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Top-Ranked Baylor Bears Go after Sweet 16th in a Row

A suffocating defense led the Baylor Bears to the national title and despite some departures to the NBA, the Bears are still sinking their teeth into all comers.

Baylor ranks in the top 10 nationally in turnovers forced per game, scoring defense and steals per game. The Bears never looked more imposing than when they held the normally sweet-shooting Villanova team to just 36 points the last time out. Only one of Baylor’s first nine games was decided by less than 10 points.

James Akinjo looks up Baylor at Oregon Picks
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP

Baylor (+1100) ranks behind Gonzaga, Louisiana State, Duke and Purdue in the odds to win March Madness.

Baylor’s Adam Flagler is listed at +7000 in the odds for the national player of the year while Will Richardson of Oregon is at +10000.

  • Game: Baylor (9-0) vs. Oregon (6-5)
  • Location: Matthew Knight Arena
  • Day/Time: Saturday, December 18, 10 p.m. ET
  • Television: ESPN2

Betting Lines

Team Point Spread Moneyline Over/Under
Baylor -8 (-105) -350 136 (-115o)
Oregon +8 (-115) +290 155 (-105u)

Baylor Bears at Oregon Ducks

Baylor Looks to Continue Non-Conference Dominance

The Baylor Bears have won 33 consecutive non-conference games with the average margin of victory nearly 23 points. Saturday’s game against Oregon will be Baylor’s first true road game of the 2021-22 season.

Baylor is coming off an emphatic 57-36 win over Villanova as the Wildcats finished with their fewest points in a game during the Jay Wright eraa.

“I am happy with what the defense did but we can definitely get better and we will get better with the upcoming games and I am just excited about it,” Baylor junior forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua said. “We are trying to take away what guys want to do and I know I am going to have some help defensively at the rim. I know my brothers are out there helping me out and even if I get beat, I am always going to have some help.”

The hustle plays are major reasons for the Bears’ early-season success. Baylor is +12 in points off turnovers, +7.7 in second-chance points, attempts 13 more field goals per game than its opponents.

Flo Thamba, Jeremy Sochan, and Tchamwa Tchatchoua already have more than 20 offensive rebounds this season.

Baylor joins Texas Tech as the only team ranked in the top 40 nationally in both scoring offense and defense.

Baylor is 11-2-1 against the college basketball spreads in its last 14 games.

Oregon Ducks Looking to Take Down Champs

The Oregon Ducks’ last three wins have come against Montana, UC Riverside, and Portland with all three held at home. It is safe to say that the degree of difficulty will be going up just a little bit when Baylor, the No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, comes to Eugene.

The last time the defending men’s basketball national champions came to Eugene was when Arizona played at Oregon during the 1997-98 season. Oregon did beat reigning champion Duke in the 2016 NCAA tournament and the last time a No. 1-ranked team came to the Knight Center, the result was a win over UCLA in 2007.

“We know they’re really good defensively,” Oregon forward Quincy Guerrier said after the win over Portland. “So we’re going to have to really execute our offense and make sure everybody’s on the same page.”

Oregon’s offense got rolling the last time out shooting 54% in a 96-71 win over Portland.

15 offensive rebounds

N’Faly Dante, a 6-foot-11 junior from Mali, led the way with 20 points.

Dante has become more involved in the offense as the season moves forward.

He had just 13 field-goal attempts in the first four games of the season. He has scored in double figures in three of the last five games while going 22-of-30 from the floor

Oregon is 1-4 against the Las Vegas odds in its last five games against Big 12 opponents.

What’s Next for Baylor?

The total has gone over in Oregon’s last five games and in the Ducks’ last five home games. However, led by the stifling defense, the total has gone under in five of Baylor’s last seven games. Those who bet online aren’t expecting Oregon to be limited to 36 points as Villanova was but points could be hard to come by for the Ducks.

This is just the second time Oregon has been listed as an underdog and it didn’t go well the first time that happened as Houston won 78-49. The Ducks are 6-10 in their last 16 games as underdogs and 8-8 against the spread during that stretch

Pick: Under 136

Pick: Baylor Bears -8 (-105)

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