College Basketball Betting Picks: #8 Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears

#8 Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears
Ferrell Center – Waco, Texas

Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Kansas -3 1/2
Current Line: Kansas -4
Opening Total: 142 1/2
Current Total 143
Opening Money Line: Kansas -170 / Baylor +145
Current Money Line: Kansas -180 / Baylor +150


Kansas is a 4 point favorite at Baylor Tuesday night.
Kansas is a 4 point favorite at Baylor Tuesday night.

The 16-5 Kansas Jayhawks lost their first big 12 game of the season Saturday at Texas 81-69. The Jayhawks still lead the conference with a 7-1 record over 6-2 Texas. Kansas looks to rebound as they travel to Waco and take on the 14-7 Baylor Bears Tuesday night. Baylor is 2-6 in the Big 12 after upsetting Oklahoma State 76-70 in Stillwater Saturday.

Kansas leads the series 20-4 against Baylor, but they two teams have split the last 4 meetings. The Jayhawks beat the Bears 78-68 in Lawrence January 20th. Despite shooting 60% from the field in the first half Kansas only led by 2 points at halftime. The Jayhawks went on a 14-2 run in the second to pull away and win by 10.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks have losses to Villanova in the Bahamas, at Colorado, Florida and Texas, along with a home loss to San Diego State. Villanova, Florida, San Diego State and Texas are all in the top 15. The Texas loss snapped a 7 game winning streak for the Jayhawks. Kansas has key wins over Duke in Chicago, Wake Forest and UTEP in the Bahamas, New Mexico in Kansas City, plus home wins over Georgetown, Toledo, Kansas State,Oklahoma State,  Baylor and Iowa State plus road wins at Oklahoma, Iowa State and TCU. Kansas is 10-10-1 ATS and the the total is 13-7 this season.

Kansas is outscoring teams 80-70 this season. The Jayhawks are #29 in scoring nationally. Kansas is shooting 50.3% from the field and 36.4% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #4 nationally in field goal percentage. Kansas makes 70.2% of their free throws. Jayhawk opponents are shooting 41% from the field and 34.5% from 3 point range. Kansas averages 38.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.7. The Jayhawks are #52 or better in both categories. Kansas averages 15.7 assists, 5.6 steals, 6 blocks, and 13.9 turnovers per game, and opponents average 11.6 assists, 6.7 steals, 3.1 blocks and 11.2 turnovers per game.

Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins is projected to be an NBA lottery pick. Wiggins averages 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Forward Perry Ellis averages 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1 assist per game.  Center Joel Embiid averages 11.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.7 blocks per game. He is also a likely lottery pick, and is probable with a knee injury. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 10.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Guard Naadir Tharpe averages 8.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. Frank Mason and Jamari Traylor also get significant minutes in the rotation. Little used guard Connor Frankamp is also probable with a knee injury.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. The Bears have losses to Syracuse in the Maui Invitational, road losses at Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas and  home losses to Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. Baylor has key wins over Colorado in Dallas, South Carolina, Dayton in Maui, Kentucky in Arlington, TX, Oral Roberts, TCU and Oklahoma State. The win over Oklahoma State snapped a 5 game losing streak for Baylor. The Bears are 5-8-1 ATS and the total is 7-6 this season.

Baylor is outscoring teams 75-68 this season. The Bears are shooting 46.9% from the field and 40.1% from 3 point range. Baylor is #17  in three point shooting. The Bears are #302 nationally out of 351 teams making 65.7% from the line. Baylor opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field and 33.8% from 3 point range. The Bears average 39.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 27.6 per game. Baylor is #27 in rebounding and #28 in rebounds allowed nationally. The Bears average 15.1 assists, 13 turnovers, 5.1 steals and 5.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.5 assists, 10.6 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.

Baylor forward Cory Jefferson averages 12.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Guard Brady Heslip averages 11.3 points and 1 rebound per game. Guard Kenny Chery averages 11 points, 2.2 rebounds and 5 assists per game. He is questionable with an ankle injury.  Center Isaiah Austin averages 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 2.7 blocks per game. Forward Taurean Prince averages 8.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Forward Rico Gathers averages 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1 steal per game. Gary Franklin, Royce O’Neale, and Ish Wainwright will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Guard Allerik Smith is out indefinitely with a broken hand, and hasn’t played yet this season.

Kansas is 5-1 ATS in Tuesday games, 15-5-1 in Big 12 games, 5-2-1 overall, 16-7-1 after a straight up loss, and 2-5-1 after failing to cover. The road team is 13-3-1 ATS in the last 17 games in this series. The Jayhawks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in Waco.

Baylor is 11-24 ATS after a cover, 2-5 at home, 1-3-1 against teams with winning records, 1-4-1 overall, and in Big 12 games, 1-5 after a straight up win, and 0-4 in Tuesday games. Four of the last five games in Waco in this series have gone under the total. The underdog is 3-1-1 in the last 5 in this series.

Despite what happened on Saturday, Kansas is still a better team than Baylor even on the road. Kansas needs a win to stay ahead of Texas who plays at last place TCU Tuesday night. Baylor is now firmly on the bubble to make the NCAA tournament despite starting the season 12-1. Keep an eye on the injuries to Embiid and Chery, but Kansas wins a tight game on the road.

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