(19) Oklahoma Sooners at (21) Baylor Bears (-2, 130 o/u)
After three losses in their last four games, the No. 19 Oklahoma Sooners (12-6, 3-3 Big 12) will look to get back on track tonight when they visit the No. 21 Baylor Bears (14-4, 2-3 Big 12) at the Ferrell Center in Waco (6:00 p.m. Eastern).
Tonight’s game will be the Sooners’ sixth against a ranked team in their last seven outings. Oklahoma is 3-3 over its last six, and recently beat Baylor in Norman (73-63). However, they have dropped games to No. 16 West Virginia, No. 11 Kansas, and unranked Kansas State since that time.
In the most recent loss (85-78 to the Jayhawks), Buddy Hield score 26 points to lead the Sooners, but the team couldn’t overcome a dreadful first-half which saw them trail by 19 at the break (51-32).
“I’m proud of the guys for fighting back,” Hield said. “We should have done a better job of executing in the first half, but Kansas did a great job of making shots.”
The Sooners average a respectable 73.3 points per game and allow just 62.6 PPG. They have been a good, though not spectacular, bet this season, going 9-7 against the spread.
Baylor, meanwhile, also owns a 3-3 record in its last six. But, unlike the Sooners, the Bears have won three of their last four (beating TCU, Iowa State, and Huston-Tillotson, while losing to Kansas State).
Junior forward Rico Gathers had a career night in the 81-61 win over Huston, scoring 25 points and piling up a Big 12-record 28 rebounds.
The 81 point outburst was a rarity for the Bears, who are kept under 70 on average (69.3 PPG), and it should be noted that Huston-Tillotson is an NAIA program. However, what the Bears lack on offense they make up for on the defensive end, surrendering just 57.8 PPG (19th in the nation).
Trend-wise, Baylor is just 3-16 SU in its last 19 at home against Oklahoma, and 0-5 ATS in the last five of those. The total has gone over in 15 of the last 22 between the Sooners and Bears.
Baylor has been good at home this year, dropping just one game (by one point) to the talented Jayhawks (56-55), while the Sooners have had mixed results on the road (crushing Texas but, more recently, losing badly to both Kansas and West Virginia).
Take the Bears and lay the points (-2).
(Photo credit: GoIowaState dotcom (Flickr: NM0A0186-X2) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)