Texas Tech vs Baylor Picks and Predictions: Shorthanded Red Raiders Overwhelmed by Bears

The defending national champions are a tough test for any team, but the Red Raiders' task is made harder as they head to Waco undermanned. We deliver the college basketball betting angle for this Big 12 matchup with our Texas Tech vs. Baylor picks.

Shawn Wronka - Contributor at Covers.com
Jan 11, 2022 • 14:00 ET • 4 min read
James Akinjo Baylor Bears college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 Texas Tech Red Raiders face off against the undefeated No. 1 Baylor Bears on Wednesday night in the biggest Big 12 matchup of the week. Texas Tech is finishing up the toughest week of their schedule, amending a tough four-point road loss to No. 11 Iowa State with a home win against No. 11 Kansas. The reigning champions provide a different challenge altogether, but it's one that can be dissected for value.

Continue reading for our free college basketball picks and predictions for Kentucky vs LSU on Tuesday, January 11th.

Texas Tech vs Baylor odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Baylor opened as a 12-point favorite and has remained as such. The total opened at 137.5 but has since moved to 135.

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.

Texas Tech vs Baylor predictions

Predictions made on 1/11/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Texas Tech vs Baylor game info

Location: Ferrell Center, Waco, TX
Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET

Texas Tech at Baylor betting preview


Texas Tech: Kevin McCullar G (Questionable), Terrence Shannon G (Questionable).
Baylor: Jeremy Sochan F (Questionable).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Baylor's games have gone 5-0-1 to the Over in the last six games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Texas Tech vs. Baylor.

Texas Tech 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 is the reigning national champion, undefeated, the number one team in the country, and the only team to rank Top 10 in KenPom offensive and defensive efficiency. The Bears have largely proven that it doesn't matter who they play, what matters is their talent and approach advantage and their ability to execute on that.

Offensively, Baylor is unique in its reliance on 2-point jumpers, with 32.5% of all of its shots coming in that form, which ranks 43rd in the nation. Of the higher-end teams, only Kentucky (seventh at 38.1%) and UCLA (32nd at 33.4%) really compare, and all three's reliance on that shot is a bit strange as none shoot better than 40% - Baylor shooting 37.5% in particular.

Baylor leaning so heavily on that expected 0.75 points per possession (2-point shot multiplied by 37.5% chance of making it) is a bit puzzling, given that it shoots at a very similar percentage from three (37.2%). Shooting at that clip provides a much superior 1.13 expected points per possession, yet Baylor ranks 193rd in percentage of shots from there (37.5%). Tonight would be a great time to pivot on that approach, given that Texas Tech allows the 17th most 3- point attempts per game. Then again, Baylor is the reigning champion and sits atop the polls, so putting its offensive philosophy under a microscope may be a questionable proposition.

Baylor also creates a good chunk of its offense from its defense: it forces the ninth-most turnovers per game, largely from its 10.3 steals per game. The Bears then push those turnovers in transition with their 61.5% effective field goal percentage, which ranks 28th in the nation.

The Bears force those turnovers through their execution of the "No Middle" defense, which aims to keep the ball away from the lane and force it into the sideline and baseline in order to create a "sixth defender". The scheme involves aggressive on-ball positioning and constant switches to keep the ball moving. As passes are made around the perimeter, the Bears then aggressively scramble to close out to contest threes or force a pass. With each additional pass, the likelihood of turnover increases.

Yes, teams very occasionally find an opening inside for an easy look (Baylor allows the eight highest field goal percentage at the rim) but it doesn't happen often enough to matter (Baylor allows the 12th lowest percentage of shots at the rim).

All in all, Baylor has a very sizable advantage across this matchup and should be able to press it convincingly.

Prediction: Baylor -12 (-108)

Texas Tech's leading per-game scorer, Terrance Shannon (14.3 PPG), has been out since December 14th. Kevin McCullar, Texas Tech's second-highest per-game scorer (13.5 PPG), is also going into this game with a questionable status after missing Saturday's game against Kansas. Both have been deemed game-time decisions, but McCullar's chances of playing are much more realistic than Shannon's.

Texas Tech can be a team that scores and wins off of its defined approach as opposed to relying on the individual pieces that are present. This was obviously the case in the 75 points and the win it put on Kansas, in which Bryson Williams (9.1 FGA per game) and Clarence Nadolny (3.0 FGA) stepped up and combined for 39 points on 58% shooting on volume they are not typically accustomed to (26 combined shots).

Texas Tech was also able to push its rebounding advantage in that game to help seal the deal, out-rebounding Kansas 34 to 24 including 13 to 6 on the offensive glass. The Red Raiders are particularly great in that regard, ranking 23rd in offensive rebounds. Baylor is also extremely proficient on the offensive glass, ranking 46th. There will be plenty of second chances for both teams, which may help tip this total to the Over.

As mentioned previously, Baylor's hyper-efficient transition offense should be able to create easy scoring opportunities. Texas Tech, however, is even better in that regard. The Red Raiders rank sixth in effective field goal percentage in transition (65.8%) and Baylor is a bit soft there, ranking 55th with a 57.1 eFG% allowed.

Prediction: Over 135 (-110)

Baylor did not accomplish what it did last year and what it continues to do this year by not pressing its advantages and edges. In its eight home games this year, it has won by an average of 36 points. The Bears castrated Villanova in particular, holding it to 36 points and beating it by 20+.

It's hard to imagine a scenario where stepping in front of a train barreling down the tracks is a good idea. Without a doubt, stepping in front of this train that has been full speed since February of last year would be foolish.

Pick: Baylor -12 (-108)

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