When you’re the No. 1 team in the country, there’s always eight or nine traps you have to survive: your conference road games. And that’s what the Baylor Bears will be doing when they head to Manhattan to take on the Kansas State Wildcats tonight. Let’s take a deeper look into the Big 12 matchup this evening.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
Baylor-Kansas State will be live on ESPNews at 7 p.m ET. It’s also available on the WatchESPN app.
Records & Stats
Baylor: 19-1, 8-0 Big 12, 2 NET
Cincinnati: 9-12. 2-6 Big 12, 77 NET
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Current lines from DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Baylor -7 (opened -7)
Total: 125 (opened 124.5)
Money line: Baylor -335
It’s fair to say that basically everyone is on Baylor tonight. According to DraftKings, a whopping 88% of the tickets and 90% of the money is on the Bears on the road tonight. The bettors also think it’s going to be a bit more high scoring as well: 89% of the bets and 90% of the dollars like over too.
Baylor is top-ranked for a reason: they’re really good. They have five Top 25 wins, including two away on the road. They haven’t lost a game since the first week in November. They old opponents to just 30.7% from three-point range, and under 30% in the league. They force nearly 15 turnovers a game. They have eight players that play at least double-digit minutes, and long benches win on the road. Sophomore forward Freddie Gillespie is a double-double machine, and they are scary-long and athletic.
After finally snapping the Big 12’s Kansas regular season winning streak at forever last season, K-State being 2-6 in conference play is a letdown. Bruce Weber’s job shouldn’t be danger after a terrific season last year, but they did lose to UC-Irvine to open the NCAA Tournament after a great season. Plus there’s not a lot of talent on this squad.
Senior swingman Xavier Sneed returns from last year’s team, but he’s a volume shooter at pretty low efficiency. Same problem with Cartier Diarra, and that’s tough when those are your two leading scorers. As a team they also defend below average for a P5 school, and shoot just 41.5% from the floor and 32.5% from three-point range.
But here’s the thing: they’ve been really good at home. They’ve beaten ranked West Virginia, Tulsa, and just beat Oklahoma by a bunch last time out. And it’s not like there’s a lot to do in Manhattan, Kansas on a Monday night: Bramlage Coliseum will be on fire all evening.
The Pick: Under 125
This one is really close, but neither of these teams are exactly fun to watch offensively. But they can both really defend, and will likely try and lock in on each other. Baylor is just a rich man’s version of K-State, and they’ll both get after this evening.
Playing anyone else they would likely score more, but they’ll defend at a high level. Look for the total line to close down a point or two, as 125 is just too many for these teams where 60 is probably enough to win.
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