We’ve reached the second meeting of the year between Texas and Baylor, and already we’re looking for a third clash as we conjure up free college basketball picks on what very well could be a Big 12 Championship preview.
NCAAB Pick: Texas +4 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Texas Longhorns vs. Baylor Bears
Saturday, February 25, 2023 – 02:00 PM EST at Ferrell Center
There are 45 potential matchups for the eventual Big 12 Championship Game that will take place two weeks from now in Kansas City, and it’s not that much of a stretch to say all 45 are feasible clashes given how hotly contested the regular season schedule has been.
Among the more probable would be a third meeting of the year between longtime rivals Texas and Baylor. It’s a nice title game to contemplate, but first, we need to handicap the second meeting between the Longhorns and Bears on Saturday’s college basketball odds schedule.
Texas is in a deadlock with Kansas atop the Big 12 standings as the Longhorns prepare to make the short trip up I-35 to Waco. Baylor is 2 games behind the Jayhawks and Longhorns, tied for second with the Kansas State Wildcats.
Rivalry History & Betting Trends
Texas and Baylor were even closer to each other in the standings when they met near the end of January down in Austin, and the Longhorns emerged from that contest with a share of the conference lead following a 76-71 win over the Bears.
A tight match the entire way, Sir’Jabari Rice’s outside shooting was key in the second half. Rice finished with a game-high 21 points off the Texas bench, hitting 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Texas closed as 4-point chalk at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review).
Last year’s meeting at Ferrell Center saw the Bears coast to a rather easy 80-63 decision. Baylor shot 50% (26-52) from the field and controlled the glass with a 42-32 rebounding margin. The Bears were favored by 5.5.
- The January win for Texas halted a 6-game win streak for Baylor in the rivalry.
- The Longhorns lead the rivalry 165-96.
- Baylor has won the last 5 meetings in Waco.
- ‘Under’ bettors have cashed 4 of the last 6 matchups.
‘Horns 3-4 ATS on Big 12 Highway
Debating which team has the toughest schedule is always a popular pastime in college sports, and Texas certainly has a case for having the most difficult slate to close out the regular season with games at TCU and home against Kansas following this trip to Baylor.
Rodney Terry’s troops head into the tough close to the campaign off a fine showing this past Tuesday in Austin against another top-25 squad, making quick work of the No. 23 Iowa State Cyclones with a 72-54 cakewalk as 7.5-point chalk at the best Texas betting sites.
Texas started slow and trailed Iowa State 10-4 early on, and also struggled to find its rhythm coming out of the locker room by going the first five minutes of the second half without a bucket, but made up for that by sinking 12-of-28 from beyond the arc.
Bears Have Covered Last 5 Big 12 Home Affairs
Scott Drew brings his team back home licking their wounds following an 0-2 trip through the Sunflower State, and while there’s no shame in losing on the road at Kansas and Kansas State, it’s how the Bears lost to the Jayhawks and Wildcats that is concerning.
Baylor was dominating the Jayhawks in Lawrence last Saturday, building a 17-point lead at one point in the first half and holding a 13-point advantage at halftime only to be blown out of Allen Fieldhouse in the second half of an 87-71 Kansas whipping.
The Bears then moved over to Manhattan for a clash with Kansas State earlier this week, clawed back from a 10-point deficit to take a lead into intermission, then fell apart again in the second half of a 75-65 loss as 2-point road chalk on NCAAB odds boards.
Baylor had 24 turnovers combined in the two losses, which isn’t an alarming number until you factor in the Bears only forced 11, all while the Jayhawks and Wildcats were combining to shoot nearly 50% from the field.
Can UT Pull Off Upset?
Trying to get a handle on the Big 12 this season has been about as easy as herding cats, so maybe we shouldn’t read so much into Baylor’s two collapses against Kansas and Kansas State. After all, the Bears have been money at home.
Still, it makes it tough to get behind Baylor for this matchup, especially since it means giving up a few points. Taking the points and expecting more points than the total are my plays.
NCAAB Pick: Texas +4 (-110) at BetOnline
NCAAB Pick: Over 147.5 (-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.