In the Big 12 Tournament, the Baylor Bears (26-5 SU, 14-4 B12) will face the Oklahoma Sooners (17-14 SU, 7-11 B12) in a No. 2 vs. No. 7 seed showdown. On January 4, Baylor defeated Oklahoma 84-74 as a 12-point home favorite and 65-51 as a four-point road underdog. Oklahoma will be fighting for an NCAA tournament bid as they look to make a deep run into the BIG 12 tournament. Meanwhile, the Baylor Bears are seemingly a lock for a number one overall seed, but they will look to prove that in the Big 12 tournament.
Baylor Bears Betting Preview: Baylor Looks to Lock Down First Overall Seed
The 2021 National Champions didn’t start the season as a title contender, but the Baylor Bears quickly established themselves as a strong team as they raced out to a 15-0 start, including a ranking at No. 1 in the AP Poll during the season. Baylor overcame a tough midseason stretch in which they went 6-5 to end the regular season with a record of 26-5. They did not win the Big 12 regular-season title, but they are ranked third in the AP Poll heading into the Big 12 Tournament.
Despite losing Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell, Baylor has done an outstanding job of staying in contention for the National Championship. Baylor’s offense is one of the most potent attacks in basketball as they come in ranked 47th averaging 76.8 points per game. Baylor also has four players on the roster posting double-digit figures. The Bears will take advantage of the versatility of their triple threat of offensive powerhouses of LJ Cryer, Adam Flagler, and James Akinjo. Because this team is primarily guard-oriented, the Bears will almost certainly win if they can keep the ball moving and strive for versatility from all three players.
Baylor’s defense has been nothing short of outstanding this season, ranking 30th in scoring defense, conceding just 63.4 points per game. Despite this, Baylor has struggled on the road, recently going 3-3 in their last six games. However, this game will be played at a neutral site, and they’ll want to ensure a number one seed in the NCAA tournament.
Oklahoma Sooners Betting Preview: Sooners Need Deep BIG 12 Run to Get Into Post Season
The Oklahoma Sooners didn’t have big hopes for the 2021-22 season, but after an 11-2 start, they appeared to be in good shape. Regrettably, that was the extent of their achievements as they finished the season just 7-12 in Big 12 play. Despite this, Oklahoma finished the regular season on a strong note with a three-game winning streak, which should boost their confidence heading into the Big 12 Tournament.
Oklahoma has some thump in their offense with three players that can score at a high rate, but they lack consistency. The Sooner have four players averaging double-digit scoring, with Senior big man Tanner Groves leading the squad with 12.4 points per game. Umoja Gibson, a senior guard from Waco, Texas, is also a player to watch for Oklahoma as he is a sharpshooting guard. With an average of 12.3 points per game and 42.7 percent accuracy, Gibson is the best shooter in the Sooners’ roster. He’s improved significantly over the season, scoring 29 points in his most recent game. Overall, the Sooners offense averages 68.8 points per game and will have a tough matchup against a strong Baylor defensive unit.
The Sooners must secure the perimeter on defense as the Bears were able to make a third of their attempts from beyond the three-point line when they last faced Baylor. The Sooners have been strong on defense, ranking 47th in scoring defense, allowing just 64.7 points per game. If they want to remain a contender in this battle, they’ll have to keep a close eye on limiting Baylor’s three-point attempts.
Betting Odds and Lines
MyBookie has the Baylor Bears listed as the -8.5-point home favorite, while the total number of points is at 134.5 in the latest odds.
Free Betting Pick
I like the Baylor Bears to win this matchup, but conference tournaments always bring closer matchups. That’s why I’m a little wary of picking Baylor with a high spread. The Oklahoma Sooners offense has struggled against Baylor this season, but they have three great players that can really shoot it.
Oklahoma is 2-0 ATS in neutral site games this year, and they have their backs up against the wall in terms of making the postseason. They will bring out all of the stops to keep this one relatively close. With Baylor seemingly hitting the injury bug constantly, I think they have a rotation to protect their players heading into the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma will keep this one close.