Texas vs. Baylor: NCAA betting odds, preview, and pick
It’s a Lone Star State showdown on Saturday afternoon as the 20th-ranked Texas Longhorns travel to Waco to face the 10th-ranked Baylor Bears.
Sat, February 12 2022, 5:00 PM
Texas has been clicking over the past few weeks
After a rough patch in January that saw them lose three out of four games, the Longhorns have figured things out over the past few weeks. Their 79-76 win over Kansas on Monday night was their fifth victory in six games, and kept them alive in the ever-tightening Big 12 conference title race.
The Longhorns outscored Kansas 7-0 over the final minute of the contest, with big man Timmy Allen giving them a team-high 24 points in the win. He is averaging 12.0 points per game and leads the team with 6.6 rebounds per contest. Allen and Christian Bishop combined to secure 10 offensive rebounds to help offset a 42% shooting effort, while Tre Mitchell scored 17 points off the bench in relief.
Now, they look to add another big win to their resume and keep pace with the leaders as they travel to Baylor, a team that has beaten Texas in 10 of their last 11 meetings. Courtney Ramey will be crucial to the effort. He's leading the team with 37.1% shooting from beyond the arc, but more importantly, he's also the team’s best perimeter stopper. With LJ Cryer expected to return for the Bears, they will need that defense to pull out a win.
Baylor has been struggling without Cryer
Speaking of Cryer, the Bears are having a tough time of it without the fourth-most accurate 3-point shooter in the nation on the floor. They are sorely missing his long range accuracy, with Baylor making just 19 of their 66 3-point attempts over their last three games.
Baylor started the season 15-0, but have won just five of their last nine games, including a 2-2 stretch without their leading scorer. That includes an 83-59 thrashing at Kansas lasts weekend in which guard James Akinjo shot 0-for-11 from the field, part of a 29.6% shooting night for the Bears.
Akinjo bounced back mightily on Wednesday night against Kansas State, scoring 15 points as the Bears claimed a 75-60 win. Tied at 34-34 at the break, Baylor opened the second half with a 19-4 run and never looked back. Akinjo is now averaging 13.0 points per game, and had eight dimes in the win, but the likely return of Cryer will take a lot of pressure off his shoulders.
Baylor also got a surprise performance from Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, who came into the Kansas State game averaging less than eight points per game. However, he scored 21 points in just 24 minutes to lead the team, making nine of his 10 shots and hitting his only 3-point attempt. It was his fourth double-digit scoring output in Baylor’s last seven games, and he is becoming a real threat off the bench.
Texas vs. Baylor Betting Trends
- The Longhorns are 5-1 SU over their last six games
- The Over is 4-1 in Texas’ last five road games
- The Longhorns are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games vs. Baylor
- The Bears are 16-4 SU in their last 20 games
- The Under is 6-3 in Baylor’s last nine games
- The Over is 6-3 in the last nine games between these two teams
Baylor should win at full-strength
Assuming Cryer returns for this contest, Baylor will more resemble the team of the first few months of the college basketball season. They lead the Big 12 from outside with a 35.2% success rate, much of which is his doing. They are also second in the Big 12 with a 51.9% effective field goal percentage.
With Texas Tech men losing tonight at OU, Texas could move into a tie for second place with a win at Baylor on Saturday.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) February 10, 2022
Texas is doing much of its work of late behind its swarming defense, holding teams to a 47.3% effective field goal percentage, which ranks third-best in the conference. However, they also have been feeding off the offensive glass, outrebounding Kansas by nine in that area. Baylor ranks more than 50 spots higher in defensive rebounding percentage, ranked fourth in the conference with a 74.6% rate. At home, that rate goes up to 79.8%, ranking them in the top 40 teams in the country.
With Cryer on the floor, Baylor is simply the better team. They shoot better, score in more ways, and move the ball better than the Longhorns. They also have a history of dominance in the series, winning five of the last six meetings at home with Texas. However, the Longhorns tend to play close, having covered the spread in seven of the last 10 meetings in Waco. Take Baylor to win what should be a close contest.
Score prediction: Baylor 67, Texas 63