As we get closer and closer to the NCAA Tournament, teams are clawing at the opportunity of winning their conference championship or having the ability to have a potential one seed in the tournament. Two Big 12 teams currently fighting for those potential goals are Baylor and Kansas. These two teams are currently tied atop the Big 12 standings at 9-6, along with Texas. They are also currently ranked within the top ten in the AP Top 25. Baylor is currently sitting at No. 9 with Kansas at No. 5. Each team’s record is quite similar with Baylor at 20-6 and Kansas at 21-5. This matchup is also between the two most recent national champions, and most certainly have a chance at another run at it this season.
Baylor will be heading to Kansas this Saturday, which will certainly be a tough environment to play as Allen Fieldhouse is notorious as one of the top environments in the country. This conference so far this season has been a bloodbath, with the Big 12 separating itself as the most competitive league this year. Teams have dropped games left and right as each team has proven to be talented enough to win against anybody. Baylor and Kansas both enter this game on pretty decent winning streaks. Baylor has won four straight entering tomorrow’s game with Kansas winning three straight. No matter what happens this will certainly be a game to tune into and place some wagers. Let’s jump into this game’s odds and predictions:
Baylor vs. Kansas Picks & Predictions
Prediction: Kansas -4.5
Baylor defeated Kansas by six when they played on their homecourt with a final score of 75-69. I expect a similar point margin, but in favor of the Jayhawks this time. Kansas is a hard team to beat at home and I think they simply could be the best team in the country again. They had some struggles in recent weeks in this tough conference, but they have ridden the ship pretty well and have played some of their best basketball in recent weeks. They are on a three game winning streak that features a win against another top ranked team in Texas. I think Kansas finds a way to get the best of the Bears this time around, and it is so uncommon for the Jayhawks to get swept they have dominated heavily in recent decades.
Kansas will be led by Jalen Wilson but they will also have guys like Gradey Dick to get scoring going.Dick is averaging 14.7 PPG as the freshman standout has shown his ability to improve as the season keeps going. He had his career-high last game against Oklahoma State with 26 points. The biggest issue for Kansas will be slowing down Baylor’s best player in Keyontae George. George is averaging 16.5 PPG but the Bears also have Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer who are posting double digit points. Expect a high scoring game from both of these teams with Kansas ultimately coming out on top.
I think this will be a high scoring game, but the line of 153.5 is quite high which makes me hesitant. If I had to lean one way, I would go with the over but might steer away from an over/under total and just stick with the Kansas spread.
Baylor vs. Kansas Betting Odds
Betting lines are out and to no surprise, Kansas is entering this game as moneyline odds favorites. Playing at home certainly gives them the edge, but they also have the advantage when it comes to ranking. They are -200 moneyline odds favorites, so decently favored but not by an extreme margin. This is a top ten matchup so many expect this to be a fight. The spread line is currently -4.5 points in the Jayhawk’s favor. That shows that oddsmakers do expect this to be a close game till the end. ESPN Analytics is giving Kansas a 62.1% chance to win at home over the Bears. Looking at Kenpom’s analytical rankings, both of these teams are ranked within the top ten. Kansas is currently ranked 7th with Baylor placed at 10th. The Bears have four wins against ranked opponents with Kansas having five wins against ranked opponents. It’s important to remember that Baylor did beat Kansas earlier in the season in Waco. Now playing in Lawrence, it’s expected that Kansas will even the series out.
The over/under line is currently placed at 153.5 total which is high but expected when looking at both of these teams’ scoring averages. Baylor is currently averaging 78.8 PPG and Kansas is averaging 76.6 PPG. When looking at how much each team allows defensively, Kansas allows 68.2 PPG and Baylor allows 69 PPG. Very close averages from both teams and no surprise why the line is placed so high.
Jalen Wilson vs. Baylor
The biggest matchup will be Jalen Wilson against the Bears. Wilson has proven himself as one of the best players in the country and will certainly be in contention for Player of the Year. His game already looks like he will be a very high pick in the NBA Draft. He is currently averaging 20.3 PPG and 8.2 RPG. Expect a big game out of him on Saturday to help Kansas get the win at home.