Only two games in the Big 12 tonight. The highlight is Baylor traveling to Xavier for an early 5:30 CST tip. The other game on the schedule is Kansas hosting Toledo. Here are today’s picks. Lines are from VegasInsider and are as up to date as 3:00 PM CST on Tuesday (click image to expand).
I’m currently 21-18-2 against the spread in Big 12 games and sitting at 60-53-3 overall. Feast Week turned things around. I was under .500 for most of the season until last week’s success. Let’s keep it going.
Baylor (+4.5) at Xavier:
• This is a return matchup from last season’s game between these two schools in Waco. Baylor won that one by 15 points, 76-61, but homecourt can make all the difference in college basketball. In that game last season, Manu Lecomte scored 25 points and hit 6 threes. He won’t surprise Xavier this season.
• Xavier has been very good on offense so far this season. They are 7th in the nation in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per Kenpom, at 117.1 points per 100 possessions. They currently lead the nation in 2-point FG%, at 66.4% from inside the 3-point line. The Musketeers are also great from 3. They are 66th in the nation in 3-point FG%, shooting 38.8% from deep.
• Baylor opponents are shooting just 25.9% from 3-point range, which is 16th in the nation. I talked about this before the Creighton game, but being a good 3-point shooting team doesn’t guarantee success from deep against Baylor. That zone is bothersome. They are fully of long-armed, rangey dudes, and they do a good job identifying shooters. Creighton shoots 38% from 3 as a team, but only shot 5-30 from 3 against Baylor. That zone will get you. Xavier will need to make shots; being at home will help.
• Kenpom has Xavier projected to win 74-71. I’ll take them to win as well, but I do like Baylor to cover. I would not be surprised at all if they won. This one should be close throughout.