We've got a fantastic matchup in college basketball betting this Monday with a pair of Top-10 teams facing off in Big 12 action as the Kansas Jayhawks face the Baylor Bears.
The No. 2 ranked Baylor Bears are 9-point home underdogs against a Kansas squad coming off a loss to Oklahoma State and the Over/Under is set at 141.
We break down the college basketball odds with our best Kansas vs. Baylor picks and predictions for Monday, January 18, with tipoff at 9 p.m. ET.
Kansas Jayhawks at Baylor Bears Betting Preview
Kansas: Bryce Thompson G (Out).
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Betting Trend to Know
The Underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings between these conference foes. Find more NCAA betting trends for Kansas vs. Baylor.
Against the Spread (ATS) Pick
The Jayhawks came into the year fifth on the national championship odds board but have seen their stock take a bit of a hit after a 25-point loss to Texas on January 2 and their defeat against Oklahoma State last Tuesday.
Nonetheless, this is still a very talented and well-coached squad that has gone 10-3 with recent wins against ranked opponents like West Virginia and Creighton. The Jayhawks are led by guard Ochai Agbaji and forward Jalen Wilson, but have plenty of depth and experience surrounding them.
Baylor also entered this season with championship aspirations, but unlike the Jayhawks, they have done nothing to shake that belief. The Bears have gone a perfect 12-0 to start the campaign and are coming off a 68-60 win on the road against ranked Texas Tech. That eight-point win was actually the closest game of the season for the Bears, who have won each of their other games by at least 13 points.
It's no surprise that Baylor has played suffocating defense this season, but they have been terrific on the offensive end of the floor as well. The Bears are fourth in the country in offensive efficiency, averaging 119.2 points per 100 possessions, and have four players averaging double-digits led by Jared Butler with his 15.6 points and 5.2 assists per game.
As dominant as the Bears have been, this line might be a bit too high against a strong Kansas team looking to bounce back from a loss. The Jayhawks rank 10th in the country in adjusted deficiency according to KenPom and match up fairly well with Baylor across the board.
Keep in mind that taking the chalk in recent years has not been a profitable play in this Big 12 rivalry. The Underdog is 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings between these schools, while the away team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10. The Jayhawks might not be able to win this game but they should be able to keep it enough to cover this spread.
PREDICTION: Kansas +9 (-110)
We mentioned Baylor's highly-efficient offense, but defense has been their bread and butter for a few years and they rank first in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom. The Bears are allowing just 83.4 points per 100 possessions and are extremely disruptive, ranking eighth in the country in steals.
The Bears play at an average tempo and will be matched up against a Jayhawks squad that plays at a slower pace. Both schools also tend to play lower-scoring games when matched up against top competition.
The Under is 38-16-1 in the Jayhawks' last 55 road games against teams with a home winning percentage greater than .600, while the Bears have cashed the Under in 16 of their previous 21 contests against squads above .600.
With the Under also cashing in eight of the last 10 games in the head-to-head (including both meetings last season), take it again on Monday night.
PREDICTION: Under 141 (-110)
Kansas vs Baylor Betting Card
- Kansas +9 (-110)
- Under 141 (-110)
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