College Basketball Big 12 Picks: Oklahoma Sooners at Baylor Bears

Oklahoma Sooners at Baylor Bears
Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Ferrell Center – Waco, Texas
Opening Line: Baylor -7
Current Line: Baylor -6 1/2
Opening Total: 137
Current Total: 136 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -300 / Oklahoma +250
Current Money Line: Baylor -280 / Oklahoma +240

Baylor is a 6.5 point favorite at home against Oklahoma Wednesday night.
Baylor is a 6.5 point favorite at home against Oklahoma Wednesday night.

The 13-5 Oklahoma Sooners travel to the 14-5 Baylor Bears in a key Big 12 contest Wednesday night. Teh Sooners are 4-2 in conference and tied with Kansas St and Iowa St for third in the conference. The Bears are alone in second at 5-1 behind 7-0 Kansas.

Oklahoma leads the series 37-10 all time against Baylor including 16-5 in Waco. Baylor has won 5 of the last 7 in the series, and 3 in a row in Waco. Baylor won both meetings last year by 10 and 12 points. The Sooners and Bears will meet again February 23 in Norman.

Oklahoma is coached by Lon Kruger. The Sooners have losses to Gonzaga in a tournament in Orlando, at Arkansas, Kansas St, and Kansas last Saturday 67-54, and at home to Stephen F. Austin. Oklahoma has wins over UTEP and West Virginia in Orlando, at Oral Roberts, Texas A&M in Oklahoma City, and at home against Ohio. The Sooners have conference wins at West Virginia, and at home against Oklahoma St, Texas Tech and Texas. The game in Orlando against West Virginia didn’t count as a conference game because they had both been invited to the tournament before WVU joined the Big 12 this season from the Big East. . Oklahoma is 9-5 ATS and the total is 6-5 this season.

Oklahoma is outscoring teams 68-62 this season. The Sooners are shooting 42.6% from the field and 31.9% from 3 point range. Oklahoma makes 74.2% of their free throws, and are #35 in the country.. The Sooners average 37.2 rebounds and give up 30.2. OU opponents are shooting 40.8% from the field and 30.8% from 3 point range. The Sooners average 12 assists, 7 steals, 3 blocks, and 13 turnovers.

Forward Romero Osby averages 14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1 assist and 0.9 blocks per game to lead the team. Guard Stephen Pledger averages 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.2 steals. Forward Amath M’Baye averages 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. Guard Buddy Hield averages 9.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 steals. Cameron Clark averages 5.9 points and 3 rebounds per game. Je’Lon Hornbeak, Andrew Fitzgerald, Isaiah Cousins and Sam Grooms make up the rest of the rotation. Oklahoma has only 3 players 6′-8″ and over on the roster.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. The Bears have losses to Colorado in a tournament in Charleston, home losses to College of Charleston and Northwestern, and at Gonzaga and Kansas. Baylor has key wins over Boston College and St. Joseph’s in Charleston, at Kentucky, Texas Tech, and TCU 82-56 Saturday, and home wins against BYU, Texas, TCU and Oklahoma St. Baylor has won 3 straight games. The Bears are 7-7 ATS and the total is 6-7 this season.

Baylor is outscoring teams 76-63. They are #35 in scoring. The Bears are shooting 46.2% from the field and 36.2% from 3 point range. Baylor is #50 in field goal percentage. The Bears make 68.6% of their free throws. Baylor averages 39 rebounds per game and give up 31.2 per game. The Bears are #30 in rebounding. Baylor opponents are shooting 39.9% from the field and 31.1% from 3 point range. The Bears average 15 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 13 turnovers per game.

Baylor guard Pierre Jackson averages 18.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Center Isaiah Austin averages 14.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game. Austin is probable with an ankle injury.  Forward Cory Jefferson averages 12.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. Guard Brady Heslip averages 8.4 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. Guard A.J. Walton averages  6.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Rico Gathers, Gary Franklin, and Deuce Bello make up the rest of the rotation.

Oklahoma is 5-2 ATS after a straight up loss, against teams with winning records, and 7-3 overall. The Sooners are 4-1 overall in the last 5 in this series, and 6-1-1 in Waco. The road team is 5-1 ATS  and the underdog is 4-1 in this series.

Baylor is 5-2 ATS after a straight up win, 7-19 after a cover, 2-6 at home, 1-4 after a straight up win of more than 20 points, and 0-7 in Wednesday games. The over is 11-5 in the last 16 in this series.

Byalor has won 3 straight games. Oklahoma has lost 2 of their last 3 games, but they had games at Kansas St and Kansas. Baylor seems like they have established themselves as the second best team in the Big 12 behind Kansas. I like the Bears to win at home against a gritty Oklahoma team.

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