The Baylor Bears resume Big-12 play tonight at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders, projected to finish somewhere near the bottom of the conference, have yet to win a game in their three tries. Jaye Crockett and the Red Raiders look to snap that streak against Brady Heslip and Baylor. The Bears are trading as 3.5-point road favorites for the tip.
After hanging in for about 30 minutes at the Hilton Coliseum before falling off the pace in their first Big-12 Conference matchup. The Bears got back on track in their last game against Texas Christian. The #12 team in the country now looks to earn its first road win in the conference in a little more win-able matchup. Baylor should be able to impose its size on the front line against a smaller Texas Tech team that features most of its talent on the perimeter. Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin should be able to dominate the Tech interior with both strength and size. While Jefferson is probably the better candidate to receive Big-12 accolades, Austin is still regarded as the better prospect at the NBA level. Keep an eye on both in a favorable matchup around the rim.
Texas Tech is likely in for a long Big-12 season with the tall task of competing with the likes of Kansas, K-State, Iowa State Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Baylor fits nicely right in there with the top tier of the Big-12, which will make the claim as the best conference in college basketball this season. The Red Raiders have played their last two opponents very tough, though – losing in overtime to West Virginia and then falling on the road by three points against a pretty talented Texas team. The biggest challenge for Texas Tech is scoring efficiently on a consistent basis. Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert are the only double-digit scorers for a team that shoots just 32 percent from three-point range. Both Crockett and Tolbert shoot below 30 percent from downtown, which is a problem for a team that relies on its couple best offensive players to create much of the offensive flow for the team. The scoring duo for the Red Raiders must score, and score efficiently, if they want to give their side a run at the upset bid.
The road favorite spot should always be a little concerning but I think Baylor is at least four points better in this spot. Baylor to cover the 3.5.
Free Pick: Baylor -3.5