College Basketball Big 12 Semifinals Betting Picks: Baylor Bears vs Kansas Jayhawks

2016 Big 12 Tournament – Semifinals
#5 Baylor Bears vs #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Friday, March 11, 2016, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Kansas -5 1/2 (-120)
Current Line: Kansas -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 144 1/2
Current Total: 144 1/2
Opening Money Line: Kansas -265 / Baylor +215
Current Money Line: Kansas -310 / Baylor +260

Kansas takes on Baylor in the Big 12 semifinals Friday in Kansas City.
Kansas takes on Baylor in the Big 12 semifinals Friday in Kansas City.

The 28-4 Kansas Jayhawks have won 12 straight games and are projected to be the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. That could change if they don’t win the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City. The Jayhawks are the #1 seed after winning the Big 12 regular season title for a 12th straight season. Kansas beat #8 seed Kansas State 85-63 in the semifinals Thursday. Next up is a semifinal clash with the #5 seed the Baylor Bears. Baylor is 22-10 and went 10-8 in conference. The Bears beat #4 seed Texas 75-61 in the quarterfinals. The winner between Kansas and Baylor will face either #2 seed West Virginia or #3 seed Oklahoma in the championship game Saturday.

Kansas leads the series against Baylor 26-4, but Baylor is 2-1 in the Big 12 tournament against Kansas. The Jayhawks won both meetings in the regular season 102-74 in Lawrence January 2 and 66-60 in Waco February 23.

Baylor is coached by Scott Drew. The Bears have road losses at Oregon, Texas A&M, Kansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma, plus home losses to Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas, and West Virginia. Baylor has home wins over Stephen F. Austin, Arkansas State, Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, Texas Southern, Oklahoma State, TCU, Kansas State, Georgia, and Iowa State. The Bears have road wins at Iowa State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas, and TCU. Baylor is 11-14-1 ATS and the total is 15-11 this season. Baylor was a 2.5 point favorite against Texas and the total was 137.5.

Kansas is coached by Bill Self. The Jayhawks lost to Michigan State in Chicago early in the season, and has road losses at West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Kansas has wins over UCLA and Vanderbilt in the Maui Invitational, home wins over Harvard, Oregon State, Montana, Baylor, Oklahoma in triple overtime, TCU, Texas, Kentucky, Kansas State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Iowa State, plus road wins over San Diego State, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas 86-56. Kansas is 19-10 ATS and the total is 10-18-1 this season. The Jayhawks were 12.5 point favorites against Kansas State and the total was 140.

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Baylor is outscoring teams 78-69 this season. The Bears are shooting 46.9% from the field and 37.1% from 3 point range. Baylor makes 73.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 37% from 3 point range. Baylor averages 37.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.3 per game. The Bears are #3 nationally in rebounds allowed. Baylor averages 18.1 assists, 12.9 turnovers, 7.9 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 17.8 assists, 13.6 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 4 blocks per game.

Taureen Prince averages 15.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Al Freeman averages 11.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Rico Gathers averages 11.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Johnathan Motley averages 11 points, 5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Lester Medford averages 9.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Terry Mason, Ishmail Wainright, King McClure and Jake Lindsay will also get minutes in the rotation.

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Kansas is out scoring teams 82-68 this season. The Jayhawks are #14 in scoring nationally. Kansas is shooting 49.5% from the field and 42.7% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #6 in field goal percentage and #2 in three point shooting nationally. Kansas makes 70.2% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. The Jayhawks are #24 in field goal defense nationally. Kansas averages 37.9 rebounds a game and opponents average 30.2 per game. The Jayhawks average 15.9 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 4.1 blocks per game. Opponents average 11 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game.

Forward Perry Ellis averages 16.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr. averages 13.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1 steal a game. Frank Mason III averages 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Devonte’ Graham averages 11.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Brannen Greene averages 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Six other players get significant time in the rotation.

Baylor is 5-2 ATS overall and against Big 12 teams, 2-6 after a straight up win, and 0-4 in Friday games. The under is 4-1-1 in this series recently.

Kansas is 5-0 ATS in neutral site games recently, 10-2 overall, 9-2 after a straight up win and against Big 12 teams, 4-1 in Friday games, 8-2 against teams with winning records, and 7-2 after a cover. The favorite has covered the last four games in this series. The Jayhawks are 6-0-1 ATS recently against the Bears.

When these teams met a couple of weeks ago in Waco, the Bears led 55-53 with about five minutes left to go. However, Kansas closed the game on a 13-5 run to win  by six points. Baylor has gone 0-6 against the top three teams in the conference, Kansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma. I don’t see them breaking that streak. Kansas wins with relative ease in what amounts to home game in nearby Kansas City.

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