a win over Baylor 🔥 pic.twitter.com/XP8FBfLoSp

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 31, 2018

High-scoring teams have proven tough for Texas to overcome in 2017. It’s 3-6 SU and ATS in nine contests to hit the NCAAB oddsboard facing an opponent putting up more than 80 points a game entering. The defense has held firm, yielding a 44.0 opponent field goal percentage. The offense, however, has come up short too often, averaging 72.8 points on 43.4 percent from the field.

The issue is the Longhorns’ pitiful 3-point shooting. It ranks 328 out of 351 Division I teams with a 31.0 success rate from behind the arc. You can bet the Sooners will turn this into a 3-point barrage with Texas nullifying their transition game. The Longhorns allow 17 percent of shots on the break, the 12th lowest rate in the country. Oklahoma nips Texas late 76-75 and covers a +2.5 spread. Take the points and grab the popcorn. It will be entertaining.

Iowa State vs Baylor (-8.5)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Iowa State +8.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Baylor (12-10 SU, 8-7 ATS) is missing whatever intangibles, luck, mojo, you name it, that helps teams win close games. It is 2-7 SU and 5-4 ATS in Big-12 play, its worst conference start behind longtime coach Scott Drew since going 5-13 in 2006. Four losses have occurred by three points or less. Four also have come against ranked opponents.

The Bears defense isn’t as potent as in recent years, and the offense pedestrian in a conference loaded with elite points-getters. They rank sixth in points (77.4) and points allowed (70.1) against Big-12 foes. Where Baylor excels is on the boards, sporting a conference-high 7.3-plus rebounding margin.

Iowa State (12-12 SU, 12-8 ATS) is just big enough to counter the Bears’ edge on the glass. In games listed in the betting market, Baylor is just 2-7 SU and 4-5 ATS versus opponents ripping down 35 rebounds or more per game; the Cyclones 7-3 SU and ATS under the same conditions. Iowa State (37.4) and Baylor (38.8) each collect more total rebounds per tilt then required.

The Cyclones, despite losing the boards battle, won the first matchup 75-65 at Hilton Coliseum as 2.5-point underdogs nearly three weeks ago. Iowa State’s defense is the weak link, but Baylor isn’t explosive enough to take advantage in a big way. Home-court advantage gives the Bears the win, but it will be tighter than expected. Baylor is just 6-12 ATS in its last 18 conference home games when each team is unranked. Bears win 72-68 and fail to cover an 8.5-point spread. Take what you can get with the visitors.

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