Kansas vs Baylor Picks and Odds

Baylor Bears

Baylor guard Jared Butler drives up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
  • #2 Baylor (12-0, 5-0 Big 12) battles #6 Kansas (10-3, 4-2 Big 12) on Monday, Jan. 18 at 9:00 pm ET
  • The Bears look to stay unbeaten against the Jayhawks, who are coming off a tight loss
  • The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below

One of the best matchups of the season unfolds on Monday, Jan. 18, when #2 Baylor host #6 Kansas at 9pm ET. The Jayhawks have posted some excellent wins this season, but they’re coming off a road loss and could use a win to vault into the top five of the AP poll.

The Bears, meanwhile, can maintain their pristine record against arguably their toughest foe to date. Here’s a look at the odds, which see Baylor as the favorite:

Baylor vs Kansas Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Baylor -550 -9.5 (-110) Over 141.5 (-108)
Kansas +410 +9.5 (-110) Under 141.5 (-112)

Odds as of Jan. 17th, 2020 at FanDuel.

How They’ve Fared Recently

Excuse us for showering praise on Baylor in this section, but how could we not? The Bears are perfect in overall record (and nearly so against the spread, as we’ll touch on soon) and have had nary a close call this season.

OK, maybe one. In their most recent game, a 68-60 win over #15 Texas Tech, Baylor trailed with as little as eight minutes remaining. The final score was Baylor’s first game this season decided by fewer than 11 points.

Are half of the Bears’ wins against teams outside KenPom’s top 150? Yes. But another five wins have come against teams inside the top 100, including two that are currently ranked. The Bears are fourth in adjusted offensive efficiency and first in adjusted defensive efficiency. Yowza.

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But hey, Kansas is pretty good too. They sure aren’t perfect, having now lost two of their past four games, but they have six wins over KenPom top-100 teams — including three against teams listed in the current AP poll.

The Jayhawks’ three losses have come against #1 Gonzaga (on opening night), #4 Texas (admittedly a slaughter) and Oklahoma State (a five-point loss to a team that may soon be ranked). That’s not so bad. Kansas doesn’t flash as much offensively as Baylor (23rd in adjusted offensive efficiency), but they’re 10th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

2021 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds Tracker

ATS Analysis

Remember when I said the Bears were nearly perfect against the spread? They’ve posted a 10-2 ATS record this season, including three consecutive wins. They’ve also been favored in all 12 games.

Baylor’s only ATS losses came against Iowa State (15.5-point favorites, won by 11) and Alcorn State (44-point favorites — not a typo — won by 29). Otherwise it’s been smooth sailing.

Kansas is a mere 5-7 ATS and has lost three of its past four. The Jayhawks are accustomed to being favorites as well, and are just 1-1 as underdogs this season.

Head-to-Head Matchup

In two matchups last year, Kansas and Baylor split the straight up and ATS results, 1-1. Both teams earned straight up wins as underdogs, interestingly enough, and both games hit the under.

The Bears’ returning starters outnumber the Jayhawks, four to two. That includes junior guard Jared Butler, a reigning all-conference talent who is averaging 15.6 points, 5.2 assists and a blistering 2.5 steals per game this year.

A full season of perfection isn’t likely for Baylor (or any team, for that matter), but right now you’d be wise to ride the Bears’ wave. The fact that their ATS record is almost as sharp as their overall record tells you what kind of team this has been in 2020-21.

Pick: Baylor -9.5 (-110)

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