(19) Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns (-2.5, 128)
One of the hottest teams in the Big 12 will face one of the coldest tonight as the No. 19 Baylor Bears (22-7, 10-6 Big 12) – winners of four straight – travel to Austin to face the limping Texas Longhorns (17-12, 6-10 Big 12) at the Frank Erwin Center (7:00 p.m. Eastern).
These two teams already met once this season on January 31 when Baylor smashed Texas 83-60 in Waco. Point guard Kenny Chery scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half for the Bears and forward Royce O’Neale added 20 points.
“We were really unselfish. You can’t get more unselfish than 24 assists and only nine turnovers,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said after the January game. “When guys make shots it helps.”
The Texas made only five of 26 three-pointers, while Baylor was a scorching 12 of 22 from three. The passive Longhorns also shot just three free throws in the game, hitting one.
“That’s not who we are, what we should be doing,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said after the loss. “We need to go inside.”
Baylor was a two-point underdog in the January meeting, but how the teams’ fortunes have changed since then. The Bears have won four straight, including back-to-back wins of No. 12 Iowa State and No. 20 West Virginia in their last two. The win streak has moved the team into a tie for third in the Big 12.
The Longhorns, meanwhile, have lost four in a row, including a home game to Iowa State (85-77). The team is now third-last in the conference and is watching its March Madness hopes evaporate.
Despite the recent results, Texas is a 2.5-point home favorite for tonight’s game; the o/u is at 128.
In the head-to-head trends, Baylor covered the last two games in the series, but Texas covered the four prior. Seven of the last eight have hit the over, including the last three in a row.
The Bears are 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 games as a favorite, 4-1 ATS in their last five against teams with winning record, and 6-5 ATS when away from home this season. The Longhorns are 6-9 against the spread at home, 10-9 ATS as favorite, and 4-3 ATS as underdogs.
(Photo credit: Randall Chancellor [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)