Baylor vs Alabama: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (1/29/22)

Baylor vs Alabama Betting Odds

While Kentucky-Kansas is the marquee SEC-Big 12 challenge matchup, this game should be more entertaining.

With Baylor and Alabama, you’re getting two teams with similar styles. Both are lengthy and versatile across the roster. Both will run the floor. And both will huck it from 3.

Baylor has bounced back strongly after losing two straight. The Bears have won their last three games by double digits, including a 25-point destruction of Kansas State on Tuesday.

Alabama is a complete mess. The Crimson Tide are a high-variance team, but this has been worse than variance can explain. Alabama is 4-4 in SEC play with lessees to Missouri and Georgia – two of the worst Power Conference teams in the nation.

So, will Alabama have a bounce-back night? Or will the Bears continue to roll?

Baylor Bears Odds

The Oklahoma State loss was bad. But the champions did what champions do. The Bears bounced right back.

The offense has been particularly good. The Bears held Oklahoma to just .76 points per possession in Norman and then held K-State to just .79 points per possession in Waco. The Bears thrive off turnovers, and they forced a combined 40 in those two games.

James Akinjo is still dealing with some injury trouble. He’s missed two of the last three games.

But Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer have constituted a deadly backcourt. The two have a combined ORtg over 115, and Cryer is currently leading the team in scoring with 13.9 points per game.

The frontcourt continues to be solid, but the Bears could really use Jeremy Sochan back. He did play a few minutes against Kansas State, which is great. But he needs to play more, because he’s a huge bench piece and really ties together the Baylor interior.

Baylor continues to be solid offensively (20th in effective field goal percentage) and tenacious defensively (eighth in defensive turnover rate). It also is top five nationally in offensive rebounding rate.

Alabama Crimson Tide Odds

Alabama is high variance. The Crimson Tide are first nationally in rim-and-3 rate (95%) and top-20 in 3-point rate (46.6% 3PA/FGA). They also run the floor constantly, ranking 25th in tempo and 13th in average offensive possession length.

Alabama is also definitely due for positive regression. The Crimson Tide are shooting just 31% from deep this season, which is 286th nationally. For a team that launches from 3 so often, Alabama will make more of those shots.

Plus, ShotQuality’s projects Alabama should be 14-6 based on the quality of shots taken and allowed, as opposed to 13-7.

However, you can’t lose to Mizzou and Georgia.

Those are the two worst teams in the SEC and must-win conference games for Nate Oats. Alabama will likely still make the tournament because of some other high-quality wins – including against Gonzaga, LSU, and Tennessee – but the Crimson Tide aren’t currently in the top-tier of SEC teams.

Baylor vs Alabama Prediction and Pick

My pick: Baylor -2 (-115 at PointsBet)

If this was closer to Alabama +4, I would be on the Crimson Tide as a home dog.

However, this spread is too short, and it’s already starting to move towards Baylor.

Alabama actually has the perfect offense to beat Baylor. But Alabama has also been lousy with their ball control and lackadaisical in areas where Baylor usually dominates – rebounds and free throws in particular.

Baylor may have dropped a few games, but this team is so impressive. As long as Akinjo is playing, I’ll be on Baylor.

If Sochan is somehow back for this game, take Baylor up to -4.5 for everything you have.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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