Basketball Pick: Kentucky vs Baylor
One of the best college basketball games of the weekend tips off on Friday night when the No. 3 ranked Kentucky Wildcats take on the No. 20th ranked Baylor Bears. AT&T Stadium is the site of this year’s Final Four and it will also be the venue for this exciting showdown. Although it is early in the college basketball season, the winner of this game will have the edge on making waves through as the season moves on.
The Baylor Bears basketball team is similar to the football team as they like to score and score a lot. The Bears, like always, are offense first, defense sometimes but the offense this year is especially good. Baylor is shooting 50 percent from the floor, averaging nearly 80 points per game. They’ll be more than happy to push tempo against Kentucky and with a roster that goes nine deep, Scott Drew has the bodies to push that tempo, more bodies especially than Kentucky. Another edge that the Bears may have is size.
The Wildcats are very athletic and love to use their speed to beat other teams, but they have not played many teams that have the size that Baylor does. In recent games against smaller squads like Cleveland State, Eastern Michigan and Providence, Kentucky has feasted on alley-oops and easy buckets underneath, using Willie Cauley-Stein and Julius Randle to beat up their smaller opponents. The Bears have the bodies to clog up the lane and keep the Wildcats from getting these easy buckets.
It all starts with 7-foot-1 Isaiah Austin and 6-9 Cory Jefferson as they can dominate the paint and keep the easy buckets away. The Wildcats will have to formulate a game plan that can alter the defense of the Bears and slow them down on offense.
The latest college basketball trends will include wagering angles from a neutral site as this game has no definitive home team. The Wildcats are 1-3-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 neutral site games, 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a win against the spread and the over is 11-5 in Bears last 16 neutral site games. The Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 1-4 ATS in the last five games overall.
The Bears may not have the trends in their favor, but they do have an edge on defense and with their depth and that will be the biggest difference in this game.
Free Basketball Pick: Bears
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