The Big 12 is the toughest college basketball conference in the country. According to KenPom, the average Big 12 team would beat the average team in the country by 18 points.
While the Big 12 is stacked, the Kansas Jayhawks (8) and Baylor Bears (10) have asserted themselves as the two best teams in the conference thus far. Kansas currently leads the conference at 7-1, while Baylor is right behind them at 7-2.
These two teams will square off Saturday afternoon in Lawrence, Kansas in a critical showdown. The winner will probably win the regular-season conference title and is likely to be the favorite in the Big 12 Conference tournament as well.
While odds for this game have not been published yet, here are our Baylor vs Kansas predictions and bet tips to consider once the game lines are released.
Please note that all college basketball odds and lines are current as of 4 p.m. ET on Friday, February 4.
Baylor vs Kansas Predictions
For both teams, Saturday’s game is going to be their biggest test of the season.
Baylor started the season 15-0 thanks in large part to an easy schedule, but the reigning national champions are just 4-3 since then after being upset by Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Alabama.
For Kansas, their only loss in conference play was against Texas Tech. It’s worth noting, however, that four of their seven conference wins were one-possession games. If any of those games had gone the other way, the Bears would be the ones in first place right now.
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While both teams are evenly matched, I’m not expecting this to be a close game. Kansas has the third-best adjusted offensive efficiency in the country, while Baylor has the fifth-best. If neither team’s defense can contain the other team’s offense, then we’re likely to see a blowout.
The Bears have the 16th-best defensive efficiency, while the Jayhawks rank 46th. Kansas does have home-court advantage, however, as Allen Fieldhouse is a tough place for opponents.
Even so, I believe that KU is vulnerable. Last weekend, Kansas hosted Kentucky as five-point favorites and lost by 18.
Baylor hasn’t played their best basketball lately, but if they can return to their earlier form then they should win decisively on Saturday.
Baylor vs Kansas Prediction: Baylor 80, Kansas 72
Baylor vs Kansas Best Bets
Best Bet: Baylor To Cover +2.5 Spread (Would Bet Up to -2)
Wager: 1 Unit
KenPom gives Kansas a 53% chance of winning, but I disagree with his projection. I believe that Baylor will beat Kansas and would bet them up to two-point favorites for my CBB bet of the day.
The Jayhawks barely beating most of their conference opponents and getting blown out by Kentucky last week are red flags for me. Even on the road, the Bears should be a narrow favorite.
Best Bet: Baylor -5.5 Alt Line If +165 or Better
Wager: 1.5 Units
Sportsbooks should be posting alternative lines closer to tip-off. If I can get Baylor -5.5 at +165 odds are better, then I plan on betting it.
I believe that whoever wins on Saturday will win by a large margin as both of these offenses are explosive. The Bears’ average margin of victory is 17.4 points, which ranks fifth in the country.
Kansas is a strong team as well, but as favorites their alt line will not pay as well as Baylor’s.