Baylor vs. Texas Tech (02/16/22)
The Big 12 is home to some of the most dominant teams in Men’s Division I Basketball this season. They have four teams in the Top 25 nationally, including the Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders being within the top 15. On Wednesday, February 15th, the Bears and the Red Raiders will tip-off in Lubbock, Texas, to have one of the greatest Big 12 showdowns we’ll see this year. Both teams have been blowing through the competition and are fierce competitors in men’s basketball. Tip-off is set for 8:00 PM CST and will lead to a monumental game that has the second-place spot in the Big 12 up for grabs. Check your local listings or your ESPN+ subscription to watch this matchup on ESPN2.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech Betting Odds
The Texas Tech Raiders are not only a top, competitive team, but they are also a great team against the spread. They lead the Big 12 in covering the spread with a 17-8 record, covering 68% of their games. Baylor has a better overall game record than the Raiders but have only gone 14-10-1 against the spread, covering 58.3% of their games. Both of these teams are evenly matched for this game with similar explosive offenses and strategic defenses. They’re so close, in fact, that ESPN’s matchup predictor keeps the game within a 1% confidence interval in favor of Texas Tech. The spread has also been placed in favor of the Red Raiders with -1, leaving the Baylor Bears +1. The Bears score an average of 77.6 points per game which is the second-highest in the Big 12. Their offense fires on all cylinders allowing them to put up unanswered points from their opponents. The Raiders follow close behind, scoring an average of 73 points per game, but they hold their opponents to smaller values. This game will come down to the most effective offense for exploiting the defense. Texas Tech is able to hold their opponents to an average of 60.9 PPG, and Baylor leaves a little more room for their opponents, allowing 62 PPG. Texas Tech’s home-court advantage has been one of the best in the nation, so I say the Raiders are adding another win to their record with this matchup.
My Prediction: Texas Tech Wins: 71-68, Texas Tech Covers
Baylor Bears Odds
The Baylor Bears are the reigning NCAA Men’s Division I Champions. Their program has been notorious for excellence and big wins. Again this season, they have proven that with their 21-4 record and second-place rank in the Big 12. They’ve only taken losses to the Kansas Jayhawks, the Alabama Tide, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and the Texas Tech Raiders in their first meeting. When the teams last played in January, the game came down to the wire with a missed game-saving three-point shot from the Bears. That loss took the Bears away from the #1 seed and have since fallen to the #7 seed. This matchup is key to redeeming themselves and keeping their #2 spot in the Big 12.
The top scorer on the Bears team has been senior guard James Akinjo. Akinjo averages 13.1 points per game but shoots 39.6% from the field. Akinjo was pivotal in the survival of the Bears in their last game against Texas Tech, scoring 17 points. However, when on the road, Akinjo’s stats begin to slip. He averages only 11 points when away and only sinks 35% of his shots. Akinjo will need to keep the explosive energy we saw last time to win this game, but he will need to clean up his shots and improve accuracy. The team relies on him to be a leader, and if he falls, so will the whole team.
Adam Flagler will also be a key contributor in this matchup. The junior guard averages 13 points per game and shots 44.5% from the field. In the previous game against the Red Raiders, he also put up 17 points to keep the team alive. In that game, he differs from Akinjo because he shot with 54.5% accuracy and even went 62.5% from beyond the three-point line. The Bears will need to put their trust in Flagler’s hands since he has an impressive gameplay when on the road. If he can break down Texas Tech’s defense, the Baylor Bears might be able to pull off this win.
Texas Tech Red Raiders Odds
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are only one game behind the Baylor Bears in the Big 12. With a previous win over the Bears, a win in this matchup will move them into second place in their conference. The Raiders have been an impressive team going 19-6 in overall play and 8-4 in conference play. Their 70-55 fall to the Oklahoma Sooners did not keep them down, as they went on to beat the TCU Horned Frogs 82-69 in their most recent match. Since they have already beat this incredibly talented Baylor team when away, their chances have significantly increased since they’re at home. This Raiders team has been perfect at their home stadium and will be defending that record in their toughest matchup yet on Wednesday.
The Texas Tech offense was way more diverse compared to the Bears in their last meeting. They had five players score over 10 points compared to Baylor’s two players. Their passing game was fluent and was able to stump the most linked Baylor defense. As a team, they shot 50.9% from the field and were able to pull off the win in the last seconds of the game. The team will be focusing on keeping a similar strategy going into their second meeting, and their home court will be a huge advantage for them.
Key players to watch on the Texas Tech offense will be Bryson Williams and Terrence Shannon Jr. Both players are the top shooters on the team where Williams averages 13.4 points per game and Shannon averages 11.6 per game. Williams will help control the paint, and Shannon will work the perimeter, making the whole court a threat for Baylor’s defense. Kevin McCullar will be the leading defensive player who averages 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. McCullar will also help the offense stay productive by giving the necessary assists that end in points. Overall, this team is not one to be taken lightly. They will use every asset and skill they have to take home this win.
Baylor vs. Texas Tech Picks and Predictions
When you look at both of these programs, you have to think of excellence. These teams have the highest level of talent and play with elevated performances. This game may be the most exciting Big 12 matchup we have seen to date. Just like their last meeting, it is expected to be a marginally close game. In the end, the home-court advantage for the Red Raiders is unmatched, and they are expected to ultimately walk away victorious. However, the Baylor Bears will not go down without a fight, so expect high point values on both sides of the court.