NCAA Basketball Picks: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears

Northwestern Wildcats at Baylor Bears
Tuesday, 12/4/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Baylor -10.5
Current Betting Line:  Baylor -10.5
Opening Total:  131
Current Total:  133.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Baylor Bears are coming off a big win over the Kentucky Wildcats

Northwestern heads to the Lone Star State for the second time this season, as the program competed in the South Padre Island Invitational last month.  The Wildcats will be focused on bouncing back from consecutive losses, including a 50-44 setback to Illinois Chicago as 10.5-point home favorites.  The team missed half of its 20 free throw attempts and committed 16 turnovers in that affair.  Northwestern is 0-3 ATS as a road underdog of 9.5 to 12 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 3-0 in that situation.

The Wildcats aren’t going to attract a lot of action as an underdog on the college basketball odds page, considering they’ve gone 1-7 ATS in December since 2010.  Northwestern also suffered a lopsided 69-41 setback to Baylor as 2.5-point home favorites last year, while going UNDER the posted total of 142.  Three starters are averaging in double figures, with seniors Drew Crawford and Reggie Hearn leading the way, combining for 27.7 points per game.

Baylor may suffer a bit of a letdown after picking up a 64-55 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats as 6.5-point road underdogs, while going UNDER the posted total of 148.  The Bears are led offensively by senior guard Pierre Jackson, who is averaging 19.9 points per game, while shooting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc.  He was named the Big 12 Conference Preseason Player of the Year.  The program is 13-19 all-time against teams currently in the Big Ten Conference, which is a factor to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks.

The Bears are 46-8 at home in the last three-plus seasons, which includes a 14-3 mark inside the Ferrell Center a season ago.  All five of Baylor’s starters scored in double figures in ending Kentucky’s nation-leading 55-game home winning streak, with Jackson leading the way with 17 points.  Head coach Scott Drew has led the team to a dominating 40-12 record in the month of November since arriving on campus, including a 32-3 mark in his last 35 opportunities.

Sports bettors will likely play the Wildcats due to their 7-4 ATS mark off two or more consecutive losses, while the Bears are 1-3 ATS off an upset win as an underdog.

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