The No. 17 Baylor Bears hit the road to face the No. 10 Texas Longhorns for this Big 12 matchup Monday evening. Both teams will be eager to earn a conference victory following hard fought games against the SEC over the weekend. In this article, we’ll review Baylor vs. Texas odds, including key matchups and metrics.
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Baylor vs. Texas Odds
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BAYLOR VS. TEXAS ODDS PREVIEW
Why Baylor Can Cover
One advantage that Baylor will have in this game is their ability to generate second-chance points. With Jalen Bridges, Flo Thamba and Josh Ojianwuna leading the way, the Bears rank seventh nationally in offensive rebounding rate. Texas struggled in this regard against Tennessee, allowing the Vols to collect 15 second-chance points on 10 offensive rebounds. The Longhorns were demolished on the boards overall by the bigger Vols, getting outrebounded by an astounding 35-20 margin. Although Dylan Disu is third in the Big 12 with 1.9 blocks per game, he’ll have his hands full with this lengthy Baylor team crashing the boards.
Offensively, the Bears are at their best when scoring from the perimeter, with 35.2% of their points from 3-point range, the 69th highest rate in the country. The Bears are well equipped to take advantage of Texas from the perimeter, as they’ve allowed their conference opponents to hit 36.3% of their shots from beyond the 3-point line (highest in Big 12). On the season the Longhorns are allowing opponents to hit 32.9% of their shots from deep. However, since Rodney Terry has taken over as interim coach, opponents are shooting 36.3% from deep. Although senior guard Adam Flagler was held in check against a tough Razorbacks team, he should benefit from what has been a generous Texas defense of late.
Additionally, the Longhorns have struggled on the defensive end with guards penetrating to the lane. This should benefit Baylor’s guards, led by Keyonte George who is averaging just a shade below 19 point per game in conference play. George should be able to create his own shot and find shooters against a struggling Texas defense.
Another advantage Baylor has is their ability to get to the free-throw line. The Bears are 20th nationally in free-throw rate, and they hit 74.2% of them when they get to the charity stripe, per KenPom.
Baylor has answered a three-game losing streak by ripping off six consecutive wins, covering in four of them.
Why Texas Can Cover
The Longhorns’ success is the result of their defense turning over their opponents (No. 23 turnover defense) and converting those turnovers into easy transition points.
It’s clear that the Bears defense is lacking. Over the past three seasons, the Bears have not finished lower than 22nd in adjusted efficiency. This year has been a different story, as they rank just outside the top 80 in efficiency and 176th in effective field-goal percentage. The 6-foot-7 transfer Jalen Bridges has been a bright spot defensively for Scott Drew, averaging the fourth-most blocks per game in the Big 12 with 1.2. Conversely, Flo Thamba and Josh Ojianwuna don’t provide enough defensive presence to deter drivers.
It’s often hard to determine what type of offensive execution you will get from this Texas team. They’ve been one of the better transition teams in the country, but over its last three games, it has only nine transition points to show for it. If Texas can pressure Baylor’s guards and force them into turnovers, they can play their advantage in transition. Baylor struggled early with transition defense in conference play, allowing an eye-popping 23 transition points to TCU. If Texas can similarly control the pace, they could ultimately win and cover this one.
Although Texas hasn’t been great from the perimeter, it could be due for some positive regression in that regard. The Bears allow 35.2% of their opponents points to come from beyond the 3-point line (71st highest in the country).
Baylor has switched to a matchup zone to load the paint and force teams to shoot over them. If the Longhorns can cut to the basket and attack with dribble penetration, they can expose the weakness of Baylor’s matchup zone. Ricky Council was able to expose Baylor in this regard on Saturday.
Although Texas has some paths to covering this one, they have been atrocious defensively since Chris Beard left the program. I’d expect that trend to continue against an efficient Baylor offense. I backed Baylor at +3.5. The best available line is currently Baylor .
Best of luck betting Baylor vs. Texas odds!