After their monumental win on Saturday against Kansas, the Baylor Bears (24-5, 12-4) are just a half-game back of the top spot in the Big 12 and are looking to close out the regular season with some statement wins.
Ahead of them on Monday night are the Texas Longhorns (21-8, 10-6) who have had their fair share of uneven performances during Chris Beard's first campaign as the new head coach.
Can Baylor keep the ball rolling following arguably the biggest win of their season or will the Longhorns spoil the party? Continue reading for free college basketball picks and predictions for Baylor vs Texas on Monday, February 28th.
Baylor vs Texas odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The spread opened with Baylor as 1-point favorites, and after some movement, the number has returned to that number. The total opened at 135.5 and has since moved to 134.5.
Baylor vs Texas predictions
Predictions made on 2/28/2022 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Baylor vs Texas game info
• Location: Erwin Events Center, Austin, TX
• Date: Monday, February 28, 2022
• Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Baylor at Texas betting preview
Baylor: LJ Cryer G (Questionable).
Texas: Tre Mitchell C (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Texas has been home underdogs just once this season, beating No. 8 Kansas 79-76 as +1.5 underdogs. Find more NCAA betting trends for Baylor vs. Texas .
Baylor vs Texas 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.
Texas' record may not be the prettiest at 21-8 on the year and 10-6 in the Big 12, but they have proven in the past that they can hang with the big dogs. During a recent seven-game stretch that ended just a week ago, Texas played six ranked opponents.
They walked away with wins against the likes of Kansas, Tennessee, and Iowa State while dropping to Texas Tech twice and Baylor. They will look to avenge the latter on Monday night, which was a particularly deflating loss with the Longhorns surrendering 80 points to the Bears en route to a 17-point loss.
First-year head coach Chris Beard takes his teams' defense very seriously, and essentially each and every time the Longhorns have had an opportunity to amend a previously poor defensive showing, they've done exactly that.
Beard deploys a "No Middle" defense that is popular among the top defenses in the nation, but it can be prone to giving up the three with mindful cross-court passes. Each time a team has taken advantage of this, Beard has come back with adjustments to make for better showings.
After allowing Oklahoma State to shoot 49% from three in their loss to them, Texas allowed just two makes from deep in the rematch and won. Iowa State shot 44% from beyond the arc and put up 79 points in the first matchup, but was similarly held to just two threes in a losing effort during which they managed just 41 points.
Texas Tech went from putting up 77 and shooting 42% from three to just three makes and 61 points in their second go, although they did still walk away with a win due to the Longhorns managing just 55 points in that game.
It stands to reason that Beard will have defensive adjustments in the cards for Monday night's showdown after Baylor managed to put up 80 last time. Expect the Longhorns to key in on Adam Flagler in particular, who shot 4/5 from three in the first matchup while contributing a game-high 20 points. Baylor, however, is chock full of talent and can do well with the ball in the hands of their many options.
In Saturday's win, senior big man Flo Thamba shot 8/13 from the field and put up a team-high 18 points, while freshman forward Jeremy Sochan added on 17 of his own. Given that Texas allows a conference-low 15.8 attempts from three on average, Baylor may need to lean more on the likes of Thamba and Sochan once again.
They haven't exactly shown a propensity to do that, given that just 29.7% of all of their shots come at the rim, a mark that ranks 17th-lowest in the nation. If they play right into Texas' strength and adjusted game plan, they may find a much harder time putting scoring runs together - much like the opponents before them who struggled in their second go-around at the Longhorns.
Prediction: Texas +1 (-110)
Tonight's total of 134.5 is firmly in the higher range for Texas. In fact, they went the entirety of January and the early parts of February without seeing a single total of 130 or higher. That has somewhat changed as of late, with tonight's total marking the fourth time in the last seven games they've had a total in that range and they've played 5-1 to the Over during that time.
But again, this game will seemingly have more defensive attention than usual coming from Chris Beard. In those three aforementioned rematches against Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Texas Tech after Texas was caught with their pants down on defense in the first matchup, the Longhorns played to the Under all three times and did so by double digits and by an average of 17.3 points.
Beard held those three teams to an average of 49 points in those rematches, and while it shouldn't be expected of any team to put up defensive performances like that regularly, replicating any level of that success would go a long way in what is a higher total for this Texas program and given that Texas isn't anything overly special on the other end.
Prediction: Under 134.5 (-110)
It's undeniably hard not to root for and back a team that pulled off such an impressive and emotionally charged win just two short days ago. And while Baylor is massively talented and well-coached on top of that, Monday night could get ugly for them quickly.
Going off of Chris Beard's track record in spots just like tonight's, the Bears may struggle to find sustained scoring and as long as the Longhorns can avoid putting up a dud as they did in their rematch against Texas Tech and tap into the offense that generated 82 and 75 points this past week, they'll firmly be in the driver's seat.
Pick: Texas +1 (-110)
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