Texas Tough at Home
No. 3 Baylor looked like the team that won the 2021 national title when it took down Big 12-leading Kansas by 10 points at home on Saturday. Now the challenge is for the Bears to do it again on the road at No. 21 Texas, one of the best defensive teams in the country.
Baylor has a Big 12-high seven road wins (7-3) while Texas’ 16 home wins are the second most in the conference. The Longhorns are 3-6 against ranked teams. The six losses to ranked opponents are the most for any team also in the Top 25.
Baylor is in contention for a No. 1 seed in the March Madness bracket while Texas is showing up as a potential No. 6 seed so there is plenty at stake for both teams.
Baylor (+1400) has the second-best odds among Big 12 teams to win the national title while Texas comes in fourth at +5000 according to the March Madness predictions.
Baylor Flexing Defensive Muscles
Injuries have forced players in and out of the lineup for the defending national champion Baylor Bears. The different lineups and ailments that some of the Bears’ best players have dealt with have certainly has made it difficult to produce offensively on a nightly basis. However, Saturday’s 10-point win against Big 12-leading Kansas illustrated that Baylor still knows how to get after things on the defensive end.
Kansas shot just 34.3 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range as Baylor kept its Big 12 regular-season title hopes alive. It also kept the Bears’ March Madness odds trending in the right direction.
A three-game stretch culminating with a loss at Kansas saw opponents shoot over 50 percent each time, with the Bears dropping two of those three contests. Since then, opponents have shot 39.5 percent from the field even though Baylor lost standout big man Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua to a season-ending knee injury.
Baylor is 5-1 during that stretch with the lone loss coming to Texas Tech. One of the wins during that time was a 17-point victory against Texas. That was the same game in which Tchamwa Tchatchoua was injured. Texas shot just 32.8 percent in that loss with seven Baylor blocked shots playing a role in the tough shooting performance.
Baylor has covered against the college basketball spreads in just three of its last nine games.
Rugged Tests for Texas
This is a good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that Texas overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Texas Christian and then overcame a 10-point West Virginia lead midway through the second half to win 82-81. The bad news is that digging double-digit holes could result in a much different outcome with the next two games coming against top-10 teams Baylor and Kansas.
Timmy Allen sparked the comeback on Saturday with 15 of his 26 points in the final 10 minutes. Allen was 12 of 16 from the foul line during the game. Allen has scored in double figures in four of the last six games. Texas won all four contests when Allen scored in double digits and lost in the two games when he didn’t.
The win against West Virginia was a big one even if the Mountaineers are in last place in the Big 12 standings.
“That’s as happy as our locker room has been all year,” Texas coach Chris Beard told the media after the game.
There were 50 foul shots taken in the first meeting between Baylor and Texas, but Allen had just four of them. He credited his improvement from watching recent game films of himself and seeing he wasn’t as aggressive as he knows he should have been. With a physical game expected on Monday, Allen will look to find his way to the foul line with more regularity than he did in the first meeting.
Texas will be without third-leading rebounder Tre Mitchell, who has taken a leave of absence and likely has played in his final game of the season.
Chris Beard says that he and Texas forward Tre Mitchell have not discussed the possibility of him transferring.
Mitchell has been on a personal leave of absence from the team since at least last Tuesday.
— Ross Fisher (@rossfisher23) February 22, 2022
Texas is 2-4 against the Las Vegas odds in its last six games as the underdog.
Baylor vs Texas Head-to-Head
Baylor has won the last five meetings with Texas, including the 80-63 win on Feb. 12 when listed as a 5½-point favorite at home.
The last time the teams met in Austin, the Bears rolled to a 14-point as the five-point favorite.
Baylor has been favored in each of the last five meetings and is 4-1 against the spread in those matchups. Five of the last seven games in the series finished over the total.
Only one of the last six games between the teams had been decided by five points or less. The Bears won 11 of the last 12 meetings, with six of those wins coming by more than 10 points. The lone victory by the Longhorns during that stretch was by 12 points as a 2½-point favorite at home in 2019.
Baylor vs Texas Game Information
- Game: Baylor (24-5) at Texas (21-8)
- Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas
- Day/Time: Monday, 9 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
Baylor vs Texas Betting Lines
Baylor vs Texas Prediction
It wouldn’t be a Baylor game without injury concerns.
Second-leading scorer LJ Cryer has missed eight of the last nine games and he is questionable for Monday’s contest. His status will most certainly impact the thoughts of those who bet online. Cryer has missed 10 games, including the first matchup against Texas. However, as Kansas game proved, the Bears can win a key game without him, but for Baylor to make noise in the postseason and live up to the March Madness predictions, getting Cryer back on the court is crucial.
Baylor is second in the Big 12 in scoring while Texas leads in scoring defense so this could come down to which team dictates the pace of play.
Baylor is a slight favorite on the road, which makes sense coming off that Kansas win. The 135-point total is an indication that Texas will be able to slow down Baylor’s offense.