If you are shut down for nearly three weeks you cannot think of a better way to comeback if you play in the Big 12 conference than facing Iowa State. Teams have shown some rustiness after a pause due to COVID-19, but facing a team like the Cyclones gives you some room for error.
#2 Baylor (17-0, 9-0) last played on February 2nd. They will face Iowa State (2-16, 0-13) who is one of six remaining teams in the nation who have yet to win a conference game.
Iowa State Betting Preview
To say it has been a disappointing season for Iowa State would be an understatement. They are right there with Washington for worst power conference team and the Huskies have managed to win four games in conference play.
Rasir Bolton leads Iowa State in scoring (15.7), rebounds (4.8), assists (3.9) and steals (1.4). Leading your team in four categories would be impressive, but to have no player on the team averaging more than five rebounds a game is just awful.
One of the big issues for the Cyclones has been turnovers. Iowa State is averaging 15 per game, and Bolton leads the team at 3.2 per game.
Iowa State is ranked 162nd by Kenpom. The Cyclones are 199th in offensive efficiency and 137th in defense.
Baylor Betting Preview
Baylor fans are hoping that the pause will not hurt the teams’ momentum as they were right there with Gonzaga analytically. The Bears are big favorites with the Bulldogs to bring home the national title.
Baylor will need to use Iowa State as a way to get the kinks out as they will host West Virginia next. The Mountaineers are a much more formidable test than the Cyclones.
The Bears are led by Cousy Awards Finalist, Jared Butler is scoring (17.4) and steals (2.4). Butler is shooting 44.6% from behind the arc and is one of the nation’s best defenders.
MacIo Teague (14.7), Davion Mitchell (13.6) and Adam Flagler (10.2) are all averaging double figures for the Bears. Mitchell is 15th in the nation, as he is shooting 49.4% from behind the arc.
Kenpom has Baylor as the second best team in the country. The offense is fourth in efficiency and the defense ranks sixth.
MyBookie has Baylor as a 24-point favorite. The total is set at 147 points.
Free Betting Pick
Teams coming off of a pause generally perform two to four points worse than normal. But, this Baylor team just isn’t you average team and facing an inferior opponent in Iowa State should really help.
Look for Baylor to run away with this one early and look to rest some of their starters for Thursday’s matchup with West Virginia. Iowa State ends up covering as the regulars for Baylor do not play much the last five minutes of the game.
I like the under as well, as the Bears will have a hard time shooting their usual high percentage, and the Cyclones are decent at defending outside the arc.
Baylor 80, Iowa State 62
Spooky Express Free Betting Pick: Iowa State +24