#5 Kansas vs #10 Baylor 2021 NCAAB Expert Analysis

#5 Kansas vs #10 Baylor | NCAAB Game Preview and Betting Odd

With a victory at No. 10 Baylor on Saturday, No. 5 Kansas would clinch no worse than a share of the Big 12 regular-season title – which the defending national champion Bears won last season. They keep their hopes alive with a victory and likely will be short favorites on the NCAAB odds. ESPN College GameDay will originate from Waco.

How to Bet Kansas at Baylor NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

On Feb. 5, Baylor was crushed 83-59 at Kansas. The Jayhawks led by as many as 34 points late in the game. This was the first time Kansas had hosted a defending national champion since Dec. 15, 2018, when it beat Villanova 74-71 at Allen Fieldhouse. Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji each scored 18 points to lead KU. Braun had 10 rebounds and Agbaji had nine as the Jayhawks grabbed a 46-37 advantage on the boards. Kansas was ahead 21-7 before the second media timeout, stretched the lead to 20 and led 39-21 at halftime. Baylor never got closer than 16 points after the break. Adam Flagler had 16 points for Baylor and Kendall Brown added 12.

Why Bet on Kansas?

Kansas (23-4) won its fourth straight game Tuesday, 102-83 over Kansas State. KU was spectacular on offense, connecting on 64.1 percent (41-of-64) from the field, including 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from 3-point range en route to posting just the second 100-point game in the series and the first since 2002. The 64.1 field goal percentage was the ninth-highest field goal percentage by a Kansas State opponent in school history and the highest since Kentucky connected on 68.8 percent in 2008. It was the most points KU scored at home against a conference opponent since defeating Oklahoma, 104-74, in Allen Fieldhouse in 2018.

Kansas broke open a competitive game midway through the second half, using an 11-2 run over a near 3-minute span to build a 20-point lead at 83-63 on a 3-pointer by senior Jalen Coleman-Lands with 9:20 to play. The lead grew to as many as 27 points (96-69) on a triple by Agbaji with 5:40 remaining.

Big 12 Player of the Year candidate Ochai Agbaji led with 23 points. It was 15th game with 20+ points this season, including the 22nd time in his career. Agbaji has now scored in double-figures in 26-consecutive games, tying Wayne Simien for the longest single-season streak in the Bill Self era.

One of Kansas’ biggest challenges in recent games has been finding time for Agbaji to rest. The Big 12’s leading scorer with 20.2 points per game, Agbaji is averaging 33.6 minutes — a figure that has grown to 35.5 minutes in Big 12 games. He played 34:43 on Tuesday, including 6:04 of the final 10 minutes, when Kansas’ lead never dipped below 17.

The Jayhawks, at 121, rank third nationally in KenPom.com’s offensive efficiency rating metric (points scored per 100 possessions) and a huge chunk of that number comes from how often and how successful the Jayhawks score in transition.

Said KU junior Christian Braun: “We like when teams try to push the pace with us. I don’t think any team in the country can play that fast with us. We’re a good team in transition, and if teams want to play like that, we’ll score 100 points.”

Why Bet on Baylor?

Baylor (23-5) was nearly upset Monday at Oklahoma State but escaped with a 66-64 OT win. Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it. It was Oklahoma State’s fifth overtime game this season. The Cowboys fell to 3-2 in them.

While Adam Flagler matched his career-highs with seven 3-pointers and 29 points, James Akinjo hit two pull-up jumpers in overtime and knocked down the game-winner with 13.6 seconds left in OT.

“You can’t really think about what’s going on in regulation. When it’s winning time, you’ve got to kind of put it in the back of your head,” Akinjo said. “If you’ve seen me at any other places I’ve been, you couldn’t question my confidence. Everywhere I’ve played, I tried to bring a big shot-making mentality with me. That’s always been there for me.”

Flagler, who missed the previous game due to injury, played a career-high 41 minutes and matched the career-high seven 3-pointers and 29 points that he scored his freshman season at Presbyterian in a game at UCLA. Though he didn’t score in overtime, he took two charges that helped the Bears pull out the win. The Bears planned for Flagler to take the game-deciding shot in overtime, but Akinjo got an open look at the basket and drained it. Akinjo had missed all seven shots before he nailed two baskets in overtime.

Six of Baylor’s rotation players have dealt with injuries this season – Langston Love and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua are out for the year, while Akinjo, Flagler, Jeremy Sochan and LJ Cryer have all missed time. Cryer has been battling injuries throughout a chunk of Big 12 play and has barely been on the court in the month of February. He missed the OSU game as well. Through 19 games this season, he’s been an effective scoring threat for the reigning national champs with an average of 13.5 points per game.

Baylor is 93-7 when leading at halftime over the last 5 seasons (63-4 over last 3 seasons). Baylor has won 90% of its games when leading at the half since 2011-12 (211-23). BU is 76-6 when leading at any point in the 2nd half of a game over the last 3 seasons.

Expert Prediction

  • Baylor 76, Kansas 72
 
 

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