#7 Baylor vs #11 Texas Tech NCAA College Basketball Expert Picks

#7 Baylor vs #11 Texas Tech | NCAA College Basketball Expert Picks

Defending national champion and seventh-ranked Baylor lost a key player for the season over the weekend and faces a very tough test on Wednesday in Big 12 action at No. 11 Texas Tech. TTU likely will be a short favorite on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Baylor at Texas Tech NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 9 PM ET
  • Where: United Supermarkets Arena
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA

Last Meeting

Texas Tech won at Baylor 65-62 on Jan. 11 when the Bears were No. 1 in the nation. That snapped BU’s 21-game winning streak dating to last season. Texas Tech’s Kevin McCullar had 12 points with a key 3-pointer late. He was 5-of-8 shooting with six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Davion Warren made two free throws for the Red Raiders with 22 seconds left before a timeout. James Akinjo had the last shot, bobbling the ball at the top of the key before gathering it and taking a 3-pointer that hit off the front of the rim as time expired. Baylor was the last Division I team to lose this season. It was the second time in three seasons the Red Raiders beat a No. 1 team. They beat then top-ranked Louisville 70-57 in a game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 10, 2019.

Why Bet on Baylor?

Baylor (21-4) thumped No. 20 Texas 80-63 on Saturday but it was costly as big man Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua left with a gruesome left knee injury. Tchamwa Tchatchoua, a 6-foot-8 forward from Cameroon known as “Everyday Jon” because of his high-energy play, was going down the court after a missed shot by the Bears when he got hurt. His left leg turned awkwardly and he crumbled to the floor near midcourt with just under 12 minutes left in the first half. He’s done for the year.

A reserve behind regular starter Flo Thamba, Tchamwa Tchatchoua has often played more minutes than his counterpart this season. He was averaging 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds and was one of the Big 12’s most versatile defenders at the five spot. He also worked on adding a jump shot this offseason and has connected on 6-of-13 (46.2%) 3-pointers after not taking a long-range shot last year.

It’s another tough blow for a Baylor team that lost freshman Langston Love to an ACL injury before the season and has seen four other players miss games over the last month and a half.

With LJ Cryer missing his fifth-straight game, the Bears were down to a rotation of seven when Tchamwa Tchatchoua went out. Playing a career-high 30 minutes in the win, Thamba recorded his first double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Point guard James Akinjo did most of his work in the second half, when he scored seven-straight during one stretch and 11 of his 15 points. He added seven assists, six rebounds and two steals.

Akinjo was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. It marked Akinjo’s third Big 12 weekly award of the season, as he was previously named Big 12 Player of the Week on Jan. 3 and Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 10. Akinjo is the Big 12 Conference leader in assists with 5.7 assists per game. He also ranks second in the league with 2.2 steals per game and ninth with 13.1 points per game.

The Bears are 20-5 against ranked teams over the last 3 seasons. Baylor is 5-1 in Big 12 road games this season, while the rest of the league is a combined 16-31. BU is 16-0 this season when winning points off turnovers and 16-0 when winning points in the paint. Baylor is the only Power-5 team ranked top-50 in scoring offense (40th) and scoring defense (24th).

Why Bet on Texas Tech?

Texas Tech (19-6) routed TCU 82-69 on Saturday. The Red Raiders ended the first half with a 15-5 run, then went ahead to stay by scoring the first nine points after the break. They are 15-0 at home this season. Kevin McCullar made a 3-pointer with 5:06 left in the first half to start the decisive 24-5 spurt that carries into the second half. The shot came only a minute before he suffered a left ankle injury after stepping on the foot of TCU coach Jamie Dixon. It’s not clear if McCullar will play here. McCullar entered the game averaging 11 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 32.4 minutes per game.

“It’s an injury, nothing’s broken,” Coach Mark Adams said. “It looks like it’s going to be an ankle sprain right now. We’re hoping for the best and hopeful he’ll be ready for Baylor (on Wednesday). We’ll just have to see how he progresses, but I know he’s getting treatment as we speak.”

A junior who was a 2021 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection and is now on the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 15), McCullar has led Tech in scoring six times this season and 11 times in his career.

Four TTU players finished in double figures vs. TCU. Terrence Shannon Jr. had 20 points, the eighth game in his career with at least 20. Bryson Williams went for 16, Davion Warren had 12 and Adonis Arms added 11. The 13-point comeback vs. TCU was the second largest this season after Tech came back at-Baylor which led by 15 in the first half in Waco before the Red Raiders earned the 65-62 win on January 11.

The Red Raiders are currently third in the Kenpom.com defensive efficiency rating behind only San Diego State LSU. Tech’s defense has limited 21 of 25 opponents under 70 and 10 teams under 60 points this season after the win over the Horned Frogs. The Red Raiders are currently 10th nationally and leading the Big 12 by holding opponents to 38.1 percent shooting and are 13th nationally with their 25 opponents this season only averaging 60.5 points per game. Tech forced TCU to commit 20 turnovers and are now 23rd in the country by forcing 16.25 turnovers per game coming into this week.

The Red Raiders are the only Big 12 team without a loss at home this season. Tech is currently on an 18-game home winning streak dating back to last season where it finished the year with home wins over Texas, TCU and Iowa State.

Expert Prediction

  • Texas Tech 63, Baylor 61
 
 

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