The No. 1-ranked team in the nation takes center stage on Tuesday night as the Baylor Bears welcome the Oklahoma Sooners to the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
Baylor won the national championship last year and has surged to the top of the polls this season after a 13-0 start. That kind of dominance has led to plenty of respect from oddsmakers with college basketball betting lines opening with the Bears as 12.5-point favorites for this Big 12 showdown.
Here are our best free Oklahoma vs. Baylor betting picks and predictions for Tuesday, January 4, with tipoff at 7 p.m. ET.
Oklahoma vs Baylor odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Baylor opened as a 12.5-point favorite for this contest with the Over/Under at 137.5. After reports came out that Oklahoma's leading scorer Tanner Groves would be able to return to the team, the spread moved to Baylor -12 while the total jumped to 140.5.
Oklahoma vs Baylor predictions
Predictions made on 1/4/2022 at 1:45 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Oklahoma vs Baylor game info
• Location: Ferrell Center, Waco, TX
• Date: Tuesday, January 4, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN2
Oklahoma at Baylor betting preview
Oklahoma: Rick Issanza C (Out), Marvin Johnson G (Out).
Baylor: Langston Love G (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Bears are 13-4-1 against the spreadin their last 18 games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Oklahoma vs. Baylor.
Oklahoma vs Baylor 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.
Baylor won the national title in impressive fashion last April but was expected to take a step back after losing four starters. Instead, the Bears have reeled off 13 straight victories to begin the season, including double-digit wins over Villanova and Michigan State. They are fresh off a 77-72 win on the road against Iowa State where they handed the No. 11-ranked Cyclones their first loss of the season.
Much like the last two years, the Bears have been terrific on both sides of the floor. They are fifth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to KenPom, while ranking fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency.
The Sooners have also gone through a fair bit of turnover from last season after losing their top three scorers. They've filled those gaps with senior transfers including guard Jordan Goldwire, who leads the Sooners with 4.3 assists per game, and big man Tanner Groves, who averages a team-high 14.3 points per game.
Groves missed Oklahoma's last game after entering the health and safety protocols alongside his brother Jacob and guard Bijan Cortes. All three players are available for OU tonight and the two new players who entered the protocols today barely see the floor. That should be a boost for the Sooners, but it might not be enough.
While the Sooners shoot very well, they can be sloppy with the ball, ranking 285th in turnovers per offensive play. And Baylor is a team that feasts on their foes' mistakes, ranking eighth in the nation by forcing turnovers on 25.6% of their opponent's possessions.
The Bears are simply too athletic and deep for the Sooners to handle. With Baylor going 6-1 ATS in its last seven games at home and the Sooners 2-6 ATS in their previous eight contests on the road, we're backing the faves.
Prediction: Baylor -12 (-110)
The Bears don't have a single player averaging over 14 ppg but when they have so many guys who can score inside and out they become even tougher for defenses to key in on. Baylor averages a whopping 83.2 ppg with that number jumping up to 88.5 ppg at home.
The Sooners aren't quite as productive when it comes to filling up the hoop, but they shoot lights out from the field, ranking fifth in the country with a sizzling effective field goal percentage of 57.8.
With the Bears going 16-5 O/U in their last 21 games at home - and cashing the Over in 22 of their previous 30 contests as a favorite - take the Over.
Prediction: Over 140.5 (-110)
While we like Baylor on the full-game spread, we like them even more in the opening half. The Sooners rank outside the Top 150 schools in the country in first-half scoring with 32.8 ppg and they have gotten off to some poor starts away from home.
In the Sooners' only true road game so far season, they had a tough time getting by Central Florida. And in neutral-site contests against Utah State and East Carolina, they trailed the Aggies at halftime and had just a 1-point lead on the Pirates.
The Bears have been dominant in the first 20 minutes, boasting an average scoring margin of plus-12.5 ppg with that number jumping to plus-17.6 ppg at home. Expect another fast start from Baylor and back them on the first-half spread.
Pick: Baylor first half -6.5 (-115)
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