Kansas vs Baylor Betting Preview: Butler, Bears Seek Statement Win

Eddie Griffin

Kansas vs. Baylor could be one of the most pivotal games of the college basketball season. The No. 2 Bears (12-0, 5-0 Big 12) face the Jayhawks in a must-see Monday matchup that tips off at 9:00 pm ET/8:00 pm CT on ESPN. Baylor is favored by 9.5 points at Fanduel, while the college basketball betting total sits at 140.5.

The Bears are flying high after winning at Texas Tech, but the Jayhawks need a win to rejuvenate their conference title hopes.

Will the Bears back up their lofty credentials, or will the Jayhawks close the gap in the Big 12 standings?

Kansas vs Baylor Betting Odds & Information

  • Matchup: Kansas Jayhawks (10-3, 4-2 Big 12) vs No. 2 Baylor Bears (12-0, 5-0 Big 12)
  • Date: Monday, January 18, 2021
  • Time: 9:00 pm ET/8:00 pm CT
  • Location: Waco, TX (Ferrell Center)
  • TV: ESPN
  • Spread: Kansas +9.5 (-120) | Baylor -9.5 (-102)
  • Total: OVER 141.5 (-106) | UNDER 141.5 (-114)
  • Moneyline: Kansas +380 | Baylor -490

Odds via FanDuel as of Monday, January 18 (9:15 am ET)

Kansas Jayhawks Betting Preview

Kansas has had almost a week to shake off last Tuesday’s 75-70 loss at Oklahoma State, as Saturday’s game against Iowa State was postponed.

A matchup for Kansas vs. Baylor will be a big test. Kansas has been searching all season for offensive consistency. On a positive note, McCormack (12.1 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game) has recently kicked it into high gear. The 6’10” junior has averaged 20.3 points and seven rebounds in his last three games and put up 24 and 12 against OSU.

However, junior guard Ochai Agbaji (14.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG), the team’s leading scorer, is shooting only 38.7 percent (24-62) in his last five games. Kansas’ best deep threat, Christian Braun (10.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG), is only 4 of 19 from three in his last four games. Also, point guard Marcus Garrett (9.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.6 assists per game) has not flourished offensively as hoped. With that trio not at their best, Jalen Wilson’s (13.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG) 13 points in two games is made more glaring.

Baylor Bears Betting Preview

Saturday’s trip to Texas Tech was Baylor’s toughest to date. The Red Raiders, fresh off of winning at No. 4 Texas, were in it late. But Jared Butler scored seven straight points to break open an eventual 68-60 win.

Scott Drew leans on his guards, led by Butler (15.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 5.2 APG). Butler struggled Saturday, but Baylor has numerous players who can step up. That is what fellow backcourt mates MaCio Teague (15.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG), Davion Mitchell (12.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 5.9 APG) and Adam Flagler (10.6 PPG, 44.7 three-point FG percentage) did against Texas Tech, combining for 46 points.

Defense is the biggest factor in why college basketball futures odds see Baylor as a top national championship favorite. No Big 12 opponent has scored 70 points. The Bears force an average of 19.3 turnovers a game and average 9.5 steals per game, led by Butler (2.5) and Mitchell (2.2). Defense often translates to offense, as they average 23.8 PPG off of turnovers. Kansas vs. Baylor is a great defensive matchup, but the Bears edge it.

Kansas vs Baylor Betting Breakdown

This is a unique season, but betting against Bill Self is dangerous. The last time Kansas lost back-to-back conference games was in 2013. The Jayhawks have won 15 Big 12 titles in the last 16 seasons for a reason.

Prediction

Kansas vs. Baylor will come down to whether or not the Jayhawks can step up offensively. However, write Kansas off at your peril. They won at Texas Tech and have faced a tough schedule. The Bears should win, but Kansas will cover.

Best Bets: Kansas +9.5 & Under 141.5