College Basketball Betting: Kansas at Baylor

College Basketball Betting: Kansas at Baylor

The Big 12 takes center stage in Wednesday night’s college hoops action as No. 12 Kansas travels to Waco to play No. 21 Baylor. The Jayhawks are still searching for an identity, but have rebounded nicely since being crushed by top-ranked Kentucky back on November 18, winning 10 of 11. The Bears are hoping to avoid a second straight defeat after losing last Saturday at Oklahoma. Scoring and shooting woes continue to plague both teams, so expect a low scoring slugfest with lots of trips to the foul line. Kansas dropped their last road game to Temple, while Baylor is unbeaten at home. Here’s a preview and prediction.


Unlike previous years, head coach Bill Self isn’t blessed with an abundance of talent up and down the roster. Perry Ellis and Frank Mason III are the only players averaging double-digits in points and no one is grabbing more than 7 boards a game. What the ‘Hawks lack in scoring prowess they more than make up for in depth. Ten guys are playing at least 10 minutes a night, giving Self plenty of options to mix and match at both ends of the floor. They rank a pathetic 227th in field goal percentage, but inserting freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. into the starting lineup has provided an offensive spark the last three games. Sophomore Wayne Selden Jr. is firing at a horrendous 34.5% clip a year after knocking down 43.7% of his shots as a freshman. He must reclaim his touch for Kansas to become a legit Final Four candidate.

The Bears can’t shoot and aren’t particularly deft at scoring the basketball. But they are absolutely relentless on the defensive end and around the glass. They rank 13th in the country in points allowed and 14th in rebounding. Junior power forward Rico Gathers has pulled down 10 or more boards in 11 of 13 games and recorded six double-doubles. On the offensive end, freshman forward Johnathan Motley is averaging 17.6 points in his last five starts; his back to the basket skills combined with Baylor’s length advantage on the front line will cause fits for Kansas’s smallish squad. Sixth man/leading scorer Taurean Prince is hitting 53.8% from beyond the arc. With the frontcourt providing so many second chance opportunities, Prince becomes a dangerous perimeter weapon. He and senior Royce O’Neale must convert open looks to come away with a win.

Kansas is 7-5 ATS overall and 2-1 ATS on the road. Baylor is 5-3 ATS and 2-2 ATS at home. Not much separates these two conference rivals. The Jayhawks struggle in transition defense, which isn’t good against an opponent that can control the glass. The Bears don’t want to run, but attacking quickly off missed shots is the formula for winning.

Bet Kansas +3