Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns Betting Preview

Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns Betting Preview

It’s the final Big Monday of the season as the Baylor Bears travel north to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns at 9:00 p.m. ET Monday. With a pair of games to play, Baylor (24-5, 12-4) is even in the wins column, with Kansas in the hunt for a regular-season Big 12 title. Texas (21-8, 10-6) lost the first meeting 80-63 in Waco on Feb. 12.

Additionally, the Bears are playing for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. It currently sits as a number one seed in the latest bracketology reports after beating Kansas 80-70 on Saturday. Texas is firmly in the field as well as a six seed and has room to improve its standing.

Baylor is favored by one with an over/under of 135.5 at line’s opening and sticks as of this writing.

Baylor finding continuity

Baylor lost a key piece of its defense, losing “everyday” Jonathan Tchamwa Tchachuoa to a season-ending knee injury in mid-February. The Bears have won three straight with a 10-point loss to Texas Tech prefacing the winning streak since his injury.

Flo Thamba, a 6-foot-10 forward, has stepped up with increased minutes in Tchamwa Tchachuoa’s absence. Another player who is turning heads is 6-9 rangy forward Jeremy Sochan, who can defend any position and slots as a three or four on offense.

The Bears have had great balance without a true star emerging and feature both a top-50 offense and defense. They score 77.2 points per game and are 47th in field goal percentage, converting 46.8% of attempts. Defensively they allow 63.3 points per game, the 32nd-best mark, and force teams to shoot 29.7% on 3-pointers, which is 23rd in the country.

Adam Flager (13.7 ppg), LJ Cryer (13.5 ppg), and James Akinjo (12.9 ppg) are the three scorers in double figures.

Texas marquee win?

There’s nothing wrong with beating the teams you’re supposed to beat. Aside from a one-point win over Tennessee, the Longhorns are searching for a marquee win to potentially boost their seeding. They have two great chances this week, beginning Monday with Baylor and closing with Kansas.

Texas and its transfers have struggled offensively this season, but Chris Beard’s crew has continued his tradition of strong defensive teams. The Longhorns are fifth in defensive scoring, allowing 58.8 points per game. But they’re 233rd offensively, scoring 69.1 points per game.

Marcus Carr transferred from Minnesota and is producing 11.1 points and 3.2 assists per game. Utah transfer Timmy Allen is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder at 12.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, respectively.

Betting Prediction

Baylor probably cares about this game a little more than Texas. It’s certainly of more importance, though the Longhorns are 16-2 protecting homecourt this season.

Baylor is 15-12-2 against the spread and 15-13-1 on over/unders. It is 7-3 in true road games. Texas, meanwhile, is 12-17 against the spread and 14-15 on over/unders despite being a 20-win team and strong at home.

Last meeting, Baylor covered the five-point spread, and it went over 132. Monday’s game could be more of the same as Texas has gone over in five of their last six, though it is 2-4 against the spread in that stretch. Baylor has gone over in three of their last five and are 2-2-1 against the spread in that stretch.

Baylor is seemingly finding its groove but a tough turnaround after an emotional win over Kansas. It isn’t necessarily a trap game, but one has to wonder how energized they will be. Still, they should have enough juice to cover the one-point spread on the road.

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