The final two national champions face off in a top 10 school battle tonight as Baylor visits Kansas. The Jayhawks are listed as significant favorites, but should be rewarding their supporters tonight, as our savvy college basketball picks outline.
The college basketball betting slate for Saturday features a clash of the top 10 teams as the No. 9 Baylor Bears take on the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks.
These are the last two schools to win the national championship and are currently in a three-way tie at the top of the Big-12 standings. The Jayhawks seek revenge after losing to the Bears in Waco last month.
College basketball odds expect Kansas to get that win, with the Jayhawks installed as five-point home favorites by the oddsmakers. The Over/Under is quoted at 148.5.
Here are my top picks and free college basketball picks for Baylor vs. Kansas Saturday February 18th.
Baylor vs Kansas best odds
Baylor vs Kansas picks and predictions
When these teams met in Waco on January 23, Baylor jumped out to a 13-point lead after eight minutes and held on for a 75-69 win.
The Bears actually had a bad 43.8 2-point shooting percentage in that contest, while Kansas shot a sizzling 57.6% from inside the arc. However, Baylor shot a little better from 3-point range and won the turnover battle by a plus-6 margin.
Since both teams have similar turnover rates for and against, don’t expect the same mismatch again. The Jayhawks also tend to shoot better from long range at home (37.3% vs 34.1%), while the Bears shoot worse from deep on the road (33.8% vs 38.1%).
Bill Self’s team has been sensational in Lawrence this season, going 12-1 SU with an average scoring margin of plus-11.8 points per game. Meanwhile, the Bears are 4-3 on the road by a minus 2.1 ppg scoring margin.
As impressive as Baylor’s offensive looks are, shooting tends to diminish away from home. The defense travels, and this is one area the Bears have struggled in since finishing last in the conference with an opposing field goal percentage of 46.8% in Big 12 play.
The home team has also gone 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these conference foes. Put the points with the home team here.
My best bet: Kansas -5 (-110 at bet365)
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Baylor vs Kansas Spread Analysis
The Bears are heating up at the right time and have gone 10-1 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games.
He has won four in a row since the long and energetic Jonathan Tchamwa-Tchatchoua returned to the lineup after recovering from a devastating knee injury sustained last season. Tchamwa-Tchatchoua still doesn’t look 100%, but he’s fresh off his best game since returning, going 5-of-7 from the field for 11 points with a block and a steal in 24 minutes against West Virginia.
The Jayhawks are 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six, and are pulling off a pair of impressive road wins where they traveled to Oklahoma and beat both the Sooners and Cowboys by double digits.
Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick combined for 47 points on 62% shooting against Baylor last month, and they’ve been the Jayhawks’ best players this season. Wilson leads the Big 12 in scoring (20.3 ppg) pulling down 8.2 rebounds a night, while Dick averages 14.7 ppg on 46/43/85 shooting in between.
Kansas is one of only three teams that ranks in the Top 20 in both corrected offensive efficiency (19th) and corrected defensive efficiency (14th) according to KenPom.
The Bears are led by their guard trio of Keyonte George (16.5ppg, 3.1apg), Adam Flagler (15.8ppg, 5.0apg, 43/42/85spg) and LJ Cryer (14.9ppg in 47/43/88 shots).
The Bears lead the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, but rank a low 78th at defensive end of the field.
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Baylor vs Kansas Over/Under Analysis
Both of these teams can fill the circle, with Baylor leading the conference in scoring with 77.8 ppg against Big 12 foes and Kansas dropping by at least 77 points in five of their last six games. However, there are a few reasons to lean towards the Under here.
The Jayhawks limit foes to a 41.3 FG% and have some strong defenders, including Kevin McCullar Jr. and Dajuan Harris, who are second and third respectively in the conference with 2.2 and 1.9 steals per game.
Five of the last seven meetings between these Big 12 rivals have gone short of the total. Both Kansas and Baylor are a 14-5-1 commander against the Unders in each of their last 20 games against teams with a winning record.
The Jayhawks like to push the pace and rank 70th in the country with adequate pace, but they have a tendency to slow things down against better opponents. The Bears are just 214th in adjusted time and have played at a much slower pace this season than they have in recent years.
Baylor vs Kansas betting trend to know
The Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with a winning percentage over .600. Find more college basketball betting trends for Baylor vs Kansas.
Information about the Baylor vs Kansas game
Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS
Saturday 18 February 2023
4:00 PM ET