Big 12 Championship Betting: Baylor Bears vs Missouri Tigers

2012 Big 12 Championship Game
#4 Baylor Bears vs #2 Missouri Tigers
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Saturday, March 10, 2012, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Missouri -3
Current Line: Missouri -3
Opening Total: 147 1/2
Current Total: 149
Opening Money Line: Missouri -155 / Baylor +135
Current Money Line: Missouri -160 / Baylor +140

Missouri and Baylor meet for the Big 12 Championship Saturday in Kansas City. Missouri is a 3 point favorite

The 29-4 Missouri Tigers are #5 in the country. The Tigers could grab a #1 seed if they win the Big 12 tournament. It won’t be easy as they have to face #11 Baylor who is 27-6 this season. The Bears beat Kansas St 82-74 in the quarterfinals and upset #1 seed Kansas 81-72 in the semifinals. Baylor has won 5 of their last 6 games. Missouri has won 4 games in a row, including 88-70 over Oklahoma St in the quarterfinals and 81-67 over Texas in Friday’s semifinals. Missouri is also trying to win the Big 12 tournament in their last year in the conference before moving to the SEC next season.

Missouri leads the series 15-10 against Baylor, and has won 5 of the last 6. The Tigers won both meetings this season. Missouri won in Waco January 21 89-88, and 72-57 in Columbia February 11. Baylor and Missouri met in the 2009 Big 12 title game, and Missouri won 73-60 in that game. Baylor hasn’t won a regular season or conference tournament title since 1950 in the old Southwest Conference.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. The Bears have wins over San Diego St, Northwestern, BYU, St. Mary’s, West Virginia, Mississippi St, Texas A&M twice, Texas Tech twice, Oklahoma St twice, Oklahoma twice, Texas twice, Kansas St and Iowa St. Baylor has additional  losses to Kansas twice, along with Kansas St and Iowa St.

Missouri is coached by Frank Haith. The Tigers have losses to Kansas St twice, Oklahoma St, and Kansas. Missouri has non-conference wins over Notre Dame, Cal, Villanova, Illinois, and Old Dominion. The Tigers swept every other team in the Big 12, besides the 3 mentioned.

Baylor is outscoring opponents 75-64 this season. The Bears are shooting 47.2% from the field, including 38.5% from 3 point range. Baylor is in the top 40 nationally in both categories.  Baylor makes 74.9% from the free throw line. The Bears average 36.5 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of +5. Baylor averages 15 assists, 14.1 turnovers, 7.9 steals, and 4.9 blocks a game. Baylor opponents are shooting 40.7% from the field, including 33.6% from 3 point range. The Bears force 14.7 turnovers a game on defense.

Baylor has 4 players averaging double digit scoring. Pierre Jackson averages 13.5 points, 3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.7 steals a game to lead the team in the latter two categories. He is shooting 45.3% from 3 point range. Perry Jones III averages 13.1 points, 7.5 rebounds to lead the team, 1.3 assists, and 1 steal a game. Quincy Acy averages 12.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1 steals, and 2 blocks a game to lead the team. Quincy Miller averages 11.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists a game. Miller is shooting 37.3% from 3 point range.    Brady Heslip averages 9.3 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1 assists a game. He makes 43% of his three point shots.

Missouri is outscoring opponents 80-65. The Tigers are shooting 49.9% from the field including 39.2% from 3 point range. Missouri makes 76.5% from the free throw line. The Tigers are 8th in scoring, third in field goal percentage, 19th in 3 point field goals, and 8th in free throw percentage nationally. Missouri averages 32.2 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +0.8. The Tigers average 16.1 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 8.3 steals, and 2.8 blocks a game. Missouri opponents are shooting 44.3% from the field, and 36.4% from 3 point range. Missouri forces 14.8 turnovers a game.

Missouri guard Marcus Denmon averages 18 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. He shoots 41.9% from 3 point range.  Kim English averages 14.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.3 steals a game. He makes 45.3% of his 3 point attempts. English bruised his thigh against Texas, but is probable for Baylor in the championship. Ricardo Ratliffe averages 13.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1 block a game. He leads the team in rebounds. Michael Dixon averages 13.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals a game. Phil “Flip” Pressey averages 9.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals a game. He leads the team in assists and steals. Steve Moore leads the Tigers in blocks with 1.2 a game. Forward Laurence Bowers is out for the season with a knee injury.

Baylor is 12-14 ATS and the total is 14-12 this season. Missouri is 17-9-2 ATS and the total is 17-10-1 this season. Missouri has covered the last 6 against Baylor, and the total has gone under in 4 of the last 5 games in the series. Baylor is 11-4 ATS as a neutral site underdog, 2-8 after a straight up win, 3-13 after a cover, and 0-7 in Saturday games. Missouri is 6-1 ATS after a straight up win, 5-0 in neutral site games, and as a neutral site favorite, 4-0-1 in Saturday games, 4-1 overall, and in Big 12 games, 6-2 as a favorite, 3-1-2 as a favorite of 6.5 points or less, 8-3-2 against teams with winning records, and 7-3 after a cover.

Baylor has been a top 15 team for most of the season. So it wouldn’t really be that shocking if they beat Kansas and Missouri in back to back games. Both teams like to run so there should be a ton of points scored in this game. Missouri will win but it will come down to the wire.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot this season. Don’t miss out on any more winners as March Madness is in full effect.


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