College Basketball Betting Picks: #4 Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears

#4 Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears
Saturday, March 9, 2013, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Ferrell Center – Waco, Texas
Opening Line: Kansas -3 1/2
Current Line: Kansas -4 1/2
Opening Total: 138
Current Total: 138
Opening Money Line: Kansas -160 / Baylor +140
Current Money Line: Kansas -200 / Baylor +170

Kansas is a 4.5 point favorite at Baylor Saturday. The Jayhawks can wrap up their ninth straight Big 12 regular season tittle with a win.

Kansas is a 4.5 point favorite at Baylor Saturday. The Jayhawks can wrap up their ninth straight Big 12 regular season tittle with a win.

The 26-4 Kansas Jayhawks can clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title for the ninth straight year with a win over the 17-13 Baylor bears Saturday in Waco. The Jayhawks came into Saturday’s regular season finale tied with Kansas St at 14-3 for the conference lead. Kansas beat their instate rivals twice so the Jayhawks hold the tiebreaker and would be the #1 seed for next week’s Big 12 tournament in Kansas City. Kansas is also in line for a #1 seed for the NCAA tournament.

Baylor, meanwhile is 8-9 in conference and locked into the #6 seed for the tournament. However, the Bears are barely on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, and badly need a win over Kansas to bolster their shaky resume. The Bears have gone 3-8 in their last 11 games.

Kansas leads the series against Baylor 19-3 including 8-1 in Waco. The Jayhawks have won 4 of the last 5 in the series including 61-44 January 14 in Lawrence. The only win for Baylor in that stretch came in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament last season.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The  losses for the Jayhawks this season came against Michigan St in Atlanta early in the season, at home against Oklahoma St, and at TCU and Oklahoma. Kansas has won 7 straight since a 3 game losing streak. The Jayhawks have key wins over Washington St, Saint Louis, and Oregon St all in Kansas City, along with a road wins at Ohio St,  Texas Tech twice including 79-42 Monday in Lawrence, Texas twice, Kansas St twice, West Virginia twice, and Oklahoma St and home wins over Colorado, Richmond, Temple, Iowa St, Baylor,Oklahoma, and TCU. The Jayhawks are 16-13 ATS and the total is 12-13-1 this season.

Kansas is outscoring teams 75-61 this season. The Jayhawks are in the top 45 nationally in both categories. points allowed. Kansas is #20 in field goal percentage at 47.6% and  36.5% from three point range. The Jayhawks are shooting 72.7% from the free throw line. Kansas averages 39.7 rebounds per game, and gives up 30.0 per game. The Jayhawks are #13 in rebounding nationally.  Kansas opponents are shooting 35.1% from the field and 30.6% from 3 point range. Kansas is #1 in opponent’s field goal percentage. The Jayhawks average 15 assists, 7 steals, 7 blocks and 14 turnovers a game.

Guard Ben McLemore averages 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Center Jeff Withey averages 13.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game. He broke the Big 12 record for blocks in a career a couple of weeks ago.  Guard Travis Releford averages 12.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Elijah Johnson averages  10.2 points, 3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. Kevin Young averages 7.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe, Andrew White III and Jamari Taylor make up the rest of the rotation.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. Baylor has losses to Colorado in a tournament in Charleston, home losses to College of Charleston, Northwestern, and Oklahoma twice and at Gonzaga, Kansas, Iowa St twice, Oklahoma St twice, and Kansas St twice, and Texas Monday 79-70 . Baylor has key wins over Boston College and St. Joseph’s in Charleston, at Kentucky, Texas Tech, and TCU, and home wins against BYU, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma St, Texas Tech and West Virginia twice. Baylor is 11-14 ATS and the total is 13-11 this season.

Baylor is outscoring teams 74-66. They are #33 in scoring. The Bears are shooting 45.1% from the field and 34.5% from 3 point range. The Bears make 68.1% of their free throws. Baylor averages 38.1 rebounds per game and give up 31.7 per game. The Bears are #37 in rebounding. Baylor opponents are shooting 40.7% from the field and 31% from 3 point range. The Bears average 15 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks and 13 turnovers per game.

Baylor guard Pierre Jackson averages 19 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Center Isaiah Austin averages 13.6 points, 9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game.  Forward Cory Jefferson averages 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. Guard Brady Heslip averages 8.9 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Guard A.J. Walton averages  7.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Rico Gathers, Gary Franklin, and Deuce Bello make up the rest of the rotation.

Kansas is 7-0 ATS overall and against Big 12 teams, 6-0 after a win and a cover, 4-0 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 4-1 after allowing 50 points or less, and 6-2 against teams with winning records. The road team is 13-2 ATS in the last 15 in this series. The Jayhawks are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 against the Bears, and are 6-0 in Waco.

Baylor is 4-9 ATS at home, 2-5 after failing to cover, 5-16 in Saturday games, 1-5 overall, and in Big 12 games, and 0-4 against teams with winning records.

These two teams are going in opposite directions. I would be surprised even if Baylor wins this game if they make the dance given their struggles down the stretch. I think they need to win here and make a deep run in the Big 12 tournament. I don’t think they can. Kansas wins big on the road to wrap up the Big 12 title.

Our best college basketball picks are available now to help you crush the bookies. We have winners every day as the regular season winds down and the Madness approaches.

 

 

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