- No. 3 Kansas is an 8-point home favorite versus No. 4 Arizona on Saturday (1pm ET, Jan. 11)
- The Jayhawks are 8-6 ATS this season, but just 3-3 ATS as a home favorite
- The Bears have won 11 straight and are 2-0 ATS as an underdog – check our betting prediction below
No. 3 Kansas (12-2, 6-0 home) and No. 4 Baylor (12-1, 1-0 away) clash Saturday (1 pm ET, Jan. 11) in the biggest game on the college basketball slate. It’s no surprise that the higher-ranked Jayhawks are favored, but what is surprising is how many points they’re laying.
No. 4 Baylor vs No. 3 Kansas Odds
|Baylor Bears||+8 (-110)||Over 131.5 (-110)|
|Kansas Jayhawks||-8 (-110)||Under 131.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 10th
Kansas opened as an 8-point favorite and will be searching for its eighth cover in the past 10 games. They’re undefeated at home this season, but just 3-3 against the spread at Allen Fieldhouse.
Baylor meanwhile, is one of the hottest teams in the nation and is 2-0 ATS as underdog so far. The Bears have won 11 straight overall, and have seen their 2020 NCAA Tournament odds shorten from +4000 to +2500 since the season started.
Baylor’s winning streak is the fifth longest in school history, and the third longest in the nation. Their lone loss was a neutral site defeat in their second game of the season, and they’re a perfect 4-0 versus top-25 opposition. Last time out, they knocked off No. 22 Texas Tech in Lubbock, snapping the Red Raiders’ 15-game home winning streak.
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 8, 2020
In addition to their victory over Texas Tech, they’ve also defeated Butler, Arizona and Villanova. They rank ninth in the country in scoring defense and have allowed more than 65 points just once all season. They held the Red Raiders to 52 points and 37% from the field, after limiting Texas to just 44 points in their conference opener.
They’re an older team, with experienced guards, that rebounds well and forces plenty of turnovers. Their defense has carried them to their highest ranking since 2017, but Saturday’s test against Kansas will be by far their biggest of the season.
Home Sweet Home
Few teams have as big of a home court advantage as the Jayhawks do. They’ve won 17 straight conference games at Allen Fieldhouse and haven’t lost at home to a Big 12 opponent in over two years. Over their past seven home games, they’ve outscored their opposition by an average of 24 points, and they’ve never lost to the Bears in Lawrence.
Just another example of why you're the best, Jayhawk Nation! pic.twitter.com/iPXtpiawvN
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) January 5, 2020
Kansas is a slightly more complete team than Baylor, ranking 11th in offensive efficiency and second in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. Their +17.5 average point differential is sixth best in the country, and they’ve held four straight opponents below 60 points. In their conference opener, they limited No. 17 West Virginia to 32.2 % from the floor, and last time out versus Iowa State, they held the Cyclones to 27 points below their season average.
They have have one less top-25 victory than Baylor, but one more Quadrant 1 win. Their only two losses were away from home, against ranked teams (No. 2 Duke and No. 16 Villanova) by a combined three points.
Take the Points While You Can
This game sets up to be a low scoring affair between two of the premier teams in college basketball. The Jayhawks are the more talented program, but the Bears should certainly be able to keep this game close.
Eight points is too much to lay given the way Baylor is playing and the quality of teams they’ve already beaten. Expect sharp college basketball bettors to feel the same way and grab the points with the Bears. If you want to back Baylor do it now, because this line could be a lot shorter come tip-off.
Pick: Baylor +8
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