Big 12 College Basketball Picks: Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns

Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns
Monday, March 4, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Frank Erwin Special Events Center – Austin, Texas
Opening Line: Baylor -2
Current Line: Baylor -1 1/2
Opening Total: 137
Current Total: 138 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -125 / Texas +105
Current Money Line: Baylor -130 / Texas +110

Texas is a slight underdog at home against Baylor Monday night.
Texas is a slight underdog at home against Baylor Monday night.

A few weeks ago the Baylor Bears were almost a lock for the NCAA tournament. However, the Bears have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games and now find themselves in a precarious spot on the bubble. The Bears travel to Austin to take on the 13-16  Texas Longhorns. The Bears are 8-8 in the Big 12, and the Longhorns are 5-11. Baylor is a game behind Iowa St for 5th and 2 games ahead of West Virginia for 7th. The top 6 teams get first round byes in the Big 12 tournament. Texas is a game behind West Virginia and 2 games ahead of Texas Tech for 9th.

Texas leads the series against Baylor 157-82, including 85-28 in Austin. Baylor has won 7 of the last 9 against their I-35 rivals after Texas had beaten them 24 straight times.  Baylor and Texas opened Big 12 play against each other January 5. The Bears escaped with an 86-79 overtime victory in Waco.  The bears were out Coach Scott Drew in that game because he was suspended for the first two games of the Big 12 season by the conference.

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, including Saturday in Waco 64-61. 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 11-13 ATS and the total is 12-11 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.

Texas is coached by Rick Barnes.  Texas has losses to Chamindade and USC in the Maui Invitational, to Georgetown in New York City, to UCLA in Houston, at Michigan St, Baylor, Iowa St, Oklahoma, Kansas St twice, Kansas twice West Virginia twice, and at Oklahoma St twice including 78-65 Saturday in Stillwater. Three of their losses were in overtime. The Longhorns have key wins over Fresno St, Mississippi St in Maui, North Carolina Rice, Texas Tech, TCU twice, Iowa St and Oklahoma. Texas is 14-11-1 ATS and the total is 12-11 this season.

Texas is being outscored 65.4-65.1 this season. The Longhorns are shooting 41.4% from the field and 28.9% from 3 point range. Texas makes 64.6% of their free throws. The Longhorns are 270th or worse in all three shooting categories out of 347 teams. The Longhorns average 37.4 rebounds per game, and they give up 33.4 per game. Texas opponents are shooting 38.1% from the field and 28.6% from 3 point range. The Longhorns are in the top 12 nationally in both categories. Texas averages 11 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 15 turnovers.

Guard Myck Kabongo missed the first 23 games of the season with a suspension. He has played the last 6 games though. Kabongo averages 16.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Guard Sheldon McClellan averages 13.3 points, and 4.2 rebounds. Guard Julien Lewis averages 10.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Ioannis Papapetrou averages 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists.  Guard Javan Felix averages 7.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Jonathan Holmes averages 6.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He returned against Iowa St, after missing 5 games with a broken hand. Center Cameron Ridley averages 4.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Connor Lammert, DeMarcus Holland, and Prince Ibah will also get some time in the rotation. Little used center Andrew Dick is out for the season with a knee injury.

Baylor is 4-1 ATS in Monday games, 17-5 against teams with losing records, 9-4 after a straight up loss, 1-4 overall, and against Big 12 teams. The road team has covered the last 5 in this series, and the Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 trips to Austin.

Texas is 7-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 5-2 at home, and 2-5-1 in Monday games. The over is 7-2 in the last 9 in this series. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 in this series.

Both these teams need to win to keep their current seeding in the Big 12 tournament. Either could move up as well, but they need help for that to happen. Both Baylor and Texas can make sure they don’t drop with wins tonight or in their last game of the regular season on Saturday. I like Texas at home, but it won’t be a cake walk.

Our expert college basketball picks will help you crush the books this season. Don’t miss out on nay more winners from now until the National Championship Game in Atlanta next month.




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