With the Baylor Bears and Kansas Jayhawks locking horns in Lawrence, the Under is definitely the right NCAAB pick this Saturday.
NCAAB Pick: Under 149.5 (-110) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)
Final Score Prediction: Baylor 70 – Kansas 75
If you’re a Baylor fan remember that you can bet on this game at the best Texas betting sites.
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday, February 18, 2023 – 04:00 PM EST at Allen Fieldhouse
|Baylor Bears||Kansas Jayhawks|
|• Current Form: Ranked #9||• Current Form: Ranked #5|
|• Offense: Ranked #1||• Offense: Ranked #19|
|• Defense: Ranked #78||• Defense: Ranked #14|
|• ATS Record: 20-6 (30th)||• ATS Record: 21-5 (19th)|
|• SU Record: 22-3 (10th)||• SU Record: 19-6 (30th)|
|• SU Units: +2.2 units||• SU Units: +3.7 units|
|• Over/Under Record: 13-13||• Over/Under Record: 15-11|
Turns out Lou Reed was wrong: It’ll be Christmas in February after all. There’s a giant sackload of betting value on the Under for Saturday’s game between the No. 9 Baylor Bears and the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks, with Bookmaker.eu opening this Big 12 battle at 151 points on their NCAAB odds board.
That’s if you believe in the power of the projections. The ones we’re hewing to here at the ranch have Kansas scoring about 75-76 points and Baylor 69-70; that leaves at least five points of room for us to drive our sleigh through.
The sharps didn’t take long to hoover up that value, though. They’ve bet the total down to 149.5 points as I write this, but there’s still enough room left for us to recommend putting the Under in your college basketball picks for up to four units of your bankroll. Happy Holidays, everyone.
So Why Should I Bet the Under?
Because 149.5 points are a lot more points than you usually see on the college basketball odds board. Even Baylor and their outstanding offense have only faced a total this large seven times this year; the Under went 4-3 in those games.
As for the Jayhawks, they’ve played four games with a total of at least 149.5 points, and yes, the Over did go 3-1, so let’s not empty the college fund on this one. But the last time these two teams met, it was Baylor winning 75-69 (Under 149.5) back on January 23.
Note how close that score is to Saturday’s projections – except with Kansas expected to win now that the venue is shifting from Waco to Lawrence. Seems reasonable; Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today has a home-court advantage valued at 3.04 points this year using his trusty computers.
Is This Too Good to Be True?
Lou Reed wasn’t wrong very often; then again, he did take a lot of drugs. But maybe there’s something more to this high total than meets the eye.
Baylor (13-13 Totals) aren’t your classic Under team, that’s for sure. They have the top-ranked offense in college hoops according to Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency stats, and just the No. 78-ranked defense.
However, these Bears are indeed a bit slow lumbering up and down the court. Pomeroy has them ranked No. 251 in Adjusted Tempo at 66.8 possessions per game – still not as mind-numbingly slow as our Under bet would like, but slower than your typical D-I team.
Then you have Kansas, who have the Over at 15-11 this year. They fit in 69.6 possessions on average (No. 71), which is hardly ideal, even if their offense (No. 19) isn’t quite as good as their defense (No. 14).
Are the Jayhawks Healthy Yet?
Hard to say. The Jayhawks are a bit banged up right now, with seven players on their unofficial injury report – although the only two of any real import are considered probable for Saturday:
- G Dajuan Harris (ankle)
- G Kevin McCullar (ankle)
These two seniors weren’t hot prospects coming out of high school, but they’ve become two of Self’s better players, with McCullar at plus-7.4 on the Box Plus/Minus charts at Sports Reference, and Harris not far behind at plus-6.0 BPM.
Both gentlemen were hurt during Tuesday’s 87-76 win over Oklahoma State (Over 140.5), but they played pretty much the entire game, and Self says he’s “hopeful” they’ll be available Saturday.
What About the Point Spread?
It’s not a 4-star college basketball pick by any means, but given the projections and how well Kansas have been playing lately, they look like the right choice as 4.5-point favorites at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review).
Keep this bet fun-sized, though. When it comes to the clash of styles between these Big 12 clubs, there isn’t a lot to suggest that the Jayhawks have a big advantage; they’re better in the paint, while Baylor love to bomb away from outside the arc.
Having said that, the smaller Bears aren’t going to grab many defensive rebounds. They rank No. 304 in the nation at 23.2 per game, so that should help a Kansas team that isn’t normally great on the offensive glass (10.4 per game, No. 163).
Otherwise, we’ve got what should be an exciting game between two of the best teams in college basketball. They’ll be on ESPN, so get your holiday beverages ready, and may the sphere be with you.
NCAAB Pick: Kansas -4.5 (-110) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.