Kansas State at Baylor Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,February 2, 2017 10:42, EDT in

What kind of mood will No. 2 Baylor be in on Saturday? The Bears are off their biggest game of the year on Wednesday in visiting No. 4 Kansas. Can Baylor avoid a letdown on Saturday against a very dangerous Kansas State team that needs to build its NCAA Tournament resume? Baylor will be favored on NCAA basketball odds.

Kansas State at Baylor Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 3 PM ET
Where: Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas
TV: ESPNEWS
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Kansas State / Baylor
Opening NCAAB Lines: Baylor favored by TBA

Why Bet On Kansas State?

Barry Brown has become K-State’s top player. He’s the team’s leading scorer at 12.9 points per game and has become an endurance-built weapon for K-State as a sophomore. He averages 31.5 minutes a game, including 34.0 in Big 12 play, both significant boosts from a year ago. More importantly, Brown is handling his bulk of minutes much better, which he attributes to a concerted effort in practice.

“I tried to go 110 percent this year in conditioning and during practice, trying to get those extra reps because I know it’s going to be hard late in the game,” the 6-foot- 3 guard said. “That’s what I can try to simulate, that I’m tired now but I’m going to be tired in the game, so I try to get those extra reps and still go 100 percent and just to try and make it easier in the game.”

This season, Brown has led K-State in scoring six times, a team high. He’s averaged 15.4 points in his last six games that included 22 in a road win at Oklahoma State, where he played 37 minutes. K-State ranks among the national leaders in steals (8.3 spg./23rd) and turnovers forced (16.0/26th). The Wildcats have helped force double-digit turnovers in 19 games, including 10 or more steals 7 times, and have scored at least 12 points off those turnovers in 20 games.

K-State is averaging 75.0 points on 48.1 percent shooting and 37.6 percent from 3-point range with assists on 62 percent of its made field goals and a +3.0 turnover margin. The Wildcats may rank just 9th in the Big 12 in scoring offense, but they place in Top 5 in most offensive categories, including 3rd in turnover margin, 4th in field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and assists and 5th in 3-point field goals made.

Why Bet on Baylor?

BU has reached the 20-win mark for a school-record 6th straight season and 9th time in the last 10 years. Baylor has been top-10 ranked for 10 consecutive AP Top 25 polls, including 8 weeks in the top-5. Baylor has faced a second-half deficit and come back to win in 10 games this season.

Baylor’s defense is holding teams to 63.1 ppg in Big 12 play, which leads the league by 10.5 ppg. BU leads the league in FG% defense (39%) and rebounding margin (+9.1) in Big 12 play. Baylor’s defense this season has been its best of the Scott Drew era — BU ranks 5th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency — Drew’s best previous defense was ranked No. 23 nationally in 2014-15.

Baylor’s defense ranks 9th nationally in effective field goal percentage defense (43.6), 16th in 2-point FG defense (42.7), 16th in 3-point FG defense (30.2) and 25th in block percentage (14.1). BU is top-20 in scoring defense (7th, 61.1), rebound margin (10th, +8.4) and scoring margin (16th, +14.1). BU opponents average 18.5 seconds per possession, 7th-longest nationally according to KenPom.com.

The Bears go for the sweep here. On Jan. 14 when Baylor was No. 1, it beat Kansas State 77-68 in Manhattan. Manu Lecomte scored 26 points despite early foul trouble, and Ish Wainright and Al Freeman had key baskets down the stretch. Kansas State held a two-point lead with 10 minutes to go. From that point, Baylor outscored the Wildcats 32-21.

Baylor is now 18-17 all-time against K-State, including an 8-10 mark in Manhattan and an 11-10 mark in the Drew era. Baylor has won 4 straight against K-State for the first time in series history.

Kansas State at Baylor Expert Pick: Baylor Bears

Again, wait for the line here. If it’s double-digits, take the points. If not, go the Bears at home.