Bears Chasing Fifth Straight Victory
The last two national champions will be squaring off in Waco on Monday night even though many of the key players on those title-winning teams have moved onto the NBA.
The game does feature the two highest-scoring freshmen in the Big 12. Keyonte George is Baylor’s top point producer and Gradey Dick is second only to national player of the year candidate Jalen Wilson in scoring for Kansas.
Baylor has won four games in a row while Kansas has dropped its last two games, including TCU’s emphatic 23-point win the last time out. The Jayhawks also lost their last road game.
The teams are a combined 5-5 this season against ranked teams.
Ten of Baylor’s 14 wins have come at home while the Jayhawks have dropped two straight games on the road.
Cam Martin (shoulder) and MJ Rice (back) are questionable for Kansas. Martin has missed 15 games and Rice has been out of seven contests for the Jayhawks.
Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, Baylor’s top rebounder last season, continues to be sidelined after undergoing knee surgery.
Baylor continues to move up the rankings after jumping five spots to No. 21 in last week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll and moving up four more spots to No. 17 in the latest poll.
Kansas fell out of the No. 2 position and is currently ninth in the AP rankings.
According to the college basketball odds, Kansas (+1200) is tied for third in the odds to win the national title. Baylor (+5000) is tied for 19th. The Jayhawks still lead the way at +175 in the Big 12 odds while the Bears are priced at +1000.
Defending Champs Reeling
A loss to a ranked conference opponent is not too surprising. However, the way the defending national champion Jayhawks were handled by Texas Christian on Saturday was certainly more than a little surprising.
Wilson posted his second straight 30-point game. However, starters K.J. Adams, Dick and Dajuan Harris combined to miss 19 of 23 field-goal attempts in the 23-point loss at home in the second-most lopsided home loss during Bill Self’s tenure at Kansas. The Kansas reserves were outscored 39-8 by the TCU reserves.
It doesn’t get much easier for Kansas as the Jayhawks try to avoid a third loss in a row at Baylor.
Kansas has covered against the Las Vegas odds in just one of its last five games.
Newcomers Roaring for Bears
There were some growing pains earlier in the season for Baylor as the Bears were playing without Tchamwa Tchatchoua. Baylor already needed to replace second-leading scorer James Akinjo, and No. 4 scorer Matthew Mayer along with Kendall Brown and Jeremy Sochan, who are both playing in the NBA.
The new faces are starting to get going for the Bears, who have won four games in a row.
Four in a row in the best league in the country. Let’s make it five Monday night.
at West Virginia – W
vs. Oklahoma State – W
at Texas Tech – W
at Oklahoma – W
— Baylor Athletics (@BaylorAthletics) January 21, 2023
In a hard-earned two-point win at Oklahoma on Saturday, freshmen George, Josh Ojianwuna and Langston Love combined for 15 points in the second half and West Virginia transfer Jalen Bridges had three key 3-pointers against the Sooners.
George leads the Bears in scoring, averaging 17.4 points per game (19.5 during the current four-game winning streak) while Bridges, Love and Ojianwuna are combining for 21.8 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.
Five of Baylor’s last seven games finished over the college basketball betting lines total.
Kansas vs Baylor Game Injuries
Kansas vs Baylor Head-to-Head
The teams have split their regular-season meetings in each of the last three campaigns, with the home team winning each of the last four meetings. The average margin of victory in those games was 13.8 points.
Wilson managed just 22 points in last season’s two games against Baylor while Aaron Flagler had 29 points in those two meetings for the Bears.
Ten of the last 14 games in the series finished under the total.
Kansas has covered in 13 of the last 16 road games against the Bears.
Kansas vs Baylor Game Information
- Game: Kansas (16-3, 5-2 Big 12) vs Baylor (14-5, 4-3)
- Location: Ferrell Center, Waco, TX
- Day/Time: Monday, Jan. 23rd, 9:00 p.m. ET
- Kansas vs Baylor Live Stream: TBS.com
Kansas vs Baylor Betting Lines
Kansas vs Baylor Picks & Prediction
Things could get a little physical inside since Baylor leads the Big 12 with an average of 12.4 offensive rebounds and Kansas is second in defensive rebounding.
Baylor leads the Big 12 with 179 3-pointers and a 36.2% mark from 3-point range. Kansas is right on Baylor’s heels as the Jayhawks are connecting on 36.1% of their 3-pointers.
Kansas lost its only other game this season when listed by the sportsbook as an underdog while Baylor is 11-5 as the favored team.
The teams are a combined 16-21-1 against the spread.
Kansas is listed at +110 in our Las Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Jayhawks, you have a chance to win $110. Baylor is -130, offering a chance to win $77 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Kansas a 47.62% chance to win, with Baylor at 56.52%.