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Oklahoma vs. Baylor Game Details
Date: Monday, January 20
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Ferrell Center (Waco, Texas)
Spread: Baylor -10
The second-ranked Bears are one of the hottest teams in the nation and carry a 14-game winning streak into their home matchup against the Sooners on Big Monday in Waco. Baylor is 5-1 against Oklahoma over the last three seasons. Baylor swept the season series last year, winning 77-47 in Waco and 59-53 in Norman.
The Bears have trailed for only 13% of game time over the last 10 games (52:26 of 400:00). Baylor is 11th in the NCAA in first-half scoring defense, allowing just 27.4 points, while Oklahoma is 242nd giving up 34.4. We like the Bears to get off to a good start at home and establish an early lead.
Prediction: Race to 20 – Baylor -300
The matchup to keep an eye on is Baylor’s elite defense against the Oklahoma offense, which has struggled to put up points this season. The Sooners are ranked 135th in first-half scoring with 33.9 points. The Bears have been downright dominant on defense and rank seventh nationally in scoring defense (58.6 points per game).
The Baylor offense has been inconsistent at times and rank just 65th in first-half scoring averaging 35.6 points per half. We can see both teams being a bit sluggish to start as the defenses settle in.
Prediction: Under 63 First Half
Baylor’s defense has already matched a program record this season, holding four Big 12 opponents to 55 or fewer points. The Bears have also held five of their last seven high-major opponents to season-low scoring totals.
Oklahoma’s offense bounced back from a brutal 52-point effort last Tuesday against Kansas to score 83 against TCU in a blowout victory over the Horned Frogs. However, the box score against the Jayhawks was concerning, as Kansas outrebounded Oklahoma 46-32. The Sooners scored just four second-chance points in the loss.
The Bears have ratcheted up the intensity even more on defense at home, holding all eight opponents to 63 points or fewer at Ferrell Center so this season en route to a perfect 8-0 record.
Prediction: Oklahoma Team Total Under 63
The defense has propelled Baylor into national title consideration. The Bears are the only program in the country with five wins vs. AP Top 25 ranked opponents and are a 5-0 in those games.
Baylor is 18th in the nation holding opponents to a 38.2% shooting from the floor this season. The Bears also play at one of the nation’s slowest pace, ranking 262nd in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom. Oklahoma is ranked 75th in tempo.
The under is 6-1 in the last 7 games for Oklahoma against a team with a winning record and 4-1 overall in the Sooners last 5 contests. Four of the last five Baylor games have also gone under. We think those trends continue as this one stays under the total.
Prediction: Under 136
Baylor has yet to lose at home this season however they are just 3-3 ATS as a double-digit favorite. Oklahoma is ranked 45th in offensive efficiency with three players in the lineup averaging at least 15 points per game. Senior Kristian Doolittle leads the way and is averaging nearly a double-double this season (16.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg).
The Bears are led by sophomore guard Jared Butler who is averaging 19.3 points over his last three games. Butler has led Baylor in scoring in 11 of 16 games this season after doing so in just six games last season. Baylor is ranked 23rd in adjusted offensive efficiency but just 98th in scoring offense with 73.5 points per game.
The road team has gotten the better of this series of late going 6-1-1 ATS over the last eight meetings. Baylor is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall, but those were all single-digit spreads. We are not confident Baylor has enough offense to cover this number at home but tread lightly as the Bear defense could slam the back door shut.
Prediction: Oklahoma +10
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith