Baylor vs Oklahoma State Picks and Predictions: Wounded Bears Cornered by Cowboys

After a hot start, injuries have derailed Baylor's season of late and the Bears are still shorthanded heading into Monday's game against Oklahoma State. It's one of the reasons we're riding with the Cowboys in our betting picks tonight.

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2022 3:17 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Avery Anderson Moussa Cisse Oklahoma State Cowboys College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma State Cowboys have not won back-to-back games in over a month, but have an opportunity to do so tonight following an overtime win on Saturday against Kansas State. It will be no easy task, however, as they host the No. 10-ranked Baylor Bears.

After a 15-0 start, Baylor has gone 7-5 in its last 12 due to uneven defensive performances and a barrage of injuries, with the latter continuing to rear its ugly head. Can Oklahoma State take advantage of a hobbled Baylor team or will the Bears make do with a skeleton crew?

Continue reading for free college basketball betting picks and predictions for Baylor vs. Oklahoma State on Monday, February 21.

Baylor vs Oklahoma State odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Baylor opened as 5-point favorites and sit at -4.5 at the time of this writing. The total opened at 139 and has moved slightly down to 138.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Baylor vs Oklahoma State predictions

Predictions made on 2/21/2022 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Baylor vs Oklahoma State game info

Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, OK
Date: Monday, February 21, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Baylor at Oklahoma State betting preview

Injuries

Baylor: Adam Flagler G (Questionable), LJ Cryer G (Questionable), Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua F (Out).
Oklahoma State: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Oklahoma State has played 5-1 to the Under in the six times it's had a total at or above tonight's mark of 138.5. Find more NCAA betting trends for Baylor vs. Oklahoma State.

Baylor vs Oklahoma State picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

Baylor seemingly cannot get away from the injury bug. James Akinjo, LJ Cryer, Adam Flagler, Jeremy Sochan, and now Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua have all missed time due to injuries. Akinjo, Cryer, and Flagler are the collective heart of the team (along with Michael Mayer) and average 13+ points while playing 25 minutes per game. Sochan and Tchatchoua are key bench big men who both average 8+ points and 6+ rebounds per game while playing 20+ minutes on average.

Tchatchoua was flashing elevated play with 10.4 points per game in the seven games prior to his brutal knee injury on February 12, which has unfortunately ended his season. Cryer (13.5 ppg) and Flagler (13.0 ppg) are both listed as questionable, with the former having missed six of the last seven games and Flagler missing Saturday's contest. When quantifying the impact of each player's absence, we can distinguish whose absence matters most.

When using individual BPR ratings via EvanMiya.com, Flagler (36th overall nationally, 3rd on the team) stands head and shoulders above Tchatchoua (120th, sixth) and Cryer (189th, seventh). This is also supported when looking at efficiency ratings of Baylor's five-man rotations. Of the six five-man lineups Baylor has used on 150+ possessions, Flagler can be found in the top two lineups whereas Tchatchoua can only be found in the second-best lineup and Cryer is found in neither.

That's not to suggest Cryer is a non-factor. Obviously, his team-leading 13.5 points per game and 46.8% clip from three is valuable, it's just that relative to a talent-rich Baylor team, he doesn't stack up as favorably. Flagler can replicate high three-point efficiency (39.2%) and does it on team-leading volume (6.0 attempts per game), and is more of a threat on all three levels (48.1% on two-point jumpers compared to Cryer's 36.2%). Tchatchoua makes up for his relative lack of offensive volume by being a force on the boards, and he was beginning to even pick up on the former prior to going down.

Ignoring who may or may not play, many will dismiss Oklahoma State at first glance given its record (13-13, 6-8 in Big 12) and its play of late (3-6 in its last nine). But the Cowboys do bring one key strength that has given Baylor trouble before: their defense. Oklahoma State ranks 19th overall in KenPom defensive efficiency, but its favorable rank comes as an amalgamation of some uneven results. It held Texas (35th in offense) to 51 but allowed Kansas (fourth) to score 74 and 76. The Cowboys held Baylor (seventh) to 54 in their first matchup (the Bears' season-low) but allowed 72 to Houston (14th) and 78 to Texas Tech (41st).

As highlighted in previous matchups, the Cowboys' primary defensive philosophy is providing help anytime a ball-handler begins penetration, making sure any shots or passes inside the perimeter have to go through a lot of traffic. As a result, they force 16.3 turnovers per game and allow just a 49.2% field goal percentage at the rim, marks that rank 20th and fourth in the nation, respectively. In the first matchup, Baylor shot 10 for 30 inside the arc (33.3%), which included going 5 for 15 in the paint (33.3%) and 2 for 5 at the rim (40%).

Cryer was absent that game and Baylor was unable to punish the Cowboys' defense, which gives up a lot of space on the perimeter, and went 8 for 28 (28.6%) from three that afternoon. If Cryer misses this game — or is not able to play at his full capacity — the Bears may once again find it difficult to keep the scoring going. Given that Cryer missed Saturday's game after returning for just one game following his three-week absence, there should be some serious doubts about his availability and effectiveness for Monday.

Prediction: Oklahoma State +4.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

Cryer's status and its bearing on Baylor's offensive potential naturally lends its hand to a look at the Under. On top of that, Oklahoma State isn't exactly one to pile it on when it comes to offense. If we exclude its game against West Virginia (everyone in the Big 12 is beating up on Bob Huggins' defense this year), the Cowboys have averaged just 66 points per game in conference play. Meanwhile, Baylor has allowed just 62.9 points per game against unranked opponents during that time.

And while Oklahoma State has played 6-2 to the Over as of late, tonight's total of 138.5 is definitely on the higher end for the Cowboys. They've seen a total at or above that mark just six times this year and just three times in conference play, and have played to the Under in those cases 5-1 overall and 3-0, respectively.

Prediction: Under 138.5 (-110)

Best bet

While Oklahoma State is a very unimpressive 9-16-1 (36.0%) against the spread this season, Monday may be a perfect buy-low opportunity. The Cowboys defense is in a prime spot to give one of its higher-end performances of the season. They've allowed just 61.4 points per game at home in Big 12 matchups and have allowed 58 points or fewer in four of those seven matchups.

Coincidentally, they held Baylor under that mark even on the road, with the Bears playing almost by the book into Oklahoma State's defensive strengths. To Baylor's credit, it has seen more offensive success of late despite all of the injuries, averaging 75 points per game in its last four. But that success could be its downfall, as Scott Drew may be less inclined to alter his team's approach amid the Bears' recent performances. As a result, we may see a Baylor team limp into Stillwater and put up another offensive dud against a provenly capable Cowboys' defense. 

Pick: Oklahoma State +4.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Baylor vs. Oklahoma State picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

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